HORSHAM left it late in the day but managed to snatch a three-point victory over Horsham Saints in the under-14s grand final at Davis Park, Nhill on Saturday.
The Demons made it 3-1 against their cross-town opponent this season after a thrilling final-quarter revival, taking the lead through Jackson Besford before holding on for a thrilling victory.
Horsham skipper Dawson Cross led from the front, while league best and fairest Jayden Besford and key forward Louis Beddison were also impressive.
Beddison kicked two majors, as did Will Deayton.
Saint Connor O’Beirne won the Wimmera Trophies and Gifts Medal for best on ground, Liam Atherton was also good through the centre, Zac Smith was stellar in defence, while Mitch Martin finished with a game-high four goals.
Horsham coach Shane Cross praised his side’s second-half never-say-die attitude.
“I had plenty of faith in the boys,” he said. “We started to hit our straps in the third quarter and we increased our workrate.
"We got a bit smarter with our ball movement and we backed ourselves.
“Full credit to the Saints though – they fought hard all day and were coached really well.”
Horsham kicked the opener through Will Deayton before a three-goal burst from the Saints had the team up by 10 points.
A late Louis Beddison goal reduced the Demons’ quarter-time deficit to four points.
The Saints continued to improve in the second term, dominating the centre clearances largely thanks to O’Beirne and Atherton.
Zac Smith ended a run of four behinds from the Saints with a beautiful left-foot snap midway through the term.
Things were looking bleak for Shane Cross’ charges when Martin soccered one through during time-on, with the Demons 19 points in arrears.
Horsham needed a quick goal to start the second half and they got it when Beddison slotted through his second in the opening minute.
Ten points separated the two arch-rivals at the final change after the Demons kicked two goals to one in the third term.
A two-goal-to-zero last quarter sealed the Saints’ fate.