Interchange ace Quade McGrory was a hero, scoring his second try with four seconds left on the clock to snatch Past Brothers a 24-22 victory from the jaws of defeat against Hervey Bay Seagulls in the Bundaberg Broadcasters A Grade Premiership major semi-final after dark at Salter Oval on Sunday.
Seagulls captain/coach and domineering centre Tye Ingebrigtsen was sent off, while the Brethren had five-eighth Aaron Kuskey sin binned in the 22nd minute, they established a 14-6 half-time advantage and with the numbers advantage, they were expected to go on with the job.
But the minor premiers dug deep and fought hard all the way and when dual BRL A Grade Player of the Year halfback Clinton Horne grabbed his second try in the 78th minute and landed a side-line conversion, they were on the cusp of a famous victory.
However Brothers regained the ball from a short kick-off and the rest is history, with McGrory plunging through a tired defence on the edge for the winner after two charging runs had got them to within range.
Captain and hooker Brent Kuskey also bagged a double in a Man of the Match performance.
For Hervey Bay, who started weekend with their exciting fullback Alex Braun taking out the A Grade Player of the Year gong at the BRL Presentation Dinner on Friday night, it was just their third loss this campaign but they will get a second chance in the preliminary final at Salter Oval this Sunday, where they will lock horns with two-times defending champions Wests Panthers, who kept their hopes alive with a 28-20 win over last year's beaten grand finalists Isis Devils in an also epic albeit at times spiteful minor semi-final.
Both teams had players sent off while Wests also had three players sin binned at different times and Isis had one also given a 10-minute cooling-off.
But the Panthers put their noses in front 12-10 at oranges and they got home five tries to four.
The return of 2014 premiership winning captain Josh Tanner after a stint with the CQ Capras in the Intrust Cup, gave them another big gun, but they will need to take their game to another level when they face the Seagulls on the rebound with a grand final berth up for grabs.
The Devils' Queensland Rangers representative Jake Thompson, who missed the match due to work commitments, had taken out the BRL A Grade Representative Player of the Year, while other award winners included Easts Magpies' Baidon Cooper (A Grade Rookie of the Year), Joshua Johnson (Reserve Grade Player of the Year) and Tiara Best (Women's Representative Player of the Year), Isis' Alusa Nasio (Under 20 Representative Player of the Year), Wallaroos' Herbert Tanner (Under 18 Player of the Year), and Calliope's Kody House (Women's Player of the Year).
Past Brothers were crowned the 2015 Club Champions, while Wests' duo Corey Tanner and Ally Kiali were joint winners of the John Byrne Memorial Volunteer of the Year Award.
Women's minor premiers Calliope are also through to their grand final after a 10-6 major semi-final despatch of Wallabies, while Reserve grade table toppers Wallaroos also marched on with a 34-14 demolition of Brothers, but under-18 minor premiers Wallaroos were trounced by a surging Waves Tigers 42-16.
Minor semi: Wests 28 (Hayden Tanna, Trent Seeds, Robert Telfer, Sam Herbert, Josh Tanner tries; Bevan Page 4 goals) d Isis 20 (Jacob Klaasen, Warrick Fay, Robert O'Donnell, James Bryant tries; Aaron Ratcliffe, Robert O'Donnell goals).
Major semi: Past Brothers 24 (Brent Kuskey 2, Quade McGrory 2, Chris Rose tries; Jake Carl 2 goals) d Hervey Bay 22 (Clinton Horne 2, Tyson Woodman, William Elemani tries; Clinton Horne 2 goals).