EX-SERVICEMEN will be chasing a rare hat-trick of premierships when the SDCA first grade grand final is played over this weekend.
The feat has been performed only seven times since the competition was formed 120 years ago, but never by Ex-Servicemen.
For the third successive season, its opponent will be Berry-Shoalhaven Heads, which is unique for never before have two clubs fought out three successive grand finals.
One of the original SDCA clubs, Berry has 14 first grade premierships to its credit, while Ex-Servicemen have won nine in little over half a century.
Previous first grade grand finals between these clubs have resulted –
1964-65: Ex-Servicemen 197 and 4/121 d Berry 92 and 225, outright by six wickets.
2000-01: Berry-Shoalhaven Heads 3/285 d Ex-Servicemen 5/283 dec., by two runs on first innings.
2011-12: Ex-Servicemen 6/204 d Berry-Shoalhaven Heads 140, by 64 runs on the first innings.
2012-13: Ex-Servicemen 180 d Berry-Shoalhaven Heads 174, by six runs on the first innings.
Second grade – Ex-Servicemen and Nowra, who will fight out the second grade grand final, both have seven premierships to their credit.
Ex-Servicemen are chasing their fourth consecutive flag, a feat that has never before been accomplished.
Nowra’s last success in this division was in 2009-10.
The two have met in only one previous grand final for this division – in 2007-08 when Ex-Servicemen won by 45 runs.
Third grade – Ex-Servicemen have the chance to win their third successive premiership in third grade, and lay claim to being the most successful club in the history of that division.
However they are up against Berry-Shoalhaven Heads which currently holds the record with eight premierships, one ahead of Ex-Servicemen and Bomaderry.
The only grand final clashes between these clubs in thirds occurred back in the 1970s when they each enjoyed one success.
Should Ex-Servicemen be successful at the weekend, they will be one behind Nowra which in the early 1980s won four in a row.
Fourth grade – This will be the first ever fourth grade grand final between Nowra and Ex-Servicemen.
Ex-Servicemen have been more successful with four premierships, the last in 1998-99; while Nowra has won three times, the most recent in 2010-11.
? Ex-Servicemen are only the second club in SDCA history to have featured in all four grand finals in the one season.
The previous club in 1993-94 was Ulladulla United which provided both combatants in third grade, and won the third and fourth grade flags.