SOUTH Rovers' heartache of 2011 was forgotten on Saturday as it overran a gallant Allansford to win the under 17s premiership.
The Lions capped off an undefeated season with a convincing 12.9 (81) to 3.10 (28) win, and in doing so ended the club's 32-year under 17s premiership drought.
It was a moment to relish for South Rovers, which lost a nail-biting decider to Merrivale last season.
Lions coach Julian Claridge said despite heading into the final term with a match-winning 38-point lead given the wet and windy conditions, he encouraged his players to play the game out.
"I told the boys to keep working and that it is not over until it's over," he said.
"I didn't want them to rest, I wanted them to play the last quarter."
Claridge said the Lions jumped to a early lead.
"We kicked into the breeze in the first quarter and kicked three goals to none and that set us up," he said.
South Rovers took a 25-point lead into half-time and kicked the first three goals of the third term.
Allansford was rattled as it was under constant pressure but the Cats fought on gamely to have the ball in their attacking half in the final stages of the third quarter.
Their hard work went largely unrewarded as they could only manage five behinds.
South Rovers did as Claridge asked and played the game out, kicking four goals in the final quarter.
Lions midfielder John Paulin was named best on ground.
Josh Campbell and Ben Morris finished with four goals apiece for South Rovers and full-back Caleb Bourke was praised for his defensive efforts.
Allansford, whose best player was Jeremy Thomas, came from fifth to play in the grand final.
Cats coach Warren Keane told the crowd he was proud of his side's efforts. "We are still coming. We will have a crack next year," he said.
"We knew we needed to pull off a miracle today and that didn't happen.
"Sometimes dreams come true and sometimes they don't."