Strathdale has been crowned Bendigo Amateur Soccer League champions in controversial circumstances.
The Blues only required a draw in Saturday night's game against reigning champions Eaglehawk to secure the title.
Five minutes before full-time Eaglehawk was awarded a penalty after Blues' skipper Dean Vlaeminck was shown a red card for an instinctive handball which stopped a Borough shot on goal crossing the line.
Eaglehawk's regular penalty taker Brent Hamblin stepped up to the spot and calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
However, the referee disallowed the goal after he judged Borough striker Craig Rennie ran into the box before Hamblin took the kick.
Rules of the game state that Hamblin should have taken the penalty kick again, but the referee awarded a free kick to Strathdale, much to the disgust of the Hawks.
Five minutes later the final whistle was blown and the 0-0 scoreline was enough for Strathdale to win the championship with a game to spare.
Strathdale coach Jon Bryers was unavailable for comment about Saturday night's game, but Eaglehawk coach Greg Thomas didn't hold back.
"It was a law that the referee decided to make up on the night,'' Thomas said.
"The penalty should have been re-taken...it's been that way for hundreds of years. That has never been a rule...he's made something up on the spot.
"Strathdale were laughing about it because they knew it wasn't a rule."
Had the Hawks won the game they would have moved one point clear at the top of the ladder and Strathdale would have required at least a draw from its final round clash with Shepparton United next Sunday to claim the title.
"Strathdale deserve to win the title because they've been the best team all year,'' Thomas said.
"They probably would have won next week, but it feels like the championship was handed to them by the referee.
"It was a farce what happened. I've never seen anything like it in my whole career.
"I know referees make mistakes, but this is a new level."
A frustrated Thomas informed his players after the game that he was stepping down as coach.
"This (game) sums up the whole season,'' he said.
"We've had a championship season where you don't play every team twice, we have byes every few weeks, you have three weeks at a time off.
"It sums up the whole season and sums up the whole competition."
While the Hawks have another bye this week ahead of the start of the Super Cup on September 22, the Blues have the chance to complete the home an away season undefeated.
After 15 games they have 12 wins, three draws and 39 points - two clear of Eaglehawk and six clear of Moama-Echuca Border Raiders.
Tatura rounds out the top four on 31 points.
In other division one games on the weekend, fifth-placed Shepparton United enhanced its Super Cup prospects with a 4-1 win over Tatura.
Colts United secured eighth place and a first-round Super Cup clash with Strathdale when it scored a last-minute goal for a 2-2 draw against Shepparton.
Shepparton looked set to jump into the top eight until Phil Berry scored for Colts in the 95th minute.
Moama-Echuca cemented third place on the table with a comfortable 7-3 with over La Trobe University, with skipper Mitch Langenbacher scoring a hat-trick.
Shepparton South easily accounted for Epsom 6-2. The Scorpions' goals were scored by Ben Williams and Kyle Smith, while Joel Aitken scored hat-trick for South.
The closest match of the women's championship was Eaglehawk's 2-1 win over Strathdale.
Lucy Teala gave the Blues the lead in the 32nd minute before an own goal in the 78th minute levelled the scores.
Tegan Raeburn bobbed up with the winner for the Borough in the 88th minute.
Colts United put nine goals past Shepparton, with Rebecca Berry scoring five times to take her season tally to 52.
Paige Conder scoed twice and Lauren Harris added the third as Spring Gully downed Golden City 3-0.
Championship winner Shepparton United outclassed Tatura 7-0, Shepparton South thrashed Epsom 10-0, while Moama-Echuca handed Swan Hill a 3-0 defeat.
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