In one of the early blockbuster clashes of Season 12, the third week of the competition saw grand final rivals Hamilton and Belmont come face-to-face just a handful of competitive games after the Beavers claimed their first championship at the Stags' expense.
This time around, Hamilton were able to claim the honours as a slow and steady battle fell their way, 7-5. It was a second half comeback that swapped the results for the Stags, as they trailed 2-4 at the break against the defending champions.
The six-set first half was a tight affair for both sides, with Belmont climbing into the ascendancy with the final two points to break the early 2-all deadlock.
It was the second half that decided the match however, as the 4-2 lead for the Beavers quickly became a 4-all tie again, and Hamilton kept on the pressure to chalk up three more set wins to stretch their lead to three. While Belmont were able to drag one back in a sudden-death decider for the twelfth round, it wasn't enough to bridge the gap and the champions slipped into the loser's circle for the first time in 2019.
The win was a key one for Hamilton, who had started the season 0-2, but despite collecting three points saw very little movement in the standings - a clog of teams on five points have developed from fourth to seventh.
Part of that came from Waratah's 6-7 defeat at the hands of current league leaders Shortland. The Cobras and the Scotchies found themselves all level at 6-apiece heading into the thirteenth and final set, with Shortland able to come out victorious after four quick-fire eliminations put them on the front foot. Waratah's defeat dropped them to a 1-2 record, putting them in the lead of the developing pack.
Bar Beach also lost on Thursday evening, joining the 1-2 group, after a close contest with Kotara fell against them 6-9. The final team locked in the mid-table clump is Raymond Terrace, who delivered Glendale their third loss of Season 12 in the late game on Thursday.
STANDINGS: Shortland, Kotara (9), Belmont (7), Waratah, Raymond Terrace, Hamilton, Bar Beach (5), Glendale (3).
Finals: Scotchies clinch first title with rampage over Belmont (21/06)
RD14: Shortland, Hamilton lead top seeds heading into playoffs (07/06)
RD13: Glendale stun Belmont 7-3 to climb out of cellar (31/05)
RD12: Jesmond bundle up Waratah to set race for top four alight (24/05)
RD11: Beavers back on track with win over the Kings (17/05)
RD10: Terrace back in the winner's circle with Hamilton upset (10/05)
RD9: Belmont and Waratah locked at standstill (03/05)
RD8: Stags down 'Tahs in grudge match battle for third (19/04)
RD7: Belmont bounce back with spoiler win against Kotara (12/04)
RD6: Scotches wave away Belmont bid to stay top (05/04)
RD5: Waratah right season with Raccoons win (29/03)
RD4: Shortland stay undefeated with fourth win (22/03)
RD3: Hamilton claim revenge in grand final rematch (15/03)
RD2: Bar Beach hold off Glendale to bag first win (08/03)
RD1: Waratah sweep aside arch-rivals with major margin (01/03)
PRESEASON: Season 12's draw & key fixtures revealed (08/02/19)
PRESEASON: Rego now open for NDL Season 12. (01/02/18)
GF: Belmont edge out Hamilton in two-set grand final epic (16/11)
FINALS: Hamilton and Belmont set up grand final rematch (9/11)
RD14: Waratah down Belmont in heated one-set thriller (2/11)
RD13: Shortland oust Hamilton from first with one to go (26/10)
RD12: Belmont upset Hamilton to blow first place race open (19/10)
RD11: Shortland take second after thriller against Belmont (12/10/18)
RD10: Waratah tumble into fourth place after slow start (5/10/18)
RD9: Top four teams hold off finals-hopefuls (28/09/18)
RD8: Hamilton claim first as league celebrates Ladies Day (21/09/18)
RD7: Shortland and Kotara clash goes down to the wire (14/09/18)
RD6: Waratah keep close on Hamilton's heels (07/09/18)
RD5: Hamilton prevail in grand final rematch (30/08/18)
RD4: Belmont tumble into ladder mix with defeat (24/08/18)
RD3: Waratah cuts Shortland's undefeated streak short (17/08/18)
RD2: Shortland break Terrace to continue strong start (10/08/18)
RD1: Waratah open account against long-standing rivals (03/08/18)
PRESEASON: Season 11's draw & key fixtures revealed (19/07/18)
PRESEASON: Registrations now open for NDL Season 11. (13/07/18)
GF: Hamilton extend dynasty with fifth championship (06/07/18)
SF: Belmont punch ticket to season decider with comeback (29/06/18)
QF: Raymond Terrace scores maiden finals victory (22/06/18)
RD15: Waratah confirm second place, first week bye (15/06/18)
RD14: Waratah steady the ship with key three-set win (08/06/18)
RD13: Belmont ensures the Waratah slide continues (01/06/18)
RD12: Cooks Hill and Belmont remain level with draw (25/05/18)
RD11: Waratah lose sight of first place after defeat (18/05/18)
RD10: Raymond Terrace shock Cookers in sudden death (11/05/18)
RD9: Cookers drop 'Tahs to second with 6-5 slug-fest (04/05/18)
RD8: Hamilton take revenge in Battle of Oakdale (27/04/18)
RD7: Bailey best on field as 'Tahs in cruise-control (20/04/18)
RD6: Waratah break three-year hoodoo over old rivals (13/04/18)
RD5: Hamilton reclaim first place with 13-0 masterclass (06/04/18)
RD4: League's closest round sees 'Tahs take top spot (23/03/18)
RD3: Cooks Hill record first point with 5-5 draw (16/03/18)
RD2: Sudden-death deciders see Hamilton pip Belmont (09/03/18)
RD1: Waratah-Hamilton classic ends in 6-all draw (02/03/18)