Gulgong RSL looks to return to the grand final this year after winning the Gulgong District Cricket Association title in 2015 and 2016.
Last year, Bowlers produced a heroic post-season effort to claim 2017 honours and this year, the title appears to be destined for Goolma.
The first-placed powerhouse finished the season with an 11-3 record, leaving them as a clear standout after the 20-round campaign.
However, championships aren’t won in the regular season.
Goolma’s epic run might have booked it a spot in the grand final, but two teams will play for the opportunity to spoil the party at the March 18 grand final.
Centennial and Gulgong RSL are set to square off this Sunday in the preliminary final and both sides certainly have what it takes to give Goolma more than a run for its money.
RSL captain Jared Clulow appreciates the waves Goolma has made throughout the year but says the final are a new ball game.
“They’ve got a pretty consistent bunch of blokes. That’s their biggest strength,” Clulow said.
“They’re very hard to beat out at Goolma on that surface but history shows they struggle a bit on the turf so it all evens out at this time of the year.
“In saying that, they have the leading wicket taker and leading run scorer this year so that explains why they’re up there.”
Not looking past this weekend, Clulow is mindful of what Centennial brings to the table and knows his side must be ready for a stern challenge.
“Their bowling is consistent. They bowl nice and straight,” he said.
“I don’t think Steve Haney played on the weekend and he’s probably their best cricketer and he makes a big difference.
“They have competitive side – especially at Gulgong on turf.”
Clulow elaborated on the surface further and highlighted that whoever bats first is a big chance on Sunday.
“If you can bat first at Gulgong and put some runs on the board on the turf you’ve got a big advantage,” he said.
As for his side, Clulow cut straight to the point when highlighting how RSL needs to play if it wants to return to the grand final.
“We just need to bat better. Our bowling never lets us down,” he said.
“We need to bat to bat 50 overs. If we can do that we’ll be pretty hard to beat.
“Our bowling hasn’t let us down in three or four years.
Players like Greg Parish and Mick Jarvis always bowl well for us. We just need to improve our batting.