With just seconds remaining on the clock, a snap goal from Tom Templeton proved the winner in the 11.8 (74) to 10.10 (70) victory at Craigieburn.
The left-footer, who has enjoyed a terrific season to date, kicked truly from a difficult angle to put the Rebels in front after the Bushrangers appeared destined for a win.
Five goals from star midfielder Jacob Hopper, with four coming in the second half, were also crucial.
Of the Rebels’ last three nail-biting victories, this was the closest, the most intriguing and certainly the most fortunate.
Coach David Loader said his team did well to snare a win.
“We’re rapt to get away with the points,” Loader said.
“We were probably a little bit lucky at the end. Sometimes the ball bounces your way and it probably did in that last 30 seconds.
In a high-standard affair from start to finish, North Ballarat flexed its muscles early on.
The Rebels kicked 4.5 in the opening term, all while restricting the Bushrangers to just two points.
However, the Rebels’ inaccuracy in front of goal left the door open for their opponents, who dominated the second term to take a one-goal lead into the main break.
It was a complete arm-wrestle after half time, as whenever one team seemed to be taking control, the other would find a way to hit back.
After trailing at three quarter time by a goal, Murray soon took the lead in the final term and appeared the more settled outfit.
However, the Rebels’ heroics in the dying moments ensured that they claimed their eighth win in a row and remain on top of the TAC Cup ladder.
Josh Webster was outstanding in the victory, as the over-age midfielder racked up disposals at will and proved a force in the clinches.
Lightly-built wingman Callan Wellings was also influential in the victory, as was flexible tall Nicholas Hausler.
However, a rolled ankle to fleet-footed utility Tom Taurau left a sour note on North Ballarat’s win.
Loader said the extent of the injury was still yet to be determined.
“We’re hoping there’s no break there or no major ligament damage,” he said.
“He’ll go back home and have an x-ray … we’ll know a little bit more within the next few days with Tommy.”
The Rebels, who are yet to drop a game since the opening round of the season, will travel to Shepley Oval on Saturday to face the in-form Dandenong Stingrays.
North Ballarat Rebels
4.5-29, 5.7-37, 9.7-61, 11.8 (74)
0.2.2, 6.7-43, 8.8-56, 10.10 (70)
North Ballarat Rebels
Goal Kickers: J. Hopper 5, R. Conboy , D. Rioli , T. Templeton , J. Cowan , B. Lusby , C. Lee
Best Players: , J. Webster , C. Wellings , J. Hopper , T. Templeton , B. Lusby , N. Hausler
Goal Kickers: Z. Sproule 5, J. Minogue 3, T. McMullan 2
Best Players: , M. King , C. Oliver , N. Coughlan , Z. Sproule , J. Marshall , J. Minogue