Few games this season will undergo as dramatic a transformation as early as did St Kilda's upset 16-point win over Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
While a three-goal margin only 15 minutes into the opening term was hardly ever going to be game, set and match, so conclusively had the Bombers dominated the early going it looked like just a matter of time before that became many more.
But that didn't do the resilience being instilled by Alan Richardson into his new team nearly enough credit.
Nor the capacity of both its oldest and youngest faces to not only withstand the tide, but turn it firmly in the other direction.
Nick Riewoldt, as is the norm this season, was outstanding with five goals, umpteen marks and a couple of half-marathon runs.
So was the even more veteran Lenny Hayes. And Leigh Montagna.
But the kids gave plenty, too. Jack Billings, in just his second AFL game, helped keep the Saints afloat early.
Jack Newnes typified the work ethic of this unfancy but increasingly effective outfit.
Tom Curren put the shutters up on Dyson Heppell. And so on.
That wasn't how this plot was supposed to unfold. And for just a little while it didn't.
Even luck appeared to be running Essendon's way early on.
The Bombers' second goal came from a toe poke from Leroy Jetta just out of the grasp of Saints' defender James Gwilt.
Their fourth of a five-goal opening term came after Riewoldt should have, but wasn't, paid a free kick for illegal contact from Michael Hurley.
And the fifth, to Paddy Ryder, came from a speculative snap straight out of a ruck contest, with resultant bounce and turn of which Shane Warne would have been proud.
While the Bombers couldn't seem to miss, the Saints couldn't find the target, going to quarter-time a costly 1.6 and three goals in arrears.
But already, in terms of general play, things had begun to square up.
The turning point came just as Essendon looked like it was going to do just as it pleased. Perhaps the Bombers sensed that as well.
Because the sort of direct, efficient football which had marked their first 15 minutes went missing just as quickly, questionable decision-making and silly turnovers now the order of the day.
The first sign was when, with the Saints still to kick a goal, Bombers key defender Cale Hooker slipped a backwards handball straight into the grateful arms of highly rated St Kilda draftee Jack Billings, who in his second game, sprinted goalwards and banged it home.
Indeed, Billings was doing as much as any Saint to bring his side into the game, and the fact the Saints were still in it at the first change had plenty to do with him.
Come the second term and it was St Kilda that made all the running.
Riewoldt's lead, mark and conversion two minutes in was to that stage St Kilda's most cohesive passage of play.
Things began to turn on the fortune front as well, Kyle Hardingham's snap bouncing on the goal line and, incredibly, straight up in the air, where the Saints waited for it to return to catchable height and promptly whisked the ball away to safety.
Now the Dons started to make the silly mistakes and fumbles.
Even the calibre of Paul Chapman and Dustin Fletcher were afflicted, the latter's risky handball to Michael Hibberd not picked up cleanly, the turnover leaving Riewoldt all along inside 50 and racing into an open goal.
And barely a minute later, Hibberd made an uncharacteristic blunder, missing by miles his target from a kick-in and watching in horror as Jarryn Geary banged the ball back over his head, the Saints now level.
The quality of the football was diabolical, but for St Kilda, unfancied and coming off a hiding, that was about the last concern.
And in fact, by the early stages of the third term, the Saints were actually looking a lot more fluent.
Riewoldt landed another early blow as the second half got underway, this one within the first minute putting the Saints in front.
Riewoldt this time outbodied Michael Hurley, who was starting to look decidedly jittery.
And that perception was only confirmed a couple of minutes later as Hurley's ill-thought chip to teammate Heppell was intercepted by Curren.
He dished off to Adam Schneider, who put the Saints two goals up.
Even as the Dons managed a couple of speculative replies, the old hands bobbed up again to steady the St Kilda ship.
Schneider and Riewoldt managed another running double at the start of the last term to just about put this game out of reach.
Fittingly, given his early work, Billings made it safe, the last couple of goals of the game from an overworked Stanton for Essendon too little too late.
St Kilda had worked far too hard to let this one slip. And to be frank, Essendon didn't have the required bottle to pinch it anyway.