It was the perfect end to a near perfect season for Daylesford-Hepburn United which broke through to claim its first BDSA division one open grand final in two decades.
The team, which at the start of the year had ambitions only to compete, brought its storybook season full circle after defeating Ballarat North United 2-1 in extra time at Morshead Park on Saturday.
Players wiped tears from their eyes while raising the cup, just days after the sudden and tragic passing of club founder Marton Szokolai.
His untimely death sent a shockwave through the team, which had been in a state of joyous hysteria after claiming the league title last month.
While devastating for the club, Daylesford-Hepburn head coach Dragi Koleski said Szokolai's death motivated them to come out and perform for their late founder who would be watching from above.
"It felt like we had the twelfth man out there tonight," he said.
"It's surreal, to think back to the start of the season and the expectations we had , we just wanted to be competitive. To go and win the double is unbelievable."
But no great story comes without adversity, and Daylesford players got their share after finding themselves trailing when Ballarat's Jack Gaffney scored early in the game.
Daylesford narrowly avoided disaster in the second-half, when Gaffney was denied a second after hitting the crossbar. It was about the 70th minute when Daylesford finally found an equaliser off the boot of Dylan Nulty.
The goal breathed life into Daylesford which threatened to kick another before the end of regulation.
Ballarat managed to force extra time as an arm-wrestle ensued to gain the upper hand.
The sealer came when club leading goal scorer Owen Turbitt got on the outside of his man and beat the keeper with a pinpoint strike.
Ballarat threatened to score late in extra time, but Daylesford held out as the referee blew full-time.
WATCH: DAYLESFORD-HEPBURN UNITED SING TEAM SONG FOLLOWING GRAND FINAL WIN
Fans ran from their seats to join the players who celebrated on-field. Players shed tears and hugged loved ones before receiving medals as onlookers watched on.
Koleski praised his players for their composure under pressure.
"There was no nerves, you never want to be down but we had plenty of time to recover. We got in at half-time and reset the deck and went back to what we know."
Turbitt's efforts and sustained pressure on Ballarat's defence earned him best-on-ground honours. He said the win was a huge feat for the tight-knit club.
"Our founder's death hit a lot of the players pretty hard, myself included, and this makes it all the more emotional." he said.
"We'll be mates forever."