The one we?ve all been waiting for
FINALLY, the Grand Final we've all been waiting for.
After hiccups, form lapses, floggings of the inferior and highs and lows galore, the Group 2 world awaits the 80 minute dogfight this Sunday between Orara Valley and Macksville.
Compared to most other sides, the players involved are mainly in the veteran class.
For some of them, this may be the final time they grace the football stage and if that's not an incentive to go out and watch them perform, you're not a true league supporter.
Man for man, we'll see the greatest assembly of legendary players in Group history who not only bring a touch of class to the table, but the one indefinable quality only the truly outstanding possess.
Should Macksville win a fourth grand slam, it will be an unprecedented achievement.
The benchmark was set by Bellingen in the 1980's and naturally, comparisons will be made.
This may be unfair as football is totally different to ten years ago, let alone, twenty.
Even if they do win four, other factors enter the picture to put things in perspective.
In North Coast football, we all have a long way to go to catch up with the record of the Gloucester Magpie (Group 3) sides of the 1950-60's.
In a 12 year period, the Magpies played in 11 Grand Finals and won ten of them.
Twice, they won four in a row, at a time when your only import was the captain-coach and the bulk of your team was made up of dairy farmers and the boys from the council road gang.
In country terms, no one can match the record of Newcastle Western Suburbs.
Tomorrow, the Rosellas play their 34th post war decider against the Northern Blues.
Should they win, it will be their 26th title.
But, back to our epic day.
Sea Eagles, please accept my apologies.
While I love everything about you, on Sunday I'll be cheering on the Axemen.
In their ranks is Matt Donovan, the bloke who 'made' my name as a radio football broadcaster.
There's old Uncle Brett who has more class in his little finger than the rest of us mere mortals will have in a lifetime.
And then, there's Brad Hart, my all time sporting hero and son of one of the finest men I've ever met.
What a moment it would be if Bradley manages to hold that trophy aloft, standing next to Larry in his wheelchair.
The emotion of the moment, you'd remember for a lifetime.
The thought of it will lift the Axemen to lofty heights.
The computer tips: Orara Valley 38 to Macksville 34.
In their last five meetings it's been 3-2 to the Mighty's: W40-28, L32-46, L30-52, W46-28 and W42-22.
My tip: The heart says Orara and I'll be rattling the rosary beads in support of them. But, the head says Macksville will set history by winning their fourth.