IN 2018, the Albion Park-Oak Flats Eagles broke through for their inaugural Group Seven women's league tag two title.
The Eagles, fast forward two years, are back in the big dance and this time, they'll be out to play spoilers for a team trying to create their own slice of history.
That team is the Gerringong Lions, coached by Craig Mowbray, who have qualified for a grand final in just their second season.
"In our first year, the girls did exceptionally well and made the semi-finals, before eventually finishing fourth," Mowbray said.
"However, to make a grand final in year two supersedes that and is beyond any of our wildest dreams when we first got the team together.
"Especially when you consider just how young our side is - mixed in with key veterans Nicole Quinn and Jodie Egan."
Mowbray, who is assisted by Doug McCallum and Geoff Smith, has been blown away by the side's improvement, which saw them claim their maiden minor premiership in 2020.
"The girls are just so hungry to get better, they started doing beach fitness sessions in January," he said.
"Their ball skills have improved significantly, with us having a number of set plays named after club legends and we even scored off one called Sam Matters against the Stingrays on Saturday.
"On the flip side, the way the girls keep turning up for each other on defence has been amazing.
"We all know scoring tries is fun but defence is what wins you games and premierships."
If they are to break through for their maiden title on Sunday at Ron Costello Oval, the Michael Cronin Oval-based side will need to reverse their result against the Park two weeks ago - when they went down 32-12 in the major semi-final.
"The nerves from going in as minor premiers got the better of us that day," Mowbray said.
"They scored a couple of quick tries and we dropped our heads a little but we learnt from it and bounced back in a big way last week.
"Everyone in our side knows their roles and as well as we played last week, all the players appreciate we need to increase our energy, enthusiasm and communication this weekend.
"We beat the Eagles earlier in the season and I have complete confidence in the girls' ability to win on Sunday and create history for our club."
The match gets underway from 11.30am on Sunday.
Mowbray knows how special it will be to add to the club's proud history, which includes a record 19 first grade premierships.
"Gerringong is a proud club, that's headed in the right direction in both its men's and women's programs," he said.
"Two of our four sides were minor premiers, which saw us help the club win just its sixth ever club championship, which is really special to me and our side.
"As amazing as the win would be for our 18-person squad, it will mean so much more for the next generations of league taggers coming through the ranks who are the future of this club."
While this will be the first time any of the Lions' side have played in a Group Seven final, the majority of the Eagles side were part of that 2018 title.
One person that wasn't directly involved (water runner) is current coach Scott Johnston, who took over at the start of 2019.
"Coming off a premiership and going into first division was tough for our girls but a great learning experience at the same time," Johnston said.
"Going back to division two this year has allowed the girls to regain their confidence and improve on their footy skills and attitude - it's been a much more enjoyable season as a whole.
When the girls are having fun, it makes my job easier - especially when we are winning."
Apart from a shaky start in round one, which saw the Eagles fall 18-16 to Stingrays, the Centenary Field-based side has won eight of their past nine matches - including five on the trot.
"From thinking, we weren't going to have a season as all, to getting the year in we did, was really great," Johnston said.
"The early loss didn't faze the girls and they just took it in their stride.
"Apart from that loss to the Lions (22-4 on August 22), the girls have gradually been improving each week.
"That was shown by our performance in the major semi-final two weeks ago, when we jumped the Lions, stuck to our high-tempo game plan and ran away with the win.
Although he's been part of the Eagles club for the past 13 seasons, including part of the reserve grade's premiership-winning squad in 2019, this season has been Johnston's most rewarding - one in which he hopes ends on a high.
"I've loved every second of coaching the girls this year - it's easily been my most rewarding season as an Eagles," Johnston, who credits the help of experienced players Kira Ramsey, Brittany Constable and Kaarla Cowan, said.
"It's been really special have the girls buy into my system and compete on every single play.
"They're a tight-knit group, who will do anything for each other and they deserve nothing more than to finish the year singing the team song and with a premiership medal around their necks."
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