It's been a long time between drinks, but Shellharbour will be back in the Men's Premier Division finals this year.
One week after Northern Districts booked their ticket to finals, the Suns followed suit after claiming a 11.10 (70) to 8.4 (52) victory over the Wollongong Lions at Myimbarr Oval on Saturday.
It is the first time that Shellharbour's men's side have made the AFL South Coast finals series since 2017.
"I'm so proud of the young players and the club. Our whole core is local juniors, so that's a big tribute to the club and the work that they put into their junior program and transitioning them," Suns playing-coach Dan Posch told the Mercury.
"To be part of the group that gets the club back into finals is a good feeling."
There was everything to play for when the two sides went head-to-head on Saturday. The winner all-but assured they would play finals, while it was curtains in 2023 for the loser.
The Lions jumped out of the blocks to lead by 17 points at the first break before the Suns fought back in the second term to cut the deficit to 10 at halftime.
Staring down the barrel of defeat, the hosts rallied in the last two quarters, booting eight goals to three to run out winners by 18 points.
"It was easily our best win of the year, and probably one of the best that I've been involved with since I've been at the club," Posch said.
"I was really pleased with the maturity that the boys showed. There was a lot on the line, whichever team won was playing finals and the other was pretty much knocked out, so both teams knew the stakes. And they started really well and we were behind the eight-ball.
"But to see our young boys flick the switch to come back from behind and end up winning the game reasonably well was the most pleasing part."
Elsewhere, Figtree put one hand on this year's minor premiership after claiming a 12.16 (88) to 7.7 (49) victory over the Bulldogs at Keira Oval; while the Tigers continued their recent surge of good form by beating the Power by 18.26 (134) to 2.1 (13) at Bonaira Oval.
Mercury photographer Adam McLean was there to capture all of the action at the Kangaroos versus Bulldogs game on Saturday.
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