The league's fairytale story in Myrtleford ended the greatest grand final run in league history on Sunday.
Albury's stretch of 10 successive deciders is over, but only after the proud Tigers stormed back from 31 points down with just over 11 minutes left to fall in a final term thriller 9.10 (64) to 8.9 (57) at Bunton Park.
"Pretty numb feeling at the moment, to where we were (four wins last year) to a prelim final, pretty surreal," first year Saints' coach Jake Sharp said.
"Our boys were outstanding, everything I asked, they executed."
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At three-quarter time, the teams came together after Albury's Chris Hyde was charged with head-butting Sharp and sent off for 15 minutes.
The teams took some time to separate with spectators already on the ground.
When standout best on ground Matt Dussin goaled after 10 minutes, the Tigers trailed by the biggest margin of the match.
But with just over seven minutes left, Jake Page converted from a free kick to cut the deficit to 25.
With four minutes remaining, Shaun Daly was handed 50m to cut the margin to 19 and then just 23 seconds later, the Tigers had another through Brayden O'Hara.
With just under three minutes left, a Riley Bice free kick slashed the deficit to seven but the Saints held on in the frenetic finish and will now play minor premiers Lavington.
Myrtleford's tall forward line in Ryley Sharp and Riley O'Shea worried the smaller Tigers, kicking two goals apiece, while Tom Ellard also bagged a double.
Dussin was incredible, while Hugh Wales was cool in defence.
Underrated Paul Harrington was terrific, along with midfielder Elijah Wales.
Brayden O'Hara was the Tigers only multiple goalkicker with two to be the favourites' best, while fellow veteran Dean Polo also played well.
"You lose by seven points and you give away free kicks all over the place, plus three goals from 50m penalties down at the square, that's the difference," Albury co-coach Tom McGrath said.