Last-placed Barellan stunned East Wagga-Kooringal on Saturday, fighting back from 20 points down at three-quarter-time to claim a dramatic draw at home.
With one win this year, it was only the second time the Two Blues have claimed premiership points, in a result that felt like a win for the home side and had all the hurt of a loss for EWK.
It very nearly was, as Barellan had two shots at goal miss in the closing minutes, to tie it up at 11.8 (74) each.
"I don't know what's going on upstairs, we just can't get any luck. We had a ball bounce on right angles in the goal square and go the other way and hit the post," Barellan coach Sean Browning said of the final long-range shot from Matt Irvin.
That was after Will Overs, who kicked four, had an attempt from 40m out on an angle that drifted wide.
The disappointment of those behinds told on Browning, who hadn't looked at the scoreboard but thought his side had lost. In a quirky twist, it was his opposite number, a disappointed Matt Hard, who broke the good news.
"It was funny, I thought we'd lost and was a bit upset until I was talking to Matty Hard. He shook me hand said, 'No, we drew'," Browning said.
"I thought we'd emptied the tank and come up short again."
East Wagga-Kooringal went in without full-forward Chris Ladhams and ruckman Nick Hull, making it six changes from last week, but Barellan had seven of their own.
They were significantly undermanned, missing some of their best this year including ruckman Shaun Allan as well as Ben Maiden, Darcy McDermott and Casey Moore.
But the players they did have gave the effort and energy Barellan needed. With the wind favouring one end, they trailed by 11 points, four points and 20 points at the three breaks, before lifting in the last.
Four goals to one had them down by two points before Oliver Delves - who had already been Barellan's best in reserve grade - kicked his second of the quarter to give the Two Blues the lead in the 20th minute.
Jarrod Turner (four goals) snatched it back two minutes later only to see the Hawks' two-point advantage cut back to zero as the clock wound down.
"They were up for the challenge and they really had a crack, Barellan," Hard said.
"As far as our boys go, we were down in personnel, which we understand, but we just couldn't stay in the contest long enough.
"But I'm lucky to be saying we got a draw, to be totally honest, they peppered a bit at the end. We responded when they got in front but lapses in concentration and turnovers with the ball again, which we've been doing for a while now, we found ourselves short (of a win). Very simple."
A disappointed Hard contemplated a result that could come back to haunt the Hawks as they slipped to fourth on the ladder and will need to rely on wins, not percentage to climb back up.
Draws are infamous for being the result no-one's happy with but, in the circumstances, Barellan had every reason to enjoy this one.
"Definitely important for belief in the playing group," Browning said.
"I've been harping on about effort. We've got a few stars but we need effort from everyone. And they did it for four quarters.
"We've been in front or close at three-quarter-time so many times this year, and just laid over. It was an issue we've been addressing.
"I asked the boys, 'We need you to be able and capable. You've only got a couple of jobs to do.' And they did them well. It was just the pressure, and that's all it needed to be. That was the difference between playing three quarters and four quarters."
Tom Conlan with three goals on his return and Jarrod Moala taking on the ruck duties both deserved praise, along with Overs and Delves and backmen Jack Hillman and Kabe Stockton.
For the Hawks (who had Ben Conlan and Cruise Chambers playing their first senior games) Turner did all he could with a fine game along with Chris Gordon, Ash Hard and Harry Fitzsimmons.