Nearly 400 travelling supporters who made the four and a half-hour journey to Manchester saw the Old Boys beat Sale FC 19-14 at Heywood Road in a thrilling, nail-biting and bruising contest thanks to a first half penalty try and 14 points from the boot of fly-half Tom White.
The club’s longest serving player held his nerve brilliantly with a 79th minute drop goal to take the Old Boys clear, but this incredible win was built on a quite magnificent defensive effort from OEs who had to soak up heavy second half pressure.
There was still time for late drama too when Sale centre Paulo Odugwu forced his way over in the corner for a try but it was simply too little too late for the home side, as referee Callum Howard called time on this absorbing play-off final.
An emotional OEs Director of Rugby Gavin Lach said afterwards: “This is the greatest day in the club’s history no question. To beat a side as good as Sale, on their own turf, a ground steeped in rugby heritage and tradition, was a magnificent effort.
"The players put their bodies on the line today and this is something that all of us, the players, coaches, officials and magnificent OEs supporters will remember for years to come.”
Sale head coach Jonathan Keep said: “I must first of all congratulate Old Elthamians on their win. They were the better side and we can have no complaints. Of course we are disappointed but we have come a long way in a very short space of time.”
Full report, pictures and reaction to follow.
Updated 13:46 - 8 May 2017 by Jon Edwards