The Dubbo and District Football Association finals series is set to kick off this weekend, with the four top placed teams vying for a Grand Final appearance.
The Dubbo Bulls walked out the minor premiers last weekend after conquering the Westside Panthers , while Macquarie United took second place after besting the South Dubbo Wanderers and perennial dark horse contenders the Orana Spurs met the Newtown Saints and dealt their season a harsh blow with a lopsided win.
Spurs coach Stephen Tongue says his club have put their mid-season slump behind them are peaking at just the right time to make an impact during the finals season.
"Last week was a pretty good game and hit-out for us, considering the conditions were pretty arctic, the boys gelled together fairly well, the progress we've been making in training is really starting to show now," Tongue said.
"I think we've hit our stride at the right time, mid-season, we went through a patch where we couldn't quite get the continuity together on the pitch and we lost a few games there in a row, that had us scratching our heads."
"But we've changed it up a little bit at training and we've had a new guy come to the club he's very experienced, he's English and he's played in Melbourne, so he's helping a lot with training and the guys have really responded to that and lifted a bit."
Tongue thinks a big moment for the club, who've largely been battling to hold the third spot while Macquarie United and the Dubbo Bulls battled for first and second, came when they upset Macquarie 6 - 2 earlier in August.
"The last four games we've won fairly comfortably, about two weeks ago we beat Macquarie United, that really showed the boys that they're on the right track."
But even with that newfound burst of confidence, Tongue's wary of letting his side get too comfortable ahead of the semis.
"We can't get too ahead of ourselves, we've just got to focus on this weekend's game and get the result we need so we can keep going."
One of the major influences in the Spur's late season fightback has been the club's collective desire to win the Grand Final in honour of club founder Robert 'Bobby' Hughes, who passed away earlier in the year.
"This year we did lose Bobby at the beginning of the season, it's been a year we've been playing with a fair bit of passion and the boys are really determined to make the Grand Final and go one step further than last year," Tongue said.
"We want to win that cup and we're going to try our best to do it."
They'll get their first chance to spur a successful return to Grand Final football when they are expected to face off against the fourth placed Newtown Saints in the game's semi-finals, while the first and second placed Dubbo Bulls and Macquarie United square off in the major semi-final.Cup prelude offering opportunity for entry into $100,000 Dubbo CupCup prelude offering opportunity for entry into $100,000 Dubbo Cup