Raymond Terrace have claimed a last-minute victory after their match against Cooks Hill went down to the wire, all locked up at 7-7 heading into the final round.
Not only did the season’s current cellar dwellers halt the Cookers’ momentum upwards in the standings, but their win came after the final round whistle had been blown – the 15th and deciding point was played through sudden-death after both teams had two left on field at full time.
A full two minutes in the last round was played out between Cooks Hills’ Benjamin McIntyre and Michael Kolmajer and Raymond Terrace’s David Franklin and Dan Jenkinson, with three late chances coming for Jenkinson against McIntyre, but to no avail.
It was the longest contested sudden-death of the season that claimed points however, with Franklin nicking Lewis Foot to send him – and his team – out 72 seconds into the deciding round.
It was a spirited comeback from the Terrace side as well, with Cooks Hill holding control at the half break 5-2, before the fixture was reversed for the eventual winners with a 2-6(1) run to put them back into the tie.
Earlier, Waratah kept sustained pressure on Hamilton atop the table with an 8-4 win over Rutherford, as deep-lining catchers Georgia Graham and Eva Bailey dictated the pace of the game.
The ‘Tahs struggled to find their groove early on as Rutherford kept them to a 3-all scoreline at the break, but Graham and Bailey’s contributions, as well as two key forward-court plays from Andrew de Souza and Nathaniel King saw them with a more positive second half.
Later, Hamilton remained just two points clear at the top with an 8-4 win over Belmont, keeping the defeated side 6 points behind Waratah and just two in front of Cooks Hill.
Hamilton soared after two rounds back-to-back that first saw Thomas McCallum return the team from a 1-on-4 deficit to score the point, before Lachlan Craig snatched a point-blank catch to swing numbers late in the next round.
Alexander McIntyre shone on the wings for the defending champions in the second half, while a hat-trick of catches from Doug Byrne before half time proved too much for Belmont to overcome as they remain in third for the fifth week in a row.
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)