THE Cohuna Kangas missed a golden opportunity to move into the Central Murray Football Netball League top five following a close loss to the previously winless Tooleybuc/Manangatang.
The Saints stunned the Kangas to record their first success of the season in a come-from-behind 8.11 (59) to 7.11 (53) victory, leaving the Kangas sixth on the ladder after nine rounds.
Kangas recruit and Collingwood VFL player Jack Hellier found himself with plenty of the ball in a dour opening quarter, with much of the play being contested between the arcs as the only goal of the quarter came 20 minutes in courtesy of Lee Cox.
Saints coach, Lachlan Gleeson stressed the importance of maintaining possession of the ball, but whatever his counterpart in Scott Beattie said to his troops had the desired effect as the Kangas came to life with a six-goal to one term second term.
Harrison Keely, Hellier and Beattie all found their way to goal as they swept the ball forward.
Jack Donat was keeping the dangerous Adam Tipungwuti in check and the Kangas found themselves with a handy 24-point lead at the main change.
Saint Brad Morris came out after half-time to kick the only two goals of the third stanza as the match again developed into an arm wrestle.
Much of the play was forced out wide, frustrating the brains trust of the respective sides as well as the crowd at Cohuna Recreation Reserve.
Saints defender John Wardle was excellent, as was the evergreen Kieran Treacy for the home side.
If it weren't for horrendous kicking for goal, the Saints may well have turned for home with a lead the final change rather than facing a 10-point deficit.
The scene was set for whoever wanted the win more and both sides played accordingly with many physical clashes and stoppages.
Clayton Holmes was becoming influential as Hellier's input waned a little.
The Saints then got the rub of the green from the officials as Holmes bounced his way down the wing before losing control and in an attempt to regain possession was swamped and penalised.
He was hit with an ensuing 50-metre penalty and Benjamin Arentz was the beneficiary.
Tipungwuti would put the Saints in front before McIvor levelled again in a pulsating final quarter.
The Saints would not be denied as Tipungwuti kicked his third to lift the Saints to a thrilling win.
• NYAH-NYAH WEST UNITED moved into the top five following a 56-point win against Balranald.
Joel Campbell led the way for last season's grand finalists, kicking five goals.