Time wasn't the enemy for Ainslie - time-on was. As was, Queanbeyan's Jack Carroll-Tape, who picked the perfect moment to pop up and kick his first ever match winner.
He gathered the ball in the middle, beat a player, ran inside 50, took a bounce and calmly slotted a goal to give the Tigers a four-point victory over Ainslie, 13.8 (86) to 11.16 (82), at Queanbeyan on Saturday.
While Tricolours coach Chris Rourke said the Tigers deserved to win due to their "passion", he couldn't help but smile at the irony of a mid-season rule change inadvertently costing his team two premiership points.
They've been playing 25-minute quarters so far this year, but that changed on Saturday with time-on returning for games between the top four teams.
Games involving Tuggeranong and Gungahlin will keep the 25-minute rule.
The change was made to help the top teams prepare for finals.
Last week's rules would've seen Ainslie win by a goal, but the extra four minutes proved crucial for Queanbeyan.
"It's amazing they bring back the time-on today and we lose, how good's that - at the 25-minute mark we're [one] goal up," Rourke said with a wry smile.
"It seems to be [all against us], but that's probably me."
Ainslie flew out of the blocks, opening up a 33-point lead by quarter-time, before the Tigers worked their way back into the game.
Rourke was left ruing his side's wasteful kicking for goal, but was full of praise for Carroll-Tape's composure and attack on the ball in the final seconds.
It looked like Will Hamill had kicked the winner for the visitors, with a great snap from the boundary in the 23rd minute, but Alex Page kicked his fourth for the Tigers four minutes later and then Carroll-Tape (two goals) produced the winner.
While the cold he's had this week was never going to stop the youngster from playing, the Achilles niggle he picked up in the warm-up almost did.
The win keeps Queanbeyan just one victory behind third-placed Eastlake, but more importantly Carroll-Tape said it gave them confidence they could take on the likes of Ainslie and Belconnen come finals.
"I was actually going to pass it off, but there wasn't a free option so I just went for it," Carroll-Tape said.
"That's the first time I've ever kicked one [a match winner]. I was pretty scared running in because my kicking this year's been pretty inaccurate.
"I was happy to get it, I think the boys were too.
"It does make the contest a lot tighter and now we know we can beat them it will be a confident boost coming into the end of the season."
Meanwhile, no time-on and 25-minute quarters helped minimise the damage in the other two games, with for Gungahlin losing by 112 points to Eastlake.
Ainslie's loss allowed Belconnen to extend their lead at the top of the AFL Canberra first-grade ladder with a 77-point victory over Tuggeranong.
AT A GLANCE
Gungahlin Jets 2.2 3.3 3.3 4.3 (27)
Eastlake Demons 4.4 9.8 17.12 20.19 (139)
Goals - Gungahlin: M. Reynolds 2, J. Mennen, Z. Barton-Browne, D. Mcdonald; Eastlake: M. Frail 5, J. Kerin 5, S. De Sousa 2, J. Crowe 2, A. Watt, S. Burge, H. Bryant, Z. Stibbard, K. Mahon, L. Tutty.
Best - Gungahlin: D. Gillian, M. Reynolds, B. Brine, B. McRedmond; Eastlake: H. Bryant, D. Ryall, L. Tutty, Z. Stibbard, J. Crowe, J. Kerin.
Queanbeyan Tigers 0.1 6.4 8.6 13.8 (86)
Ainslie Tricolours 5.4 7.8 9.11 11.16 (82)
Goals - Queanbeyan: A. Page 4, J. Carroll-Tape 2, T. Clowry, J. Kirkwood, N. Edwards, B. Fruend, Z. Derksen, D. Ross, J. Simpson; Ainslie: M. Thompson 4, H. Delves 3, C. Barrie, W. Hamill, H Phillips, M Ward.
Best - Queanbeyan: A. Lo Pilato, J. Bryce, D. Simpson, J. Carroll-Tape, A. Page, B. Fruend; Ainslie: L.O'Neil, S. Curtis, T. Powell, S. Sienkiewicz, H. Phillips, J. Hirst.
Belconnen Magpies 6.8 9.10 12.13 16.15 (111)
Tuggeranong Hawks 0.1 0.3 1.7 4.10 (34)
Goals - Belconnen: C. York 6, D. Bunyan 2, A. Bennett 2, M. Viney, N. Kelly, D. Posch, J. Bennett, S. Coate, B. Walker; Tuggeranong: C. Ashcroft 2, T. Scrivener, B. Hancock.
Best - Belconnen: C. York, B. Walker, J. Bennett, A. Bennett, A. Jones, B. Joyce; Tuggeranong: B. Cleaver, J. Adamson , S. Ellis, L. Monger, L. Gray, B. Hancock.