TUMBARUMBA skipper Shane Peel has been playing rugby league since he was seven-years-old.
But it took the Greens rising from the ashes this year for him to finally taste grand final success with a 32-16 win over Corowa Cougars in the Murray Cup decider at Albury's Greenfield Park on Sunday.
After withdrawing from Group Nine due to a lack of player numbers, the Greens played in the Tumut Nines competition expecting it to be their only football for the year.
But a late lifeline from Murray Cup officials saw rugby league resurrected in the town, culminating in a premiership.
All the pressure was on the Greens after going through the season undefeated, and they overcame first half sin bins to five eighth Jake Goldspink and forward Matthew Bremner to lead 18-12 at the break.
They went on with the job after halftime, adding more silverware to the club's coffers after their league tag side shut out Charles Sturt University 14-0 in their grand final.
Peel said it was extremely satisfying to win a trophy for a the town after a tough 12 months without any regular rugby league.
The club felt the Murray Cup was a better fit than Group Nine as they are only required to field a first grade side every week, and a drop in class meant they no longer needed to pay for quality players from outside the community.
"I'm from Tumut and have played here for eight years now and it means a lot, not just for us but the town," he said.
"It was pretty sad for the town not to have any football last year. The best thing about it was it's all locals playing this year, and everyone's good mates.
"We'll probably stay in this comp (for now) and it would to get back to Group Nine, it's just money for a little town like this."
Peel singled out lock Quinn Rooney for praise after he backed up playing for Australian Rules for Tumbarumba's Upper Murray league team against Federal on Saturday.
"Quinn Rooney was a big standout and was all over everything, especially backing up after playing AFL finals on the Saturday," Peel said.
"We lost two blokes to the sin bin in the first half which wasn't ideal, but we went and scored straight after that happened.
"There wasn't a bloke that didn't have a go out there. We had a bit on our backs going through undefeated, but we got the job done."