They aren't quite ready to celebrate a Grey Cup parade around downtown Hamilton, but at least a monkey is off their backs. The Ti Cats leave week number nine with a W in the column, the first win of the 2005 campaign, a 41-39 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Blombers.
Danny McManus was back at the controls of the Ti Cat offense and finally found the range and the sure hands of D J Flick, the combination tore apart the Bomber deep backs as the Cats finally found a way not to beat themselves on the field, though it was close.
As time was winding down the Bombers were still very much in the hunt for their first road win of the year, with two minutes left in the game the Bombers were still within a field goal of taking away a W from victory starved Ivor Wynne faithful. Kevin Glenn had control of the play for the final minutes but an untimely interception snuffed out a final gasp drive for field goal position and gave the Cats the win.
For Winnipeg it's a minor setback on the comeback, the Bombers had been on a bit of a roll the last few weeks after overcoming their own shaky start and a quest for a wild card berth was not out of the question, with the loss there's a bit of breathing room for Calgary, Saskatchewan and the eastern crossover contenders.
As for Hamilton the win will be a welcome relief to the steady drum of the faithful that things have got to change drastically, immediately. And while no one is boldly predicting a Grey Cup run now, the team may be able to battle its way back to respectability and if a playoff spot should fall into their lap then the season will have been salvaged.
For now though they should savor their first win of the year and make plans to add to the math as the Labour Day showdown with Toronto beckons.