Hepburn fended off the Beaufort tidal wave of emotion to capture a sweet premiership success on Saturday.
The Burras controlled the first half of the decider to lead by 22 points at the main break, before the Crows came storming back into the match with a blistering third quarter to trail by less than a kick at the last change.
Coach Rohan Brown then utilised the vocal Beaufort crowd for his three quarter time address, which he made near the boundary in front of the largest section of Crows supporters.
It was a special few moments as the fans tried to lift the side, which had all the momentum in the contest.
But it wasn’t enough to get Beaufort over the line as a composed Hepburn outfit booted three goals to one in the final stanza to secure the 15.15 (105) to 13.9 (87) triumph at Ballarat’s Mars Stadium.
The victory was set up by a host of players including wingers Daniel Rees and Luke Stanton and onballers Dan O’Halloran and Kamen Ogilvie, but it was sealed by young forward Jacob Brown.
Brown won the medal for the best player on the ground and he thoroughly deserved it. The number 21 took contested marks, proved dangerous at ground level and booted four crucial goals.
He starred alongside fellow forward Aron Burns, who presented well all day and booted two goals. McKay brothers Andy, Brad and Mitch were busy and kicked three goals between them.
For the gallant Crows, significant injuries to Jarrod Trigg – who suffered a suspected broken cheekbone in the opening moments of the match – and skipper Michael Foster – who left the field just before half time with a hamstring strain – were telling.
Trigg’s height in defence was missed, while Foster had played a huge part in some important goals just before injury struck. One memorable moment saw Foster turn his direct opponent on the wing and then cleverly pass to teammate Chris Drew, who slotted a major just before half time.
During the third term when the Crows kicked six goals to three, it was midfielder Jarrod McCorkell that shone. He set up many of the majors and booted one himself.
McCorkell was arguably Beaufort’s best player, Drew kicked two goals in a good performance, Zane Thompson also booted two in a busy display in attack, Lee Marshall was solid in defence and Zac Marrow was dangerous roaming around the ground.
Hepburn’s 18-point grand final success secured a sixth Central Highlands Football League senior premiership since 2004 and first since 2013.