England needed an extra-time score to edge Kenya 24-19 and win the Cup Final at the Wellington leg of the IRB Sevens World Series.
Kenya, the clear crowd favourites, were reduced to just five men after two yellow cards when the Africans were leading 19-12, having come back from 0-12 in the first half.
England exploited their numerical advantage and drew level to take the game into extra time, before the late winner gave coach Ben Ryan reason to celebrate.
"I'm thrilled for them," Ryan said in his post-match reaction, adding: "I felt it was our destiny. I could see it in their eyes."
Dan Norton ghosted through the Kenyan defence to give Ryan's side a 7-0 lead in the Final. Christian Lewis-Pratt added to England's bright start, as they took a 12-0 lead after just three minutes.
However, Horace Otieno scored for Kenya and Oscar Ouma sprinted down the line to draw Kenya level 12-all.
Willy Ambaka then sprinted past Mat Turner of all people to make it 19-12 to former England coach Mike Friday's Kenyan side.
With less than three minutes on the clock Kenya still held on to their seven-point lead.
However, the first of two yellow cards saw Tom Powell go for the line, only to drop the ball as he went to place it down - with 52 seconds left.
Then followed the second yellow and with the two man advantage England scored through Christian Lewis-Pratt to tie it up all 19-all.
Kenya still only have six men at the start of extra time and strong defence for England turned the ball over. Dan Norton ran wide and Sam Edgerley was there first to pick up the ball at the back of the ruck. He went over for the winning score.
The result saw Kenya move into second place on the standings - 21 points behind leaders New Zealand, who have 77 after the first four rounds.
Kenya (56), Samoa (54), Fiji (51), France (51) and South Africa (51) make up the rest of the top six.
The win allowed England to move into the top 10, where they now sit in eighth place on 37 points.
In other finals Michael O'Connor's Australia made it five wins from six by beating Scotland 22-7 to win the Plate. Canada beat Fiji 28-19 in the Bowl final and the reigning Sevens World Cup champions Wales ended a disappointing weekend, beating Tonga 26-21 to claim the Shield.
Earlier Kenya dramatically beat New Zealand 19-14 to reach the Cup Final.
Having trailed 0-14, Mike Friday's side scored two second-half tries to take the match into sudden death extra time, before Oscar Ouma scored the all-important try, his second of the match.
Ben Ryan's England side booked their place in the final beating Samoa 21-19. Trailing 0-12, Christian Lewis-Pratt (twice) and Marcus Watson gave them a 21-12 lead which proved enough despite Lio Lolo's late effort.
The hosts New Zealand are the only side to have made all four Cup quarterfinals this season and booked their place in the semifinal by beating neighbours Australia 24-5 thanks to two tries from Gillies Kaka.
In what was arguably the most entertaining quarterfinal, Kenya defeated African rivals South Africa 21-20. Having trailed 7-15 and 14-20, Willy Ambaka scorched away to score his second try of the match to snatch a 21-20 victory for Mike Friday's side with four missed conversions proving decisive for South Africa.
In the first Cup quarterfinal Ben Ryan's beat the Auld Enemy, Scotland, 31-7 thanks to two tries from both Watson and Dan Norton, while the islanders defeated Argentina by the same score. It is the first Cup competition Ben Ryan's side have competed in this season, having missed out in the first three rounds
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England 24-19 Kenya (extra-time)
New Zealand 14-19 Kenya
England 21-19 Samoa
Kenya 21-20 South Africa
Australia 5-24 New Zealand
Samoa 31-7 Argentina
England 31-7 Scotland
Michael O'Connor's Australia made it five wins from six by beating Scotland 22-7 to win the Plate.
Their only defeat came at the hands of New Zealand, before two Shannon Walker tries and 13 points from Lewis Holland secured their place in the final and ended a disappointing weekend for Paul Treu's side who managed just one victory.
Earlier Scotland bounced back from the earlier defeat to England and continued their impressive form at the Hertz Sevens, beating Argentina 35-5 to book their place in the Plate final. They await play Australia after Michael O'Connor's side beat South Africa 28-12 with two Shannon Walker tries and 13 points from Lewis Holland ending a disappointing weekend for Paul Treu's side who only managed one victory.
Scotland 7-22 Australia
Australia 28-12 South Africa
Scotland 35-5 Argentina
Canada beat Fiji 28-19 in the Final, winning all three of their matches on day two thanks to two tries from Taylor Paris.
Fiji will be disappointed with their tournament having failed to reach the Cup quarterfinals for the first time in the history of the World Series.
Earlier Sean Duke scored twice in Canada's 31-7 victory against Spain to reach the Bowl final, having earlier beaten Tonga 28-5 thanks to tries from Nathan Hirayama, Tyler Ardron, Duke and Conor Trainor. Geraint John's side will meet Fiji after they came from 17-7 behind to beat France 19-17. Julien Candelon took his tournament try tally to nine but Benito Masilevu scored the decisive try with the last play.
Competing in their first ever Bowl competition in the history of the World Series, five different players scored tries for Fiji in their 29-12 quarterfinal victory against the USA.
Spain defeated Portugal in the first match of day one in an all-Iberian encounter. Locked at 19-19 in an enthralling match, Pedro Martin chipped and re-gathered then raced the length of the pitch to score his second try of the match and give Spain a dramatic victory. France beat Wales 33-12 thanks to a hat-trick from Candelon.
Canada 28-19 Fiji
Fiji 19-17 France
Spain 7-31 Canada
France 33-12 Wales
Fiji 29-12 United States
Canada 28-5 Tonga
Spain 26-19 Portugal
The reigning RWC Sevens champions Wales ended a disappointing weekend, beating Tonga 26-21 to claim the Shield.
Paul John's side had trailed 0-21, but had enough left in the tank to beat the only non-core side competing in Wellington, as Lee Williams scored the all-important fourth try.
Earlier Tonga outplayed Portugal in the first Shield semi final 17-7 with tries to Tevita Halaifonua, Titali Mau, Saia Palei while in the other semi Wales held out a fast finishing USA 17-15 with Will Thomas, Luke Morgan and Rhys Shellard crossing for five-pointers.
Tonga 21-26 Wales
United States 15-17 Wales
Portugal 7-17 Tonga