THE Wagga Tigers' season was almost riding on Luke Gestier's boot.
After taking a mark with less than 30 seconds left, and with his team behind by five points at Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, Gestier knew a miss would condemn his side to 0-2 in the short six-round AFL Riverina Championship.
But he held his nerve from 40 metres out to seal a Tigers win after they were down by almost four goals in the last term.
When Matt Hamblin snapped his second for the Lions with ten minutes left, the job looked too tough for the Tigers, who were looking to bounce back from a first-up loss to Osborne.
But the decision to shift Gestier from defence to his customary forward role after the main break proved the difference after he booted five second half goals in the thrilling 13.16 (94) to 14.9 (93) win.
The result has ensured a logjam in the six-team competition, with both sides one of four teams with a 1-1 record behind unbeaten Leeton.
"I definitely knew that (last kick) was it really. It's not quite a boyhood dream because the siren hadn't gone, but I knew there wasn't much time left," Gestier said.
"You definitely try and tell yourself it's just a normal kick but it's not, at the end of the day it's to win. You just try and go through your routine, take a deep breath and have a crack.
"It was pretty good and I was relieved to hear the siren, it was a win we needed.
"I got swung forward and I've played a lot down there, I just stuck to my guns and luckily a few things came off."
For the second straight week the Tigers were wasteful early, blowing a huge number of chances to fall behind 4.9 (33) to 8.3 (51) at halftime.
They got within two points late in the third quarter but a rally from the Lions looked to have held off their challenge.
However the Lion failed to close out the game in the final term, with a wasteful return of 2.6 opening the door for the Tigers to pounce.
The dramatic win ensured Tigers skipper Lahn Shepherd's 150th game will be one to remember, while Jeremy Lucas also played his 50th game.
"That was an unreal feeling getting them by a point when they pipped us here last year. I won't forget that one," Shepherd said. .
"We never thought we were out of the game, we were getting the footy and playing well. We just needed a few things to click, and lucky it did late."
Former Collingwood star Sam Murray played his first match in about 18 months after returning a positive match-day drug test.
He delivered a solid display without dominating, younger brother Nick was superb with four goals and Louis Miller backed up last week's four goal haul against Turvey Park with another three.
The loss was compounded by an ankle injury to forward Riley Corbett, who looks set to miss at least a couple of weeks.
Lions coach Christin Macri said their fundamentals let them down late.
"Our boys maybe thought they'd had it won. They got one straight away (after Hamblin' second) and we didn't lock down quick enough, once a team gets some momentum it's hard to stop."
Wagga Tigers 2.6, 4.9, 9.13, 13.16 (94) def GGGM Lions 4.1, 8.3, 12.3, 14.9 (93)
Goals: GGGM - N. Murray 4, L. Miller 3, M. Hamblin 2, R. Corbett 2, S. Proctor, D. Foley, Z. Burhop; Tigers - L. Gestier 5, I. Lyons 2, J. Manton, N. Cooke, J. Buchanan, J. Grills.
Best: GGGM - M. Neagle, S. Proctor, N. Murray, S. Martyn, S. McCready, D. Foley; Tigers - C. Bance, J. Gaynor, S. Campbell, H. Gilmore, N. Cooke