Relief and disbelief were written on the faces of first-time premiership coach Miles Harvey and midfielder James Edwards.
The long-time Ord River Magpies clubmen helped add another flag to the East Kimberley Football League powerhouse’s legacy with a win against the Kundat Djaru Cats on Friday night.
Edwards, known as Coxy, is a 50-gamer and had played in losing grand finals and missed the winners because of injury, while Harvey coached in last year’s loss to the Waringarri Crows.
Both men were quiet after the final hooter and soaked up the win.
The final margin, 10.9 (69) to 6.9 (45), was probably not reflective of the Pies’ control all night — at one stage up by seven goals — nor the abilities of the underdog Cats.
Unlike the rest of the season where 20 minute quarters were played, this year’s final was a marathon with 50-minute halves.
Pies half-forward Jaxon Forbes opened the scoring when he scooped a loose ball with one hand and slotted it through.
Forbes nabbed another not long after, with assistance from Edwards and Nic Cooper.
Jesse Shaw kicked a goal and Terrence Bin Bisu set the tone in the backs with two crunching tackles that resulted in turnovers.
The kicking became inaccurate for the Pies, who were 3.3 (21) to 0.0 (0) at the end of the first quarter.
The Cats got their first score in the second, a rushed behind, while Pies full forward Julien Stoldt’s radar was a bit off, missing his first two goal attempts. He hit his third sweetly though from a tough angle.
Finally, a ray of hope shone through for the big contingent of Cats supporters who had travelled from Ringer Soak to watch.
Forward Elisin Stafford lined up from in front of the goals to get the Cats back in the game at 1.1 (7) to 4.5 (29). The Cats missed another scoring opportunity to finish the half down 1.2 (8) to 4.6 (30).
The Pies’ pressure was relentless and they kicked two more goals through Forbes and James Woodhouse to bust the game open.
Edwards kicked the 10th and last goal for Pies, putting them up 10.9 (69) to 3.6 (24).
Clinton Wein and Terrence Long kicked several goals for the Cats but it was too late.
Marc “The Bont” Yates was named best on ground for his killer performance out of centre-half back, who defused several of the Cats’ scoring opportunities.