Warick Colley still can't believe it.
"I thought we were gone," the premiership winning halfback recalls.
Peter Hickman, the Mudgee Dragons coach, well he's a little more stoic. He says the final 10 minutes of a grand final is when a champion side stands up.
So when his 2009 Dragons were down 27-14 - and then 29-26 with just a minute to play - Hickman knew his Mudgee boys would find a way. Just not like this.
Their chance was gone. Blown. Up in smoke, if you will. They'd run out of puff. Any other Dragons puns?
With less than a minute on the clock, behind on the scoreboard and without the ball, Mudgee's chance of ending a seventh grand final appearance in that decade with a premiership was gone.
Then, the kick happened.
All Lithgow had to do to win the game was hit the ball up one-out for five tackles then kick it to a corner and the '09 title was their's.
Instead, on tackle two on their own 30-metre line, Workies attempted a chip kick. Yep, the old chip and chase. Talk about coach killers.
Colley says it was the second chance Mudgee still can't work out how, or why, they were given, and after a couple of settlers as time wound down, the Dragons spun the ball right and found Kurt Beahan in space.
The lanky three-quarter flew past the at this point near-crazed peanut gallery - more crazed than normal, anyway - and Beahan's big right mit passed the ball back inside to a flying Corin Smith - shut the gate.
... if they'd played out that set and kicked long to a corner I don't know if we could have gone 100 metres. We couldn't believe our luck.Warick Colley looking back at the Lithgow chip kick that handed his side one last chance to steal the 09 decider
The then 19-year-old flew in next to the posts to hand Mudgee the most unlikely of grand final victories, all thanks to that kick.
"It's a bit famous, that set. We were pretty lucky," Colley remembers.
"I remember we got that second chance ... on the second tackle they tried a chip kick, which gave us the ball back and from that we shifted it to the right and Corin Smith finished it off.
"At the time a lot of the boys said after the game,
Hickman though, well he thinks it's never about luck. You make you're own basically.
The Dragons were the best team all year and never left anything to chance, dropping just two games throughout the regular season before winning the major semi-final 27-12 against Workies.
Hickman knew if his side was within striking distance of Workies at the death then they'd get the job done.
"That's just when it starts, the last 15 minutes of grand finals," Hickman said, in his third year in charge of the Dragons in 2009.
The club was coming off grand final disappointment in 2008 after going down 19-12 to St Pat's in Bathurst.
Twelve months on, Mudgee scored first against Lithgow to lead 2-0 but Workies then kicked into gear, leading 8-2 at the break before extending that advantage to 14-2 shortly after oranges.
As soon as the other side thinks they've won it that's when you get your chance.Dragons' 2009 coach Peter Hickman.
Colley then scored his first of the decider but it was soon cancelled out by a four-pointer to terrier-like Workies halfback Brett Ranse, the Lithgow No.7 also booting a field goal before the two sides traded four-pointers to bring the score to 27-14 Workies' way.
Steve Lane turned it on from there though and Mudgee got back to within a point before Lane's brother-in-law and bush footy legend Bubba Kennedy was binned after a fight broke out.
Down to 12 and then down by three points after Workies kicked a penalty goal, a time-wasting tactic as much as it was a chance to edge further ahead, Mudgee should never have won.
But we all know what happened after that.
"As soon as the other side thinks they've won it that's when you get your chance," Hickman said.
"We knew it would come down to the last play and that's the way it was.
"The town for the next week was unbelievable. We were pretty used to winning. It was a pretty good era, that's for sure."
Good era? Not exactly. Mudgee's run through the 2000s could easily be dubbed a great era, one of the best in Group 10 in fact.
Five straight top grade grand final appearances from 2000 through to 2004 and then back-to-back deciders in 2008 and 2009.
Seven grand finals, four premierships and the '09 one was easily one of the most gripping.
"I wasn't here in 2000 when we came from fifth but I came back home in 2001 and was in four grand finals in a row," Colley said. "It was a great streak and a real credit to the club."
Boasting a halfback like Colley made that task somewhat easier though.
He was for a long time one of CRL's best halves and won the 2009 Group 10 player of the year award prior to guiding Mudgee to the premiership with a grand final brace.
His halves partner that day, too, scored a double and Lane's influence of the Dragons during his stint at Mudgee isn't lost on Hickman.
"Boofy, I love the bloke," Hickman said of Lane, a multiple Group 10 title winner.
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"Holy smokes he was gifted. He could do anything with the ball, Stevie. He used to make people go to the footy."
The Dragons will hold a reunion during their final round clash with Workies.
The 2009 season was the last time there was a Group 10 grand final that didn't include a side from the competition's largest centres, Bathurst and Orange.
This year though, both are finals bound and, it looks like, the old Lithgow-Mudgee rivalry is back.
Just don't expect any late chip and chases.
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