ALBION Park-Oak Flats won their eighth premiership in 14 years with a dramatic 16-14 defeat of Gerringong in yesterday's grand final at Centenary Field.
Unable to tame the Lions in two regular season meetings, Albion Park won when it mattered.
It was a brutal and controversial grand final that had it all - high tackles, brawls, injuries and a send-off.
But all anyone will remember is the kick.
Gerringong fullback Joel Roberts, the competition's top pointscorer, was thrust into the spotlight in crunch time with a high-pressure conversion attempt after the full-time siren.
Only moments earlier, Roberts, easily one of the best players on the field, had touched down for a try from a last-ditch bomb with eight seconds on the clock.
He lined up his kick 15m to the right of the posts and appeared to strike the ball cleanly.
But it quickly started fading right before slamming into the upright and rebounding back into the field of play.
The Eagles hollered and hugged, while the Lions bowed their heads as the incomparable hollowness of grand final defeat hit like a train.
"It's just amazing. I don't think you'll ever see a better grand final win than that," retiring Eagles captain-coach Jason Hooper said.
"I couldn't believe it, just couldn't believe they got that try and it came down to one kick. As he walked back to kick it, I was standing there thinking 'We deserve this'.
"You have to give it to Gerringong because they don't give up, but this bunch of blokes don't give up either. We really deserved this with our effort today."
They say premierships are built on defence and the Eagles were close to perfect yesterday.
The Lions and their loyal followers felt their opponents over-stepped the mark a few times with some of their defensive tactics - second-rower Matt Jarrett was sent off 12 minutes into the second half for a high shot which floored Lions prop Justin O'Hare - but the home side kept finding ways to shut down down Gerringong's attack.
"I've never had to defend so much as we did in that first half," Hooper said.
"To hold Gerringong to zero for a half, the team that scored the most points all year, it's a credit to our defence. It's a credit to the boys and the coaching staff.
"Boys just kept getting up and getting back into the line, even though we only had 12 men for the last 20 minutes or so. We did it for each other. There was so much courage. It doesn't get any better than that."
After a scoreless opening 27 minutes, hooker Dean Gray's try gave the Eagles a 6-0 lead.
Fullback Danny Sartori sliced through the Lions' defensive line for a try in the opening minutes of the second half, but Gerringong finally responded with centre Kal Collins' try in the corner.
Roberts missed the sideline kick but converted Dave Catterall's try soon after to make it 10-all.
Matt Carroll's penalty goal gave the Eagles a 12-10 lead and winger Chris Daniels crossed out wide to make it 16-10 with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Most Lions fans were already getting ready for extra time when Roberts scored in the dying stages but there was no fairy tale ending this time.
"Albion Park defended well and we stuck in there, but it's another game where we've ended up with no replacements at the end of the game," Gerringong coach Mick Cronin said.
"You have to give them credit for the way they defended, but credit to my players too. They hung in there. If the goal goes over who knows what happens?
"Our blokes have had a great season and it's unfortunate that it didn't finish the way we wanted."