The Aberglasslyn Ants had to settle for one win and two huge efforts in defeat on the biggest day of the club's short history as all three of their teams competed in Newcastle and Hunter Community Rugby League grand finals at Lakeside Oval in Raymond Terrace
The Ants' all-conquering A-grade Ladies League Tag team kicked off proceedings with a 14-2 win against arch rivals University to claim their fourth consecutive minor-major double.
Aberglasslyn's women's tackle team did the club proud with a 24-14 loss to the power team of the competition the Berkeley Vale Panthers and the men went down in a golden point thriller to favourites Waratah Mayfield Cheetahs in B-grade.
The Ants led the Cheetahs 4-0 at half-time through a try to centre Andrew Nichols. Cheetahs dangerman Jarom Haines showed all his class with a mesmerising run from 20 metres out to equal the scores early in the second half.
From there it was a seesawing slog with both sides guilty of plenty of ball errors in the wet conditions and under tremendous defensive pressure.
Aberglasslyn dominated the final period of the game but was unable to convert their opportunities with several attacking raids turned away and a field goal attempt going wide as the game went into golden point overtime.
The Ants had good field position early and were held out and an attempt at field goal went wide.
The Cheetahs made the Ants pay for the miss with an 80-metre try from the seven-tackle reset at the 20 metre mark.
Ants captain Jeremy Fredericks said it was always cruel to lose in extra time but he could not fault his team's endeavour and effort.
"I'm so proud of them all, it was tough conditions and we took it up to the best team in the competition all day." he said.
"We just couldn't quite finish off our good work with a score to get us home.
"The whole club should be proud, to get all three teams in grand finals and to have the level of support we had was incredible.
"We'll be back next year and we're planning to go three from three."
Aberglasslyn women's tackle coach Peter Buller said his team had progressed remarkably in 2020 and met all the difficulties of Covid without a complaint.
"I'm extremely proud of them as it's only their second year together as a team and Berkeley Vale showed their greater experience in today's grand final.
"They have been playing together for four years and are a very good side, but we are getting closer all the time and pushed them all the way."
Player of the final in the LLT grand final, Jess Cassidy said the 14-2 result did not reflect just how close the game felt.
"There was a lot of pressure, University were right on their game all day and really pushed us.
"It's been effort by all the girls all season, we've faced plenty of challenges with Covid but we've kept on enjoying each other's company. We love playing together."
Cassidy said while it was the Ants fourth title in a row, there had been personnel changes to the team each year and it had maintained that sense of freshness and desire to win.
"It appears as though our competition and the Newcastle Rugby League competition will merge next year so that will be a whole new challenge if it proceeds," she said.
"It's always great to win, but it's important to be challenged as well.
"We pushed to be included in the Newcastle RL comp a couple of times, but were knocked back. Hopefully next year it will come about."