They had produced stirring back-to-back District League wins. But Fernhill couldn't pull a third rabbit out of the hat on Saturday.
The Foxes' 2020 campaign is over, falling 2-1 to Unanderra in extra time at Ray Robinson Oval.
The victory means the Hearts will progress to a sudden-death preliminary final against Picton next weekend.
Fernhill had proven to be the league's giant killers in recent weeks. After beating the Hearts 2-0 in the last round to make finals, the Foxes secured a thrilling win in a penalty shootout against Helensburgh last week.
And a third straight win appeared to be on the cards when Fernhill scored first on Saturday, courtesy of Nelson McLeod in the 22nd minute.
But the Hearts responded in the 39th minute, with Christian Plakias finding the back of the net. The score remained 1-all at half time.
Unanderra peppered the goals in the second half, but couldn't find that winning goal. And despite their best efforts, it was still 1-all at the full-time whistle.
The Hearts would have to wait until the 111th minute to get the winner, with Save Treneski powering home the vital goal.
While happy to keep their season alive, Saturday's game left Hearts coach Rod Williams scratching his head.
"I don't want to sound rude, but we should have won that in 90 minutes. We missed four or five real opportunities," he said.
"The boys played really well, but football is a funny game. If you don't put in the back of the net, you sometimes struggle a bit. It could have been 4-1 or 5-1 in normal time. They had one real chance in the game and they took it, a good volley early on. But I thought we did really well for the last 90 minutes or so."
Next on the cards is a preliminary final against Picton, with the winner to meet Oak Flats on grand final day.
"They're [Picton] never easy. I think the last time we played Picton, they raced to a 2-0 lead and they hung on. If the game had gone for another 15 minutes, maybe we would have got them or got it into extra time," Williams said.
"Considering we had a couple of players out today, it was a great win. I changed a couple of things around. We're starting to hit our stride and to create seven or eight chances in the game, we took it to the 120th minute. We've got a good squad and played the kind of football that got us to second place.
"We're looking forward to next weekend."
For Fernhill coach Dale White, Saturday signaled the end of his team's fairytale run of form.
White said it was a "funny old game" at Ray Robinson Oval.
"We started excellent, the first half an hour there was all us. And I think they'd agree on that," he said.
"But we ran into a bit of a wall. Last week definitely caught up to us, training was pretty flat all week. We tried to freshen up a little bit during the week, and give ourselves every opportunity. And we started that way. But I've definitely got no complaints about the result.
"But we showed some great fight out there. Two weeks in a row, 120 minutes, it shows us a lot about the character of the lads and they're digging in. I thought the extra time period was fairly even, but it was a well taken second goal for them."