JUST two teams remain in the hunt for the Shoalhaven District Cricket Association two-day crown, after the weekend's semi-finals were washed out.
Those two sides are minor premiers North Nowra-Cambewarra and second-placed Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemens, who will lock horns in the first grade decider for the second time in three seasons - with the only difference being the game will be played at the Bernie Regan Sports Complex this time around.
For the weekend's hosts, who won their maiden title during that 2018-19 final, the season has been a positive one - leading them to win the club's first minor premiership in its 27-year history.
"We have had a solid season for the most part but I would say our batting has probably not been as good as we would have liked," Norths skipper Nick McDonald said.
"We have also been guilty of letting ourselves down in the field a bit but both of those aspects seem to have improved in our past few matches.
"As proud as we all are as a club to finish the season on top, we know our work isn't done, because, at the end of the day, the two-day premiership is the silverware you want to win."
To do so, McDonald knows every man in his squad is going to have to perform against an extremely deep Ex-Servos outfit.
"To defeat Ex-Servos, we are going to have to perform well in all three facets of the game otherwise we are going to make it hard on ourselves," the batsman, who's scored 179 runs in 2020-21, said.
"They are a strong side from one to 11 and are proven, big-game performers.
"In particular, bowlers Justin Weller and Troy Sweet will play a huge role for us, while I'm hopeful a couple of guys at the top of the order can step up and produce a solid innings."
McDonald is one of five players that remain from Norths' grand final side in 2018-19 - with him scoring 68 that match.
As special as it was to win a title for his junior club, being able to skipper it would mean even more.
"Winning any grand final is always a special achievement but captaining a club I've played with for more than 20 seasons to a premiership would be a great moment and one I'll never forget," he said.
On the flipside is Daniel Gleeson and his Ex-Servos outfit - who have won close to 10 premierships (including this season's Twenty20 title), across all three grades, the past couple of seasons.
Despite a stop-start season, the Hayden Drexel Oval-based club managed to finish second following a crucial outright win against Berry-Shoalhaven Heads in the final round.
"That was a very good win by the boys and it ultimately meant we finished the regular season in second spot, which proved crucial in ensuring we made the grand final," Gleeson, who has scored 210 runs at an average of 35 this season, said.
"It was exciting to see what we are capable of if we click, which has been hard with this strange season, cut short by COVID-19.
"We have played very little cricket since the new year, with rain washing out a number of matches including last week's semi-final.
"Throw in the two-day bye as well and we've only played three days since January 1, which is frustrating.
"Despite that, we've had another good year to date - winning the T20 competition, making the one-day semi-finals and qualifying for the two-day decider."
That trophy collection alluded to before could be even higher if not for the 2017-18 grand final, which saw Norths down Ex-Servos at Hayden Drexel Oval.
"There are still six players in our current side who played in that game," Gleeson said.
"We played one hour of poor cricket on the Sunday morning and it cost us the match.
"We had done a lot of hard work to finish the Saturday at 4-130 but at the end of the day, you have to say they were too good and full credit to them.
"However I still feel like that was a premiership that we certainly let slip, so we will be out to make amends this weekend."
To ensure his side aren't left ruing another grand final defeat, Gleeson and his side know they will all need to lift come Saturday.
"I expect all of our guys to lift - there are a lot of strong cricketers in our side with plenty of talent and experience," said Gleeson, who is hopeful the ground can dry out following the recent heavy rain.
"On the day, it's important we start well with the bat and limit the damage of one the Shoalhaven's top bowlers Justin Weller.
"If we do that, I'm confident our side has what it takes to lift the silverware."
The first grade action will run from 1pm-6.30pm on Saturday and 10.30am-6pm on Sunday.
This is one of four grand finals that will take place across the Shoalhaven this weekend.
In second grade Bomaderry takes on Sussex Inlet at Bomaderry Oval, while the final two-day decider (third grade) will see Batemans Bay battle Ex-Servos at Hanging Rock Oval.
Then in fourth grade, Norths face Ex-Servos at the Bomaderry Sports Complex in a one-day match on Saturday.