KALKEE are the Horsham District Football League premiers.
The Kees maintained their stranglehold on the competition, claiming a record-breaking fifth consecutive senior premiership at Horsham City Oval on Saturday.
They were, however, forced to do it the hard way. Fighting back from a 27-point deficit at quarter time, they ran out 16-point winners over Edenhope-Apsley in front of a massive crowd.
It was the Saints who burst out of the blocks early, piling on six goals to two in the opening term.
For a gallery of photos from Kalkee's win, click here: http://www.mailtimes.com.au/story/340174/kalkee-2012-premiers/?cs=240
Kalkee coach Matt Beddison said his side didn't match Edenhope-Apsley's intensity early.
"We got caught on the back foot," he said.
"At quarter time I thought we were going to have a big uphill battle, and we did."
The Kees fought back in the second term, kicking six goals to one to regain the lead. Edenhope-Apsley kept challenging, regaining the lead early in the third term.
Kalkee was again forced to respond, and did so with five unanswered goals.
The Saints got back to within 11 points early in the final term, but Kalkee held strong.
Kees defender Josh Mibus played a pivotal role, repelling Edenhope-Apsley's scoring attempts all match to earn best on ground honours.
It is the second consecutive season the Kees have defeated the minor premiers in the decider to win the Forty Winks premiership cup.
It was Beddison's fourth premiership with Kalkee, but first as senior coach.
"To our guys' credit they just keep finding a bit more each time and we just seem to be able to come away with these unlikely grand final wins," Beddison said.
Kalkee president Dean Johns said it was a testament to the players' spirit.
"We no doubt came in as underdogs but in true Kalkee spirit, we shone through," he said.
"To be five goals down in that first quarter and come back was unbelievable."
Edenhope-Apsley coach Brian Cassidy congratulated Kalkee on the victory, declaring them worthy winners.
"At the end of the day their experience shone out," he said.
"They were too good."