18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
It was almost two hours of cut and thrust rugby, the sides inseparable on the park and the scoreboard, but in the end, it was the wise old head of Leicester Tigers and England flanker Neil Back that scored the decisive try.
With just three minutes remaining in the second period of extra time, Freddie Tuilagi's pass found Back eight metres form the tryline, Back dropped the shoulder, span on the proverbial sixpence to lose his marker, and crashed over to score a truly wondrous try to send Leicester Tigers back into Heineken Cup.
Stimpson's conversion restored the Tigers seven-point advantage, and they held on to win the match.
An incredible climax to an incredible match. With the score at 17 all, and just seconds left of normal time, Saracens flanker Richard Hill conceded penalty for killing the ball as the Tigers pushed for the try-line after 83-minutes.
Up stepped Tim Stimpson, and headline writers all around the world were preparing to eulogise the full-back. True to form, he slotted over the kick, and the tigers had their noses in front and it looked like the Tigers had made it.
But, immediately from the restart, Ben Kay was pulled up for crossing, and up stepped Andy Goode to level the scores and send the match into extra-time.
At a sun-soaked Welford Road, an extra spell of rugby was great for the fans, but for the players at the end of a long season, less than preferable, it was a time for leaders to lead, and characters to shine.
And the twice European champions have all the above in abundance.
"We felt we had the spirit within the squad to win, and that proved to be the case," said match winner Back.
"The match wasn't pretty, but it was all about winning and getting into Europe next year. I was very pleased to get over for the try."
Man-of-the-match Tuilagi said: "It was a hard game, especially with the heat and extra time, credit goes to Saracens.
"If we hadn't made it to the Heineken Cup next season we would have been very disappointed, but we are delighted with the win."