Zac White's Molong Magpies arrived at King George Oval smoking hot on Saturday, but by the end of an 80-minute Oilsplus Cup grand final, it was the home side that lifted the silverware.
Sebastian Hobby's Blayney Rams played the wet conditions perfectly, and after a slow opening 20 minutes, wrestled back the momentum and signed off on an undefeated campaign with a 24-15 triumph.
"This feels really good," Hobby said.
"Definitely a lot better than last year. This is what we wanted to do... I'm really happy.
"We probably didn't want the wet weather today. It was always going to be a really tough battle up the middle against Molong, but the boys came away with it."
The black and whites exploded out of the gates, slotting an early penalty goal through Riley White before second rower Ross Cary got his boot onto a loose ball and toed it all the way to the Rams' in-goal, making it 10-0 after a conversion from in front.
But, as all good sides do, Blayney weathered the storm of enthusiasm from Molong and struck back with a five-pointer of their own as flanker Rick Scott barged over from close range, bring the scores to 10-7.
The sides went back and forth for the next few minutes as ball handling was a huge issue with Magpies seemingly putting it down every time they shifted the footy wide.
The errors eventually cost the visitors as Rams' playmaker Harry Phillips nudged a cross-field kick over to winger Frazer Ryder who slid over the line with the ball under his arm.
With the scores at 12-10, the teams rushed to get the sheds at half-time and it took almost 20 minutes of play for someone to strike a blow after oranges.
Rams' fullback Tyler Hobby was the man to do that as he split the Pies open off a kick return before passing it off to Louis Nixon and then getting the ball back off the halfback a split second later.
Goal kicking was an issue for both sides as the scores remained at 17-10 after the ensuing conversion was pushed wide.
The ascendancy looked to be with Rams, but after the black and whites charged a kick down on the ensuing set, prop Tyler Ginn capitalised, bringing the scores to 17-15 at the 60th minute.
The Pies were only down two points at this stage but couldn't achieve sustained possession in enemy territory as errors - combined with solid defence from Rams - kept them in their own half.
With five minutes to go, Blayney received a penalty goal in attacking position but pushed it wide of the posts, giving Pies another shot at the death.
But again, Molong couldn't make it out of their own end and with just seconds remaining, Ethan Hobby bagged the match-sealing try after his big men rolled the ball down towards the promise land.
"We really played for the full 80 minutes today," Hobby said.
"They were all over us in the first 20, but we held our cool and just eventually wore them down.
"I knew they couldn't keep it up for the full 80, it was a massive effort from us."
Although it was a significantly shorter season than what these clubs are used to, injuries did their best to stop the Rams from doing what they did.
"We never had the same side for two weeks in-a-row," he said.
"But, we just kept getting scrappy wins."
As any skipper would be, Magpies' Zac White was gutted to lose a grand final, especially after going on such an epic run to get there.
"It's very tough, mate... it's tough for all the boys," he said.
"I think at the end of the day, we weren't up to it today. When it came down to it, wet weather really impacted the game.
"It was a pretty even tussle but they deserve all the credit. They've been the best team all year and they made less mistakes than we did today."
White also spoke about the crop of young players who have burst onto the scene at Molong this year, and praised them for the impact they've made.
"There's a huge amount of pride in the black and white," he said.
"We've got a lot of new guys in the side and they all came here and bought into the culture that Molong's been renowned for for years.
"To come from where we did and make the run from fourth position, well I'm very proud of that. But I'm disappointed with the result today."
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