THE redemption of the Glenrowan Football Club was arguably completed when they won the 2014 premiership.
But they proved on Saturday, once and for all, that they deserve to go down in Ovens and King history.
The Kelly Tigers claimed their third straight premiership with a thumping 64-point win over Tarrawingee on Saturday.
It still beggars belief that just four years ago, in 2012, the club endured a winless season with an average losing margin of 150 points.
Glenrowan were little short of dominant on Saturday, holding the Dogs to one goal in the first quarter and only two after half time.
Three second-quarter goals for Tarrawingee would have eased the nerves of the Bulldogs faithful, as they remained within touch at half-time.
We're very proud, the boys have put a real exclamation mark on the last four years of hard work.Glenrowan president Jason McPhail
But the 22-point margin at the main break would be as close as the Bulldogs got in the second half, as the Tigers’ hard-running gameplan took full effect.
Six goals to one in the premiership quarter meant the Bulldogs would need nothing short of a miracle to come back – one that didn't come.
A further three goals to one in the final quarter was icing on the cake for Glenrowan, as they consigned their darkest days to the history books and wrote a new chapter of their own.
Club president Jason McPhail said the club had well and truly come full circle in the last five years.
“We're very proud, all the boys are happy to put an exclamation mark on the last four years of hard work,” he said.
“We've only had about 10 players who would have played in all three flags, and although there has been a strong core group, in reality it's actually been a much bigger transition that what people outside the club would think.”
McPhail said the key to their success had been the completely rejuvenated off-field culture of the club.
“That core group are extremely loyal, extremely proud of the bonds they've formed in their time here,” he said.
“In every successful club, there's an undercurrent of people who exemplify those values.”
Though the Tigers looked like they were in trouble mid-way through the season, McPhail said he had been quietly confident the team could turn it around.
“They'd been building towards this game,” he said.
“Halfway through the season we were in a bit of trouble, we copped a few injuries and weren't playing as well as we could have been.
“But they pulled together, which showed the experience and maturity of the group.”
Half-back Luke Fox was awarded best on ground for his efforts, while livewire Jordan Hanstead booted five goals in an impressive showing.
For Tarrawingee, Matthew Solimo booted two goals, while Jai Canny and Jack Spence were in their best.