When Shamrocks coach Paul Ridgway assembled his squad for the start of pre-season training last November, they had one goal in mind.
Win an Illawarra Rugby Union premiership in the club's 50th season.
Now, 10 months later, they are just one win away from achieving that goal.
Standing in their way is an imposing Avondale side that has defeated Shamrocks twice this season and has dominated Illawarra Rugby for the past decade.
Ridgway knows his team will have to play at their best if they are to complete the fairy tale at WIN Stadium on Saturday night, but he said it will be a special moment if Shamrocks do prevail.
"There's quite a bit of excitement around the squad," Ridgway said. "We're trying to work on the notion that it's just another game of footy. In one sense it is, but in another it's clearly not. We have an opportunity to win a premiership in our 50th year.
"For the old boys in the club, to have a premiership this year, some of the fellas have been here right from the get go, played in the first team. For them, to have a premiership 50 years down the track after all the hard work, it would be an astonishing achievement.
"For our players, we have guys who are second and third generation players, their fathers, grandfathers, uncles have all won premierships. It's an opportunity for them to leave a legacy behind in our 50th year."
After securing hard-fought victories over University and Bowral in the opening two weeks of semi-final play, Shamrocks will run into a rested up Avondale side on Saturday night.
The Wombats may have spent the past fortnight refreshing ahead of the decider but coach Joe Aiono said they will arrive on Saturday prepared to face a determined Shamrocks team.
"You always want to have a big year when it comes to those anniversary dates," Aiono said. "They've got second grade in the grand final as well, their supporters will be down in numbers.
"We've stuck to our routine the past two weeks. Shamrocks are a young, exciting team, they'll be a big challenge for us, we've got to play to our game, our structures."
Unlike Avondale, who have played in eight of the last 11 Illawarra grand finals, success has been more spread out for Shamrocks.
The team last played in a first grade decider in 2016, where they fell to University, while they last celebrated victory in 2007.
With premiership success so hard to come by, Ridgway, who was this week named Illawarra Rugby coach of the year, has spent the week ensuring his players make the most of this opportunity.
"This is a chance not too many people have," Ridgway said. "We have to make the most of the moment, be in the moment and don't let the moment overawe us.
"Avondale are the last piece of the puzzle for us, we haven't been able to achieve a win over them this year.
"We have to execute what we know we're good at and control the ball. At different parts of the game, we're going to have to handle heavy physicality and do that for an extended period of time."
The first grade grand final will come on a bumper day of rugby at WIN Stadium, with third grade kicking proceedings off at 12pm.
That game will see Vikings take on Vincentia, before Shamrocks and Bowral play in the second grade decider.
The National Rugby Championships clash between NSW Country and the Fijian Drua will kick off at 4pm, before the main game between Avondale and Shamrocks at 6pm.
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