WARRACK Eagles fell just 12 points shy of upsetting the Horsham Demons in Saturday's Wimmera league grand final.
The Demons, chasing their ninth consecutive flag, found themselves in an unfamiliar position when they trailed halfway through the last quarter.
Wimmera league manager Steve McQueen said the lead had changed four or five times in the titanic battle.
Horsham went into the match undefeated this season, but the Eagles held their own, with playing coach Steve Schultz and half-back flanker Paul Okely leading the way.
"It was a scrappy match but Warrack had to make it scrappy to have a fighting chance," McQueen said.
"They probably should have won it in the end, but Horsham's experienced players got them across the line."
The Demons' Damien Skurrie, who booted four goals, was named best afield in the 15.7 (97) to 12.13 (85) victory.
McQueen said spectators were tense as the match see-sawed in the final quarter.
"The Horsham fans were just dumbfounded when they were behind in the last quarter. There was plenty of hearts in mouths, I think, from both teams," he said.
In the Kyabram and District league, Lancaster claimed its first premiership in a decade when it toppled Rushworth by 44 points on Saturday.
Adrian Meka kicked six goals in the Wombats' 17.9 (111) to 9.13 (67) win, while Andrew Sierakowski - one of just two current players who were part of the club's 2001 flag - won the best-on-ground medal.
Meanwhile, Mooroopna will line up in its first grand final in 25 years when it takes on reigning premier Shepparton United for country footy's last flag of the season on Sunday.
United captain Tyson Sidebottom will be hoping for a repeat of last year's family feat.
His brother, Steele, was part of Collingwood's drought-breaking flag win over St Kilda a week after Tyson's Goulburn Valley league triumph.