Dom Reardon was part of the Guildford Owls side which arrived at Apex Oval last year thinking the inaugural Challenge Cup would be won and taken home to Sydney with a minimal amount of fuss.
That day, his side was ambushed and handed a 62-18 thumping at the hands of Dubbo CYMS.
On Saturday, Reardon was electric at fullback as a more focused Owls side got revenge and its hands on the silverware after downing the Fishies 42-16.
In a fiery contest which saw seven sin-binnings, the Owls got better as the game went on and claimed a hugely satisfying victory.
"They put 60 on us last year so it's great to get one back," Reardon said.
"We didn't think much of them (last year) and the boys smashed us so we really brought the team today and saw this is as good competition. I think we put on a show, so it was good."
The Owls belted out their team song with the kind of gusto which fit the occasion post-game, proving how much the result meant to the club.
Guildford can now lay claim to being the best club side in the state after taking out the competition run by New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and the Country Rugby League (CRL) while they also collected the $10,000 winner's cheque.
CYMS players were left frustrated and exhausted after the contest, the performance nothing like the near-perfect one produced in last year's decider.
The Fishies had started the better in the clash and Corey Cox, one of the best in a beaten side, scored the day's first try to set up a 4-0 lead.
But after Jyie Chapman was sin-binned for a professional foul, the Owls hit back through Dylan McKeown and after he crossed it all kicked off.
After McKeown has crashed through the CYMS defence on the way to the line a melee broke out, with four players sin-binned after the ugly scene.
Wade Kavanagh and Byron Warren were marched for CYMS, while Siua Lapuaho and Joe Gardiner were the Owls who were also given a rest.
The Fishies held on gamely with just 10 men during that period but they never truly regained their composure.
Owls winger Daniel Lotu planted down a grubber for a simple try soon after when the defence was caught short and then Guildford captain Matt Ryan, one of three former NRL players in the side, muscled his way across to make it 14-4 at quarter-time.
CYMS got back within four early in the second quarter but that was as close as they got as Reardon put on a stellar show of support and speed while the class of five-eighth Penani Manumalealii and prop Taniela Lasalo, the other former NRL players in the Owls side, also shone.
Chapman was sin-binned again, along with Gardiner, in the second half following another brief scuffle, one which saw the CYMS man accuse the Owls prop of a headbutt.
After that incident, it was one-way traffic as the visitors dominated late on.
HT | Two quarters done and Guildford leads Dubbo CYMS 20-10 in the #NSWChallengeCup grand final. This try to winger Daniel Lotu right on the siren put the Owls in control. There is plenty of feeling in this one, too.— Nick Guthrie (@Nj_Guthrie) June 8, 2019
*Language warning below. pic.twitter.com/cQIIaFFvJy
"Ill-discipline," CYMS captain-coach Jarryn Powyer said simply post-game when discussing what went wrong.
"We put the first points on the board but then I remember a string of three or four penalties and they put on a try and there was that melee.
"That's not what we're about and we're disappointed with that.
"It was 11-on-10 then for a bit but the boys kept turning up. We were fatigued but I know the boys kept turning up."
Making the loss even more painful for CYMS was a potentially serious knee injury to hooker Hamish Astill.
Astill departed the game in the second half and was struggling to put weight on his right leg, with the initial diagnosis being ligament damage.
While CYMS is now left to lick its wounds and return to Group 11, where it sits unbeaten at the top of the ladder, the Owls return home with plenty of confidence and momentum.
Even before Cox's opening try the day didn't began well for the Ron Massey Cup team as fog delayed their flight to Dubbo, but the celebrations began as soon as the final whistle sounded.
"They put on a good show and deserved the win," victorious coach Paul Fletcher said of his side.
"CYMS is still a quality team. Today was just our day."
Fletcher was delighted by the efforts of all his players and while Reardon was a standout, the coach was pleased to see his powerful forward pack show some more creativity and willingness to off-load against CYMS.
While the Owls pack is a well-renowned one in the Ron Massey Cup, it and the entire Guildford side had been struggling for consistency recently and they travelled to Dubbo having lost their last two games.
"It's something we've been working on," Fletcher said of the ad-lib footy.
"We'd been playing a bit too structured at times and and we've changed training a little to get some off-loads and work off the back of that. It worked today and it was very pleasing from my point of view.
"With the inconsistency we've been having, we can use this as a springboard for the back end of the season."
- GUILDFORD OWLS 42 (Daniel Lotu 2, Dylan McKeown, Matt Ryan, Domenic Reardon, Matt Rickard, Matt Woods, Siua Lapuaho tries; Woods 5 goals) defeated DUBBO CYMS 16 (Corey Cox, Viliame Turuva, Hayden Chapman tries; Alex Bonham 2 goals)