Durham's win over title rivals Yorkshire was the moment captain Paul Collingwood felt the LV= County Championship was theirs.
Collingwood hit 81 in the first innings as his side won by seven wickets at Scarborough in late August to move within five-and-a-half points of their opponents at the summit - Durham were docked two-and-a-half points for a salary cap breach last season.
Further wins over Sussex, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire - by eight wickets this week - clinched the title and their skipper had no doubt over where the confidence came from.
"When we won at Scarborough, that was the moment I knew that the team was strong enough and deserved to win the Championship," the former England all-rounder told Press Association Sport.
"That was a high-pressure situation, we knew we had to win it.
"For the guys to stand up like they did, I knew there was some hard cricket to come but I thought 'that's it for the season, I think we've actually clinched it'.
"I think if you look at our performances, a lot of them have been innings wins, making teams follow on, chasing 70 today - the margins have been massive in the last four or five games."
Durham's triumph has surprised many onlookers who had viewed them as relegation candidates before the season started.
They flirted with the drop last year before winning six of their last seven games, with Collingwood having taken over the four-day captaincy from Phil Mustard in early July.
Collingwood said: "We'd never be in this position if we didn't fight so hard at the back end of last season and fight off relegation.
"All the credit goes to these guys in the dressing room. I've been able to oversee the whole thing and try to point people in the right direction but these are the guys who've put the performances in, who've stood up at the right times and worked so hard for the team."