BOTH Wendouree and Napoleons-Sebastopol have trusted in their successful line-ups from last weekend to carry them to Ballarat cricket’s biggest prize.
The Red Caps have named the same side as the one that scored a five-wicket semi final win over rivals Mt Clear, while Naps-Sebas will stick with the same 11 as the one that carried them to a thrilling three-run victory against Darley.
The 2012-13 premiership will be fought out over four days, starting at Eastern Oval tomorrow.
For Wendouree captain Heath Pyke and his men, there’s a massive piece of history staring them in the face.
With victory, the Red Caps will become the first team in the Ballarat Cricket Association to claim five straight club firsts flags.
The Red Caps achieved four straight titles between seasons 1979-80 and 1982-83, with Mt Clear the only other club to do it, winning between 1964-65 and 1967-68.
Pyke said the opportunity to create another record wasn’t needed in motivating his side.
“Coming from our point of view (having won the past four), there’s almost a relaxed nature about heading into a grand final, which is nice from a playing and captaincy perspective. There’s obviously still the pressure of a grand final and nerves associated with it, but we are going into it with no real expectations where (Naps-Sebas) have got a bit riding on it as club and individually as well,” Pyke said.
Wendouree is the clear favourites after finishing the home-and-away rounds on top of the ladder and having beaten the second-placed Naps-Sebas in the past two grand finals.
A big win over their rivals early in the campaign is further proof of the Red Caps’ dominance.
But Naps-Sebas captain-coach Dan Davies is confident his team has a good chance of securing a maiden club firsts premiership this time around.
“That’s what you play for, but sometimes the hardest part is getting there. We’ve got there now, it is a one-off game and hopefully we perform well and to our ability and we are right in it,” Davies said.