Cavaliers are one step closer to reclaiming the Orange District Cricket Association throne, with last weekend's easy win over Kinross the maroons officially locked away the minor premiership and with it earned a grand final berth.
Considering they entered the final regular-season round 12 points clear on top it would've taken an absolute disaster for Cavaliers to miss out on that minor title, the maroons cementing it with a nine-wicket win at Wade Park.
Their maroons' progression continues their remarkable run of success, one that dates back to the days of the Bathurst-Orange Inter-District Cricket Association competition.
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This season's grand final will be Cavaliers' sixth in a row and their 11th in the 12 summers since the Bathurst and Orange associations split following the 2006-07 season, a title the maroons won.
They won the four premierships prior to 2006-07 too and with those deciders included the 2018-19 grand final will in fact be Cavaliers' 16th grand final appearance in the last 17 seasons, in which they'll be gunning for their 11th triumph.
"When I started playing first grade it was almost a sure thing in a way, Cavaliers playing finals, just with the calibre of players we had," maroons skipper Matt Corben said.
"So it's good to see that after a bit of a changing of the guard we've still got those young blokes coming through and keeping the club as strong as we've ever been."
Corben admitted considering his side's standing he actually used last weekend's clash as a chance to give his troops some always-needed match practice, particularly those who hadn't spent a wealth of time at the crease this summer.
After skittling Kinross for just 89 the maroons passed that for the loss of just one wicket and made their way to 7-182 by stumps on Saturday's opening day, doing so without Corben, Josh Doherty, Bailey Ferguson or Ryan Kurtz even needing to bat.
Kaleb Cook (77) and Hudson Izzard (30) did the bulk of the damage in the middle, and Cavaliers declared before the start of play on Sunday's second day, Kinross finished 8-138 when the two skippers decided to call it a day.
Kurtz continued his form with the ball in that second innings, picking up 5-37 from his 11 overs.
"Some of the guys like Hughy (Middleton) and Maxy (Pearce) had only batted three or four times this season. You can never predict what's going to happen in a grand final and we might need them to play a really important role, so time in the middle was more important for them than the rest of us trying to pad our stats," Corben said, with a laugh.
In the other game Orange City made sure they'll have the benefit of progressing through next weekend's preliminary final should rain intervene, by defeating third-placed CYMS by six wickets.
Brett Causer snared 3-15 as CYMS fell for just 126, before Shaun Grenfell fell just four short of his second ton of the season, pumping 96 to lead Orange City home with six wickets to spare. They eventually finished with 240, and stumps were called.
"There's no preference as to who we play, they're both as strong as any side of their day," Corben said.
"CYMS beat us outright earlier this season and Orange City have the strongest bowling attack in the competition so either way it'll be tough. We'll just focus on ourselves over the next two weeks, have a few training runs and probably do something next Saturday to make sure we're not having the weekend off entirely.
"We can only really focus on what we're doing."
Next weekend's preliminary final is at Wade Park, starting at 1pm on Saturday and 11am on Sunday, with the grand final the same the following week.
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