Crookwell Dogs secured an epic South Coast Monaro Grand Final victory with a late converted try to see off competition favourites Taralga Tigers and claim the silverware with a stunning 14-7 success.
An injury-time from Tom McGregor, the replacement front-rower dotting down with only two minutes remaining for Crookwell, proved to be the pivotal moments of a match that saw the two tournament heavyweights slug it out in perfect conditions in front of a crowd of around 1,500.'
The contest was tough and tight to the extreme with neither side giving an inch as defences reigned supreme at the home of the Dogs.
It was the Tigers that struck the first blow in the 36th minute as, from a scrum on the cusp of the Dogs’ twenty-two, the Tigers number 8, Tobias White picked and went, supplying the telling pass to wing Michael Bennett who held off the covering defence to cross in the corner.
Joel Croker, as he has done for most of the season, sent over a magnificent conversion close to the touchline as the Tigers into the sheds at the break with a slender, yet many thought significant, ten-point advantage.
It was a lead they held until past the hour mark before Crookwell started to gain the ascendency.
Their own set-piece was the platform for the Dogs to level the scores, a solid scrum allowing them to go through the phases, sucking in the Tigers defence, to finally breach the line as Scott Kensit, a second half replacement himself, crashed off a short pop-pass close to the line.
Liam Jones was left with a kick from almost in front of the posts to draw the Dogs level, sending the home crowd into a paroxysm of delight as they sensed that the upset was on the cards.
Those scenes were exacerbated when, with five minutes of time after the siren showing on the clock, McGregor took an inside pass from flyhalf Danny Knight to barrel his way through three tackles and crunch his way over the line for the match-winning score.
Jones kicked the extras, but there was still time for the Tigers to hit back. They recycled the kick-off to great effect until a turnover allowed the Dogs to kick to touch and claim a memorable success.
Crookwell Dogs (0) 14 (T: Scott Kensit, Tom McGregor, C: Liam Jones (2)) Taralga Tigers (7) 7 (T: Michael Bennett, C: Joel Croker)