Creswick and Newlyn clashed head-to-head on Saturday and it was the stubbornness of the Wickers which got them across the line by seven points.
The home side had the measure of its arch rivals from the start and close checking and hard tackling paid off as the Wickers led at every break.
Every time the Cats managed to break free they were reeled in again and again by the Wickers.
Creswick's Ricky Pearson was a headache for the Cats and he made them pay with three majors.
Ethan Tibbles, Patrick Taranto and Aaron Sedgwick kicked goals for Creswick, but when the going got tough in the final term it was Liam Blake who brought the house down. Blake took a tumbling, rolling mark with just minutes left on the clock and after Newlyn had cut a two-goal deficit to be just a point behind on the scoreboard. The home crowd was silent as Blake lined up his kick and then roared to life as the football sailed through the big sticks.
Newlyn's gun forward and the Central Highlands Football League's leading goal-kicker Marcus Darmody was smothered by a clingy Creswick defence, but he still managed to boot three majors.
Darmody and Chris Eastwell kicked the two goals in the final quarter to challenge the lead.
Creswick's Matt Miller, Tim Rieniets, Joel Antonio and Jack Marshman were tough on the field and took inspiration from the unstoppable leaders Sedgwick and Pearson.
Newlyn's co-coach Dan Wehrung and Adam Sewell tried to urge their teammates on and some like Joel Willmott, Josh Milne and Boe Bish heeded the call.
Creswick and Newlyn have a fierce rivalry and the hard-fought victory coincided with the Wickers' 150th year celebrations and dinner, which got underway afterwards with great fanfare.
For the winning coach Ryan Knowles it was a perfect day.
"A big rivalry. A special occasion with the 150. The dinner for past players and all that. All we asked was for four quarters of pressure," Knowles said.
"And they did. Right to the end. They didn't let up."
For co-coach Christ Dwyer the loss obviously stung.
"Creswick outworked us all day. We played catch-up. It's a wake-up call for us," he said.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Hepburn bounced back to winning form with an emphatic display against Gordon.
The Burras were led by onballer Tommy Horne and forward Sam Dunstan, who booted five goals in the 39-point success.
Skipton has climbed to fifth on the ladder following its two-goal victory over Learmonth, while other games on Saturday saw reigning premiers Beaufort break its run of defeats by beating Dunnstown, Springbank thrash Ballan, Bungaree sneak home at Clunes, Waubra easily handle Daylesford and Buninyong score a big triumph over Rokewood-Corindhap.
Beaufort 11.6 (72) d Dunnstown 6.12 (48)
Hepburn 17.6 (108) d Gordon 9.15 (69)
Buninyong 15.18 (108) d Rokewood-Corindhap 3.8 (26)
Creswick 7.3 (45) d Newlyn 5.8 (38)
Springbank 21.18 (144) d Ballan 3.4 (22)
Bungaree 6.13 (49) d Clunes 6.8 (44)
Skipton 8.12 (60) d Learmonth 7.6 (48)
Waubra 15.14 (104) d Daylesford 4.8 (32)
Waubra 285.79 36
Newlyn 158.79 24
Hepburn 150.28 24
Buninyong 132.81 24
Skipton 125.15 24
Gordon 124.82 20
Beaufort 120.96 20
Springbank 118.62 20
Learmonth 86.33 20
Creswick 83.89 20
Bungaree 83.36 20
Rokewood Corindhap 76.83 12
Daylesford 74.70 8
Ballan 54.68 8
Carngham Linton 60.62 4
Clunes 56.03 4
Dunnstown 62.26 0