Howlong coach Marc Almond started the mind games early in the lead up to the 2010 decider against Culcairn.
The two standout sides of the season, little separated the pair with the Spiders prevailing by five and 10 points in their two previous clashes.
The Spiders went into the grand final as the slight favourites after taking the direct route and were on a 11-match winning streak.
The Lions' biggest asset was their midfield treasure trove of Shannon Gilson, Lachie Hutchins, Leigh Baker, Scott McGrath, Brent Barber and Ben and Sam Schulz.
Almond revealed he was quick to label the Lions' midfield the best in the competition in the media when interviewed.
"It was a bit of a tactic and I have no doubt Culcairn thought it had the superior midfield," Almond said.
"So any media opportunity I had that week, I went along with it and told Culcairn what they wanted to hear.
"But internally I believed that with Ben Nicholson, Steve Fouracre, Adam Hansen, Jay Banks, Daniel Hibberson, Troy Cooper and Ash Dedeni we had the edge in the midfield.
"Both in class and depth."
Nicholson was regarded among the premier midfielders in the competition.
But the Spider ace suffered a potentially season-ending injury after he had his index finger severed in a workplace accident in July that season.
The middle finger on his left hand was severed below the knuckle with surgeons unable to reattach the finger.
Almond said he was relieved when Nicholson made it back late in the season before being thrown another curve ball.
"We weren't really sure if Ben was going to make it back in time," he said.
"He played on the eve of the finals series but then did his hamstring.
"Ben missed the second semi-final but we rolled the dice and picked him for the grand final.
"He started on a half-forward flank but struggled by his standards after missing so much football.
"At half-time we were down and he looked at us (the coaching staff) and said I'm right to go."
Culcairn started the better of the two sides but some poor conversion in front of goal let the Spiders off the hook with the Lions were clinging to an eight point lead at the main break.
Almond swung the changes at half-time with devastating effect.
Howlong unleashed one of the most lethal quarters of football in Hume league finals history.
The Spiders slammed on 10 goals to two in a third-term blitz that was the club's most damaging half hour of the season.
"I don't think any coach in their wildest dreams would think a side is capable of kicking 10-goals in a quarter in a grand final," Almond said.
"But we did."
The Spiders charged to the three-quarter time huddle with a commanding 43-point lead.
Culcairn outscored the Spiders in the final term but the damage had been done.
Fouracre was awarded the Des Kennedy medal for the best player on the ground.
Almond said Dedini was an unheralded player in the premiership side.
"Ash was new to the club and dominated in his first three matches and hurt his knee and then missed most of the year," Almond said.
"One was against Culcairn at the start of season and I remember Graham Fruean played on Ash.
"I rated Graham as the best defender in the competition and I remember him telling me that Ash caused him a lot of headaches.
"He came back in round 17 and played in the grand final and was a really influential player."
Howlong won the 1971 flag under coach Reg Edwards against Walbundrie.
The Spiders are set to celebrate both flag triumphs this weekend when they host Culcairn.
HOWLONG 15.7 (97) def CULCAIRN 10.9 (69)
Goals: HOWLONG: M Almond 2, J Banks 2, A Barnes 2, T Pargeter 2, J Koehler 2, A Dedini 2, T Cooper, D Hibberson, K Jacka. CULCAIRN: S Brand 3, L Donnan 3, B Charlton-White 3, S Gilson.
Best: HOWLONG: S. Fouracre, B Farrugia, B Longley, D Hibberson, T Pargeter, A Dedini; CULCAIRN: S Fagan, G Fruean, B Schulz, S Schulz, A McDiarmid, T Gardiner.
Crowd: 6000 (estimate) at Walbundrie Sportsground
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