Avoid an outright loss.
That's all Centrals needed Kinross to do last weekend to allow the red and blacks to claim the Orange District Cricket Association second grade minor premiership and progress straight to the decider.
But in a heart-breaking turn of events for Centrals, the students did the exact opposite and conceded maximum points to a rampant Cavaliers side at Kinross Main Oval, allowing the maroons to claim the minor title by a solitary point.
Cavaliers entered the clash 11 points adrift of the competition lead but secured the maximum 12 available with their 10-wicket, outright victory, the bye forcing Centrals to watch on with no control over their destiny.
Stu Middleton once again proved the star for Cavaliers too.
He took 3-13 as Kinross fell for 70 and then belted 77 not out as his side made 8-184 declared, before snaring another two wickets as the students made 117 in their second dig, just forcing the maroons to bat again. They knocked off the four needed without losing a wicket.
Cam Laird (50), Lachlan Griffith (3-10), Jason Drew (3-21) and Joel Thomas (3-28) gave Middleton plenty of support throughout the clash.
Centrals will now face Orange City in the preliminary final, the Warriors hanging onto third spot with an easy 10-wicket win over CYMS, one led by half centuries from Dave Boundy (51) and Jamie Stedman (51).
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The Gladstone hung onto the third grade minor premiership despite losing out to Waratahs on the weekend, a victory that earned the sky blues fourth spot, a finals berth and a wealth of confidence considering they'll face the same side in this weekend's semi-finals.
Spring Hill knocked off Centrals on Saturday and finished second as a result, and they'll take on third-finishers Orange City in the final four. The Warriors defeated CYMS, while Cavaliers took down Kinross on the weekend.
Although there's one round left to play Centenary Cup's grand finalists are set, with Orange City cementing their place in the top two alongside minor premiers Kinross Blue.
The Warriors, led by a stunning, unbeaten 112 from Harry Grant, took down CYMS by 148 runs to do so, while Kinross Blue defeated their Super Kings clubmates by 37 runs as well.
The two decider-bound sides will get a look at each other in this weekend's final round too, before squaring off again the week after in the big dance.
All the grand finals are on the weekend of March 30 and 31.
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