THE battle lines between Redan and North Ballarat City have been drawn.
One final chance of playing in the Ballarat Football League's biggest day - it all comes down to two hours of football on Saturday.
Both sides have had their own stumbles in the 2013 finals series.
North was destroyed by Redan in week one but recovered against Darley on Sunday.
The Lions appeared almost unbeatable against North in the qualifying final but were taught a football lesson against Sunbury in week two.
But those games are done and dusted however and for both coaches all focus is placed on Saturday's do-or-die preliminary final at Eastern Oval.
Both North City coach Rob Waters and Redan coach Eammon Gill shared some friendly banter and a few jokes at a BFL press conference today.
On Saturday it will be a different story however.
When asked how his side would reverse the 41-point demolition at the hands of the maroon and gold last week, North Ballarat City coach refused to show his hand.
But he did throw a friendly parting shot at Gill.
"I'm going to punch the crap out of him before the game, the boys are pretty fired up," Waters joked.
More than aware his side was perceived as soft in their last encounter against Redan two weeks ago, Waters said there would be increased focus on lifting the intensity and ferocity on Saturday.
"The boys are in a bit of trouble when the coach rocks up to training with a mouth guard," he said.
"We were embarrassed a couple of weeks ago against Redan, they really showed us up.
"It was important (against Darley) to show the community that we are a good team and also for the boys mentally to know we are up for it."
Star players Tristan Cartledge and Derick Micallef have both been ruled for Saturday's clash, with Waters claiming there was no chance the ruckman, Cartledge, would play again this year.
For Redan, key midfielder Jarrett Giampaolo is likely to recover from a rolled ankle, meaning there will most likely be at least one player dropped for the maroon and gold.
Gill said his side's finals experience was handy, but insisted the younger players were just as important as the players who have won handfuls of BFL premierships in the past.
"The older guys who have had finals experience actually get confidence out of the younger blokes doing good things in the finals series," he said.
"If you have Brendan Peace or an Ash Barker seeing the likes of Hayden Riley, Cam McKenzie or Aaron Gercovich in their 10th or 12th game play in a finals series and actually do quite well it gives them some confidence as well."
The preliminary final will be played at Eastern Oval at 2.15pm on Saturday.