Bullets 1 will be out to break a lengthy premiership drought when they face Royals Saints 1 in a tantalising Albany Netball Association A1 grand final on Saturday afternoon. The two sides will do battle for the coveted Diane Martin (nee Jackson) trophy in front of what is expected to be a strong crowd. It has been close to two decades since Bullets claimed an A1 title and coach Phil Dawson said a winning result would carry extra significance. “It would be extra special considering they haven’t been playing in the A1 competition for a long time,” he said. “I’ve got seven players from the original team, they have really stuck with it. ‘People travel over an hour to get to training, their dedication has been absolutely fantastic and you can’t question it. “I think the players have exceeded even their own expectations, I told them they would make finals at the start of the year but I didn’t know they would make it this far.” Bullets, who represent Mt Barker, returned to the A1 competition in 2021 but failed to record a win for the entirety of that season as well as 2022. A nine-win season and a memorable qualifying final win over Royals Saints a fortnight ago has Dawson’s side on the brink of a historic turnaround. “They haven’t been here before whereas Royals have played in quite a few, they are really experienced in finals,” Dawson said. “The win in the first final gives the girls a lot of belief, they are quietly confident and know what to do. “Their (Royals) shooters are their strengths, they probably have two of the best shooters around and we’ve probably got the best defence which is where it will be won or lost. “We are there now and it’s just another game, nerves will play a big part in the contest. “’It’s going to be pretty special for them and the town as well.” Royals Saints coach Carly Szczecinski said she was looking on her players to draw from an abundance of finals experience. “I think we’ve only got two players that haven’t played in an A1 grand final, we have multiple people who have won three to four premierships,” she said. “That doesn’t guarantee us an advantage though, we just have to make sure we play the best game we can possibly play. “It will come down to who shoots accurately on the day but also who disrupts the pattern of the other shooters. “Rebounding contests are a really big thing and who gives their side an opportunity to turn over the ball. “It’s going to be extremely fast and physical, it will come down to who can run out the game.” The Bullets were two-goal winners over Royals Saints in a rousing qualifying final, overcoming a half-time deficit to advance directly into the decider. “That first final was a lesson for us, we let that game get out of our grasp, and it will be a case of who can maintain composure in the crunch moments,” Szczecinski said. “It would be great to go back-to-back, it’s a privilege to play in A1 and to have an opportunity to play in a grand final is something that a lot of people don’t get. “To have a chance to go back-to-back are moments that might come around every 10 or 15 years. “It should be a great atmosphere and a really good contest.” The two sides will lock horns at 3.30pm on Saturday for the A1 premiership.