IT HAD been 658 days between drinks but for South Wagga it was well and truly worth the wait.
A goal to Nick Forsyth inside the final minute of play handed South Wagga a 2-1 win over Cootamundra on Sunday.
The victory in Cootamundra was the Warriors' first Pascoe Cup win since July 14, 2019.
South Wagga coach Andy Heller said it was a special moment for the playing group.
"It's been a long time coming," Heller said.
"We worked very hard on the culture of our club to make sure it was a place that people wanted to play. Now we've got an embarrassment of riches across all grades. The second grade guys had a fantastic win as well and then the guys in first grade stepped up as well and put in a great shift.
"The boys deserved the win, hands down. To win it in the last few seconds of the game when we had worked so hard for it and deserved it, those kind of moments are the special wins that might change a season and hopefully change that mentality for the rest of the season."
Heller said the club celebrated the win like it had been 658 days as well.
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"I think we almost knocked over the Cootamundra away shed with the celebrations. It was good," he said.
"I'm immensely proud. The camaraderie of the group. The fact that every player has come back to the club wanting to be apart of it. That's what you play community footy for. No one's getting paid, you know. Everyone wants to be a part of something, have a group of friends that they want to play with.
"To see the celebration when we scored that winner, you would have thought we'd won the FFA Cup, it was an exciting moment and the fact the whole club, the fans, the bench all wanted to celebrate it, it was awesome.
"The boys deserved it, every minute of that. Honestly, I've played football since I could walk, back in the UK and over here, those kind of moments in football, you could feel the passion of the game. That's why people watch the game."
Forsyth, who scored both of South Wagga's goals, was a clear standout for the visitors. He was well supported by the likes of Mitch Read, Luigi Vitulano, Miq Swift and Mitch Sauer.
Heller hopes the win can spur South Wagga on to bigger and better things this season.
"Actually winning the game in that manner, I hope that's the spur the boys need because they made it hard for themselves this week. The way they played, realistically they should have been further ahead early doors but sometimes you need a game like that, or a win like that, to actually push the boys on and make them realise they can make it easier on themselves next week," he said.
"We were disappointed against Young, we controlled the game for long periods but we just couldn't put it away. We didn't feel like the (4-1 loss) reflected our performance.
"Again (on Sunday), I don't think the result reflected our performance. Any club when you're turning things around, you've got to get the win first and then you start to control things from there.
"Judging by the atmosphere we've got back at the pub tonight, it's good. The guys are all bouncing. They deserve it."
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