A GUTSY 29 run-semi-final win over Court House at Wolseley Park has seen Kookaburras make their first first-grade grand final in five years.
The win was setup by a marathon batting effort from stand-in captain Shayne Riordan, who compiled a pain-staking 65 from 189 deliveries.
Batting first, the Kookaburras were looking to set a winning total, despite the absence of the competition's leading run-scorer Cameron Milne.
Enter Riordan who along with fellow veterans Bowe Coward (30), Greg Nicholls (18) and Paddy Paul (15) helped set a formidable total of 181.
Ben Irwin was a shining light with the ball for Court House claiming 4-43, while Darrin Cameron was the side's next best with figures of 2-30.
In reply, early wickets dented Court House's chances of victory, slumping to 3-51.
However, a gutsy 33 off 101 balls from Brodie Cleal and 34 not out from Brad Gander kept the game alive.
But it was in vein as Kookaburras young guns Oscar Thomas (5-46), Luke Ellis (4-13) and Braithen Winsor (1-25) helped secure victory.
Riordan said the victory was made possible by a "complete team effort".
"I would say that is the best all around team performance we have put together in two years," Riordan said.
"It couldn't have come at a better time as we are in the big one now."
In a show of real courage, Court House's Darrin Cameron continued to bat on for his side, despite badly injuring his leg.
Court House captain Farran Lamb said the effort reflected "the heart the side has shown all year".
"It's a pretty disappointing result to be honest,' Lamb said.
"We didn't really field too well yesterday and it cost us in the end.
"Fair play to the Kookaburras, they worked hard for this result and now we will look ahead to next summer."
Riordan said pre-game concerns about Milne's absence were "put to bed with the result".
"While it is always a lot better to have him [Milne] in the side, we showed if we put in as a team we can get the result," he said.
"We changed a few things around for this game and worked together throughout the game.
"The enthusiasm was there throughout and I don't expect much will change heading into the grand final."
The victory will see Albion play Kookaburras in both the first and second grade grand finals.
"It's been a long time since we've had two sides make the grand final, so it is very exciting," Riordan said.