Albury Thunder scored one of the most courageous wins in its 30-season history on Saturday.
The Thunder had conceded 140 points to 32 in the first three games and was hosting premiers Gundagai.
The Border outfit trailed 18-0 after 27 minutes and looked set for a third thrashing, but produced an inspirational fightback to grab a pulsating 22-18 win.
"It was a backs to the wall victory," proud president Rick O'Connell suggested.
"At 18-0 down, there probably wasn't that much confidence, but it just goes to show what can happen when you stick at your task and play for each other."
Despite trailing by that margin, the Thunder felt the visitors had had the luck with some charge downs.
Lightweight hooker Jeremy Wiscombe came off the bench and provided a spark, scoring close to half-time to give the team a confidence boost.
Second-rower Blake Grounds followed early in the second half to cut the margin further and in his starting debut as halfback, club junior Mason Fuller scored.
It was such an exciting finish the crowd could be heard around 800m away, but the cheering went to another level when Curtly Jenkinson scored the match-winner with seven minutes left.
The Thunder still had to survive a frenetic few final minutes to post its first win since the 2019 finals.
The Thunder remained confident of running over the top of the Tigers and so it proved with one of the grittiest wins since the club joined Group Nine in 1992.
"(Starting hooker) Joe Lumb won one of the awards, Jeremy Wiscombe gave us a spark off the bench, scoring a try and he kicked through for another try, (fullback) James Olds was very good and Mason Fuller, in his first full game at halfback, looked like he really belonged," O'Connell offered.
"But you could have named everyone in the best players, it was just that type of performance from the entire side."
The new halves combination of Fuller and Harry Reicher combined well, which is a terrific effort in itself and particularly against one of the competition powerhouses.
The win will prove an enormous confidence boost for the youthful outfit as it looks to build on that display.
Perhaps unfortunately from a momentum viewpoint, the league now has Mother's Day off, so the Thunder won't get the chance to immediately further improve on that showing.
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However, it will allow the players to get over the majority of injuries, which has certainly hurt the club, for the away clash against the other grand finalists Tumut.
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