The Forster Tuncurry Dolphins stormed into their seventh successive Lower Mid North Coast rugby union grand final in recovering from a 0-17 deficit with four tries in 27 minutes to defeat the Manning River Ratz, 26-20, at the last breath at Peter Barclay Field, Tuncurry, on Saturday.
In a team heaving with heroes, it was the Great Lakes' "miracle man", 37-year-old Tom Harris, who scurried through in the dying seconds for the major semi-final-winning try.
"Ho (Honemau) and Jesse (Logan) made runs and I looked up and there was no-one in front of me," Harris said, modest as ever, self-exiled from the dressing room while he smoked a cigarette.
Matt Nuku, the team engineer, said for all: "It was like a grand final and felt like one."
On a chilling, windswept day when so much was at stake in the four semi-finals, two of sudden-death nature, Wauchope Thunder's impressive women's 10-a-side team advanced to their grand final by defeating last year's premiers, the Gloucester Cockies, 39-10.
Once again, it was their "Twin Titans", Naomi George and Ellie Johnston, who paved the way in the success while the Wallamba Bulls' petite Courtney Currie, her broken left hand heavily strapped, was the dynamo at the heart of her team's 43-7 minor semi-final elimination of Manning River.
But it was Si-Vauniaku Honemau, the first brawny Tongan forward of four to arrive at the Dolphins' clubhouse this year, who broke the Ratz' seemingly impregnable defence in the men's game on Saturday.
Side-lined for three weeks, refusing even to watch his team-mates complete their unbeaten minor premiership - one 25-all drawn game with the Ratz and 11 wins - due to a severely strained hamstring muscle, his booming runs cracked the opposition's defence, and finally broke it.
Former Penrith first grade hooker, Mark Coble, one of the Dolphins' best and fairest judges, remarked: "Ho gets my three points and deserved six."
It appeared the Ratz were grand final-bound when they led 10-0 at half-time, their big pack's domination leading to David Rees' bullocking try after half an hour, coupled with the astute kicking in the cross-wind of fullback Ricky Campbell.
When Kieran Burley barrelled over for the 17-0 lead after 56 minutes, all seemed lost for the Dolphins.
It would have been more but for the midfield tackling of skipper Mark Hagarty and centre partner, Jesse Logan.
Revealing the knowledge and nous of four back-to-back premierships (2013-2016), coach Ron McCarthy brought new enterprise and purpose into the team with Kaleb Trudgett, Aaron Fox, Hugh Sweeney and Scott Walmsley coming off the bench.
Hooker Walmsley stole a tight-head, Fox displayed dash in midfield, Trudgett brought aggression and mobility into the back row, Sweeney worked slickly with Nuku in the halves.
Behind the barrage of runs by Honemau and calm direction of Nuku, outside-centre Jesse Logan's try broke the ice for the Dolphins, followed soon after by Fox's spearing try.
Honemau's power took its toll.
He crunched his way through for a try, and the Dolphins had blood in their nostrils.
But still they trailed, 19-20.
"The last 20 minutes was when we started playing," Harris observed.
"We were asleep before that. We began driving the ball up, clearing the Ratz away at the breakdowns and began performing like a good team."
Harris' try in the last seconds stunned the Ratz and delighted Dolphins' supporters.
But semi-finals do not provide cups or shields.
The grand final is on Saturday week.
Somewhere in the crowd, a spectator began singing a New Zealand Maori anthem. It proved a nice introduction to a great evening by the Wallabies in Perth.
Stay ahead with local news by signing up for the Great Lakes Advocate newsletter here.