Lavington's Nick Meredith broke his right collarbone late in the third quarter.
Meredith, who started forward after spending most of his career in defence, bored into a contest in typical fashion.
"I got hit in an awkward spot, I felt it snap," he said.
"I tried to mark the footy just after and lifted my arm up and my collarbone went out, I went, 'na'."
Meredith was outstanding in the first quarter.
"It's unbelievable just for the committee and everyone's that worked so hard, it's taken 10 years to get here, I broke down as soon as the siren went," he said emotionally.
IN OTHER NEWS:
- Panther persistence pays off with premiership
- Borella Butchery bags our favourite ham in state of NSW
- Jack Kirley laps up moment after coming through ranks
Lavington siblings Sam and Tom Hargreave lost their father Hugh on September 6.
"I reckon we had a helping hand from above, thank you dad," Tom said.
His older brother shared the eulogy for his dad.
"(Today's) obviously special, just over two weeks since he passed away, it's been a pretty heavy month," Sam said.
Aidan Johnson claimed the mark of the day when he dragged in a blinder, with one arm, while flying high with just over three minutes left.
"I went up, tried to make a contest and it just fell in my hands," he said modestly.
He went back and kicked the goal, which stopped Wangaratta's momentum.
Johnson (former Brock-Burrum) was one of three players who were playing in the Hume League last year, joining Brad Carman and AB Mackinlay (Holbrook).
"Give it a crack, bite the bullet and get some fitness and go for it," Johnson offered to other bush players.
Meantime, Mackinlay joined elite company, playing in an O and M flag and a first grade Cricket Albury-Wodonga title.
"I just wanted to test myself to see how it went and it turned out to be the best decision of my life," he said.
Lavington's win snapped a series of big game losses.
The Panthers fell to Wangaratta in the 2008 decider and lost to the star-studded Albury in 2015-16.
"We had a lot of near misses, preliminary finals, grand finals," captain Luke Garland said.
The Pies were the only team the Panthers had fallen to this year, prior to the game.
"We had to throw different things at them, we've played them three times and thrown the same setups and structures and they started to pick us apart," he said.
"We threw a couple of curve balls and I reckon they definitely came off."
The Panthers had two 17-year-olds in the team.
Year 11 student Macca Hallows had his birthday on September 11, while Clayton Marsh isn't 18 until March.
"To think I was just playing under 16s grand final last year and lost that, to a senior grand final, it means a lot," Marsh said.
Kris Holman has played a different role under Simon Curtis.
Holman used to play loose man in defence, but is now more accountable.
"Yes, with the guys that can do everything, we don't have one person to be free all the time, we back everybody to get that position and use the footy well," he said.
Holman, who took a superb mark in the second quarter and was strong, busted his nose trying to spoil Ben Speight in the third term.
99 AND OUT
Adam Butler played his first game in 99 days, replacing fellow veteran John Hunt, who pulled out after battling a shoulder injury.
"I was there when he made the call to the coach, that was quite sad for me, I've played a lot of footy with 'Rexy'," the 37-year-old said.
"I was considering, 'am I being selfish'? There was a lot of doubt in my head, I felt good, but it hasn't held up in the last 14 weeks."
Butler has battled numerous hamstring injuries in his career.
"I've signed for next year, they're a good bunch of boys, so I want to keep going," he said.
And coach Curtis feels Hunt, who's 40 next month, could join him.
"It's unbelievable, the selflessness, he could have gone out there and played and probably been fine," he said.
"I just want to make sure for him, it's not the end, it's still very much his call (to play on)."
The win capped the end of Lavington president Peter Barwick's 10-year stint.
"This is it for me, it's long enough, I've run out of puff," he said.
Barwick is enormously respected for his tremendous work ethic.
"I'm really happy for this group of boys."