Northern Districts will head into this year's Men's Premier Division finals full of belief after upsetting two-time reigning premiers Figtree on Saturday.
In a see-sawing battle, it was Ethan White who proved the hero, bobbing up with 20 seconds left in the game to boot a crucial goal and seal a 11.8 (74) to 10.10 (70) victory
There were huge scenes of celebrations for Norths players at Figtree Oval, who had come close to pipping the Kangaroos when they last met in July, before falling short by five points.
While Saturday's win won't see them rise up from third on the ladder, it was the perfect tonic for Tigers co-coaches Glenn Haase and Mick Montague ahead of the finals starting next weekend.
"We've been talking all year about belief," Montague told the Mercury.
"The Tigers haven't really been in finals contention for so long, and we've got really close to Figtree and the Dogs but never won. So it's a confidence boost heading into finals."
Haase agreed with his fellow mentor, adding that he was impressed with his team's structure on Saturday.
"We've changed our structure this year and we've been a lot smarter about it. It's good to know that it's holding up and whoever comes into our team can come into that structure and play," he said.
"We started well in the first half and then they come back in the third quarter. We knew that they would come back, they're an experienced team that's been playing together for a long time. They trust their structure and just kept chipping away, which we knew would happen.
"They kept doing that in the fourth quarter, but we just held on."
Despite the loss, the Kangaroos claimed this year's Men's Premier Division minor premiership. The second-placed Bulldogs made a late charge for the silverware, belting the Shellharbour by 100 points on Saturday, but they fell short of Figtree on percentage.
In the other game, the Wollongong Lions finished their campaign on a high by thumping Kiama by 18 goals.
Roos playing-coach Michael Coleman was disappointed to lose by four points in the last round, but was full of praise for Northern Districts for their performance.
"You'd like to have a bit of momentum going into finals, but the same flip of the coin, a loss is sometimes a blessing in disguise. And we can work on a couple of things and make sure that we're firing next week," he said.
"We had three young guys in our team play today - Ryan Kay, Aiden Rice and Emmett Walsh - so it good to see them have a crack.So as much as you hate the loss, we still played good patches of footy, and our second half was pretty good to bring us back into the game but it wasn't quite enough in the end.
"But Norths play good structure and they're playing good football at the right time of the year. They're sticking to their structure and on days like today, and in games that are really close, it pays off. So credit to their system that they've got working."