Nine grand finals. Nine premiership wins.
That’s Josh Smith’s run of success heading into this weekend’s RSL-Pinnington Cup grand final.
Smith was part of the RSL-Colts squad which went on a dominant run in the RSL-Whitney Cup, being part of six of the club’s seven straight titles.
He then departed Dubbo to study at university in Canberra but since returning he’s linked up with an equally dominant Colts second grade outfit.
Smith and then men in reds have won three straight titles and the leading top-order batsman has been captain for the past two.
“I got into first grade as a young fella when Colts were at their peak and I was only young and probably didn’t contribute as much as I have in later years,” he said.
“But I’ve been lucky to be a part of it.”
But after being part of powerhouse sides during the six RSL-Whitney Cup and three RSL-Pinnington Cup wins, this season has been vastly different.
Only a victory in the final round of the regular season confirmed Colts’ place in the finals and then a comfortable win over South Dubbo in the semi-final secured passage into the grand final against minor premiers CYMS.
“We haven’t had the most consistent season whereas CYMS has been consistent all year,” he said.
We haven’t had the most consistent season whereas CYMS has been consistent all year.Josh Smith
“They’ve been the best side and have been really good but we started slow and only started to come good after Christmas.”
The three-time defending premiers failed to win a match in the opening six rounds but since then they have only lost twice in 11 games.
“The semi wasn’t a complete performance but we showed signs of getting towards that complete performance,” Smith said.
“We’re going in the right direction.”
CYMS heads into the decider after a week off courtesy of finishing on top of the ladder. Unsurprisingly, Smith pointed to the Cougars’ young bowling unit as its strength.
The likes of seamers Callan Braithwaite, Sam Knaggs, Lochie Endacott and James ‘Busta’ Nelson have all taken wickets regularly this season and they are well-supported by spinners Josh Thompson and Paddy Nelson.
“As a whole out batting lineup needs to lift,” Smith said.
“We always know what we’re getting with our bowling attack but our batting needs to step up, especially against CYMS’ bowling side.
“I think the bowling is their key. It’s just about our batsmen lifting.”
Plays starts at 1pm on both Saturday and Sunday.