RSL-Colts were no certainty to play the RSL-Pinnington Cup semi-final until roughly 6pm last Friday evening.
They had finished third on the ladder but fourth-placed Newtown lodged an appeal in relation to points awarded for a tie early in the season and the case went right to the Western Zone board.
The matter was settled on Friday evening and then on the weekend, Colts made the most of its chance and won through to the second grade decider.
It was the effort with the ball which saw the defending premiers win through to another grand final, as South Dubbo was dismissed for 119 before stumps on day one at No. 2 Oval.
Colts then put itself in a position of control, reaching 2/54 at the end of day one.
Captain josh Smith then led the way on Sunday, top-scoring with 34 as Colts reached the target with four wickets to spare, winning through to next weekend’s grand final against minor premiers CYMS.
Souths, which had finished the regular season in second, won the toss and batted on Saturday but things couldn’t have begun much worse as Richie Richardson (0) fell on the second ball.
Cameron Herd (12) and Brian McKinnon (12) followed soon after as Geoff Wheeler (2/22 from 11) and Tim Howarth (1/17 off nine) put Colts in control and reduced the Hornets to 3/24.
Jakke Gardiner then ripped through the middle order, taking 3/11 from eight overs, and then when Rhys Beauchamp picked up the massive wicket of Greg Rumman (14), it seemed the Hornets would struggle to reach triple figures.
Andrew Cusack made 24 late on as Souths posted 119.
Howarth (2) and Beauchamp (0) fell inside the first overs of the chase as Craig Duff did all he could to defend the low total but Smith and Nathan Finlay showed all their experience when guiding the men in red through to stumps.
Duff (3/28 off nine) removed Finlay (27) early on day two but Aaron Morris (13) helped things keep ticking over before Joe Cant (1/14 off nine) removed Smith.
Colts were made to work all through the chase and runs never flowed freely but in the end the Souths’ total was just too low and Gardiner (22 not out) helped his side reach the target in the 48th over.
Duff was the standout bowler while Cant, Saad Khan (1/22 off 10.2), Justin Knudsen (0/10 off eight) and Andrew Cusack (0/7 off six) also toiled hard for the Hornets.
Colts’ win gives the club the chance to achieve an incredible four straight premierships.
The first win in the current win came over CYMS in 2014/15.