It's referred to as the 'game they play in heaven' and the football gods had their eyes on Crescent Head on Saturday.
Two weeks ago, the Cannonballs looked as though they'd struggle to fill a reserve grade side.
Couple with that with an interrupted pre-season training schedule due to rainfall and ground closures.
These setbacks made the outcome at Ian Walton Park even sweeter.
Southern Cross University Marlins travelled down from Coffs Harbour with their juniors making the trip worthwhile.
Their 14s winning 29-0 and 16s earning a 7-0 victory in a tough slog.
Cannonballs women's side got the ball rolling with a 22-15 victory with Ebony Sims crossing the line twice.
Reserve grade then crossed the white line overflowing with players.
A bench was filled and the Cannonballs were on.
Kea Pereira and Jordan Byrne went over for tries as well as Jeremy Winn, returning from his stint in the Sydney rugby union competition.
Kempsey ran out 27-15 winners with debutant Jackson Korn earning three points for his performance in the second row.
A minutes silence for ANZAC Day marked the beginning of the first grade fixture with the Cannonballs struggling to find their groove in the first half.
A smart grubber behind the defence saw the Marlins cross first.
The men from up North added two more tries to their total before half-time while the Cannonballs crossed once with the score 17-7.
A simple message of cutting out penalties and maintaining possession from coach Allan Nugent brought the Cannonballs alive.
Kicking into opposition territory exposed weaknesses as tries came for Kempsey.
Marlins weren't going down without a fight though with both sides exchanging five-pointers.
With the score sitting at 34-27, the final minutes brought tension.
The Marlins found themselves in attacking territory before a late shot gave them a penalty as the hooter sounded.
The ball spread from the left side to the right as the Cannons looked to hold on.
A forward pass in the final sequence of passes brought the game to an end with the Cannonballs securing a win for the ages to kick start their 2021 season.
One old boy described it as one of the best afternoons of football they've seen in a while.
Kempsey will now travel to Port Macquarie this weekend to play a Pirates side full of confidence after they dismantled the Hastings Valley Vikings in firsts, reserves and 18s.
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