Trailing the whole grand final and goalless at the penultimate break without a skerrick of hope.
A loose ball. A hurried snap. A match-winning major with milliseconds left on the clock to claim the flag.
It’s the kind of dreamy narrative an eight-year-old backyard commentator-footballer would conjure.
And on Sunday, a Melbourne suburban football team lived it.
Battling it out for the division two Northern Football Netball League flag, Lower Plenty had managed just a trio of behinds to three quarter time while their opponents Eltham peppered the scoreboard.
Eltham – 2.10 (22) – would live to rue their inaccuracy, held scoreless in the final stanza as Lower Rammed home three goals, including a buzzer-beater with less than a second to spare.
With that kick, hometown hero Ben Paton saw his side promoted to division one and wrote his name into Lower Plenty’s history books.
“I’m speechless to be honest,” Paton told the league website post-match.
“I was in the right place at the right time, I didn’t even realise the siren had gone, the crowd was that loud.”
His coach Ben Turner was left equally stunned.
“I can’t believe it,” he said.
“I guess we felt (the Market end) was the scoring end and if we got enough entries inside our 50, who knows what would happen.
“We just had to compete longer, be as competitive as we could for as long as we could and just sustain it.”
LOWER PLENTY: 3.10 (28)
ELTHAM: 2.10 (22)