IT WAS late on Saturday afternoon when the Gunnedah Giants dared to dream.
Missing one of their stalwarts, Brodie Cleal, who was called up for A grade duties, and scraping together a hodgepodge cast of nine players, including three Warriors, it could have been a long weekend in another sense at the carnival.
But after the side bested a Cougars' outfit filled with Tamworth B grade regulars and promising youngsters in its third and final game on Saturday, the sense something special was on the cards swelled.
The miserly and minimal game management of Jody Revell proved to be a masterstroke in the 51st annual Tamworth carnival.
The batting order went unchanged all weekend and the fielders were largely fettered to their positions with the exception of some necessary rotations through pitcher, catcher and first base.
Jarrod Revell was behind the plate for most of the Giants' seven games and his swollen left hand on Monday afternoon was the unintended corollary of Jody's minimal movements and a lack of player depth.
Jody pitched through three consecutive games on Saturday and his style reflected his game management: low, slow and effective.
The Giants encountered their first hurdle on Sunday morning.
The side was under the weather, in a few ways, as a heavy fog blanketed the Riverside grounds and outfielding became quite trying.
The carpet was ripped out from beneath the feet of centre fielder Aaron Edgecock whose batting had been solid throughout but stumbled in the outfield missing a catch.
The Giants were trounced by Beers Black 15-6.
The club's form returned on Monday morning and cruised to victory over the Sons of Pitchers, 15-5.
It set up mouth-watering grand final rematch with the talented Beers Black outfit which prompted Jody Revell's biggest change of the tournament.
Edegecock was named stating pitcher and the battle see-sawed from the start with a flurry of runs often followed sharpened pitching and fielding stifling any potential blowout on either side.
The Giants took a one run lead at the top of the penultimate frame and while Edgecock was tiring, the veteran had a job to do.
When he wasn't sitting down batters at the plate, Edgecock turned to pick off a runner trying to steal second in one of the Giants' sharpest pieces of fielding.
Warriors ring-in David Paff slid-in below the catcher to snag a crucial run for his adopted side
The Beers stranded runners and the Giants turned a six-four-three double bringing an elusive E grade title within reach.
Edgecock closed out the final innings with a full count strike-out to clinch the title for the Giants who prevailed 10-9.