Orana Spurs' first grade coach Stephen Tongue might have had to watch his squad tumble out of the Western Premier League without much to show for their efforts, but all pangs were washed away in the weekend's Dubbo and District Football Association first grade decider.
Due to constrained numbers, Tongue spent much of the WPL season watching his side race home to return to the local competition, and now they've been duly rewarded after thumping the Dubbo FC Bulls 4-1 in Sunday's grand final.
"The effort across the board by all the senior men has been outstanding," Tongue said.
"They've been playing two games every weekend, we were fairly short with numbers starting and we were finishing short with numbers too, it's been a huge effort for them all to back up every week.
"Playing Premier League on the road on Saturday, then turning around and heading back to Dubbo on Sunday, it's a massive effort across the pitch by everyone."
Spurs stalwart and veteran Ben Manson has stepped up on Sundays to ensure there's no dearth of coaching while the bulk of Tongue's efforts were focused on the Premier League and he was one of many that Tongue circled out as helping the club lift to the title.
"He's really taken them under his wing and stepped up with running them on the Sunday," Tongue said.
Bulls and Spurs have played out most of the local grand finals for the past decade, ever since the Premier League competition ended in 2013 and both sides returned to playing full time at home.
"I think that's our fifth grand final in seven years against them now," Tongue said.
Tongue even mentored the squad through last year's season, where the club's season was hit by the heartbreaking loss of club legend Robert 'Bobby' Hughes.
"It's been a huge few years in the making," Tongue added.
"Last year was so tough with losing Bob and there was a fair bit of emotion last year, it was only Scott Fox's goal in the last little bit that broke the deadline last year, it was 1-1 with not much time to go.
"It was hard for the boys to take because we played so well, but we knew that if we played well and kept working at it, it'd go well and they've definitely got there now."
The scoring was opened up by mainstay Jake Grady, who slotted two goals in the opening minutes with a pace the Bulls couldn't match down the stretch.
"Jake Grady scored those two, the first and second were just straight off the bat, both within ten minutes of each other," Tongue said.
"The boys all played really well, they came out from the start and just wanted the game so badly, I think the first one came within the first few minutes."
Jordan Bailey and James Vaughan pressed the advantage late into the game, scoring for Spurs and ensuring the Bulls' lone goal was merely a consolation prize.
Connor MacDonald, who provided much of the Spurs' success through his position at fullback, was presented with the game ball after the game and named best on field.
"There's nothing like a grand final win to bring some players to the club," Tongue said of the outfit's bright future.
"There's a few guys working very hard to get the numbers back for next year, so hopefully we'll be back with three men's sides and probably a women's side as well next season."