TOUGH, testy and uncompromising - the only thing pretty for the Nambucca Strikers was the 2-1 scoreline.
Orara were always going to 'bring it' away at Coronation Park in this men's 1st Division men's North Coast Football clash.
And the visitors, with a sailor's sea wind at their backs, dominated the early exchanges and were in the ascendancy for most of the first half.
The Strikers though hung tough - with a shuffled team that saw crippled Ryan Flack calling the shots from his crutches on the sideline after snapping his ACL in the previous round. There were changes too upfront for Nambucca, with the elusive Harley Parker stepping up from the 2nds, and the return of the ornament, Clay Urquhart, from the old boys.
It was Urquhart who got the score on the roll, as a throw from a rare Strikers incursion found him unmarked in the box and he calmly slotted it home.
Until then, Orara had left the Nambucca Striker largely unmarked - a strategy as unwise as leaving a three-year-old unattended with a permanent marker.
Orara settled and continued to press, but once again the Strikers on a rare raid into enemy territory cut deep, and a heavy tackle saw them awarded a dottie, which Urquhart was more than happy to convert.
Moments before the break Orara put the match back in play with a smart header to make it 2-1 at halftime.
Nambucca started the resumption with vigour and were unlucky not to add before Orara got into the wrestle. It was a scoreless second half albeit an absorbing end to end affair with more shoulders in action than you would see on a Sonny Bill Williams' highlight reel.
Both Orara and the Strikers are likely to loom large come the finals, and for the hometown lads the standouts today were midfield general John Fyfe, the energiser Brandan Gregory on the flank and Grant Martin who was bank-like safe at the back.