THE St Georges Basin Dragons have qualified for their first Blackmore Bolden Shield grand final in 14 years, after defeating Shoalhaven United 1-nil on Saturday.
At South Nowra's Ison Park, neither team could find the back of the net during the regulation 90 minutes - despite United being reduced to 10 men in the 13th minute when Allan Potter was given a straight red card.
This saw the preliminary final go into extra-time.
The deadlock was broken in the 102nd minute when Dragons substitute Owen Browne snuck a shot past United shot-stopper James Spackman.
This strike proved the be the difference, as the St Georges Basin Sporting Complex-based side book their spot in the 2020 Shoalhaven District Football Association first grade decider - where they'll face Bomaderry from 3pm on Saturday.
"I'm so happy for the club," Basin coaching director Paul Cubbo said.
"The way the boys bounced back from two straight losses was amazing - the resilience they showed makes me very proud to be a part of this club.
"Despite having numerous players unavailable, everyone stepped up to help us go one step further than last season, which is a testament to their improved mental strength.
"In the same vein, full credit to United for never giving up and playing to the final whistle, despite playing the majority of the game being a man short."
The last time Basin featured in a first grade decider, they lost to Culburra 1-nil in 2006.
That proved to be their last chance of breaking through for the maiden first grade premiership since the club formed in 1964.
But since he rejoined the club in 2015, Cubbo has been striving towards helping the Dragons win their Blackmore Bolden Shield in their 57-year history.
"Over the past five years, we have gradually been improving and getting closer to our goal, which is a premiership," Cubbo said.
"Everything, from the juniors to the seniors is starting to fall into place, highlighted by 16 of our 17 clubs making finals in their respective grades - with three of those junior teams winning on Saturday.
"Especially with the majority of our senior men's squad being Basin juniors, it shows we are building something special here, that should be sustainable for years to come.
"At the end of the day though, we are a community-based club which gives players an outlet to play the game they love."
Standing in their way of a silverware on Saturday are Bomaderry, who defeated the Dragons 4-2 in the major semi-final.
"Credit to Bomaderry for the way they ambushed us in that major semi-final - they were the better team on the day and deserved the win," Cubbo said.
"But the boys all know these type of chances don't come around very often and I know coach Craig Holden will have them fired up come Saturday.
"Playing in matches like this is the reason you play and all the boys realise Saturday could be a day they remember for the rest of their lives and lay foundations to build on for years to come."
In other results, Basin qualified for the reserve grade final after outlasting Huskisson-Vincentia in a penalty shoot-out.
During normal time, Tyrone Nye-Williams (third minute) and a Matthew Capel own goal (63rd) helped the Dragons get two goals on the board, as Chris Button (37th) and Jordan Godley (76th) scored for the Seagulls - to see the match end 2-all.
Then after extra-time, the fixture went to penalties, where the red and whites won 7-6, to seal their spot in next weekend's final - where they'll face United from 1pm.
The final match of the day on Saturday saw Illaroo defeat Bomaderry in third grade, thanks to an Aaron Bailey own goal (third minute) and Slade Small strike in the 78th minute.
The Roos now face the Seagulls in Saturday's decider - which will kick-off the 2020 grand final day at 11am.