While one of the season's most impactful matches is set to play out at Lady Cutler this weekend, the lead-up to it has been anything but typical.
RSL Colts will look to defend their spot at the top of the ladder against the CYMS Cougars at 1pm on Saturday, but both sides will be feeling the strain of missing squad-mates and an unusual lead-in, according to Colts veteran Jason Ryan.
"It's been a bit awkward, we had a washout last week and we've got a few out with the western zone competition and others with other commitments, it's a bit unorganised feeling," Ryan said.
"But we're feeling pretty good, we're still pretty confident in the blokes we've picked."
Colts will be missing captain Marty Jeffrey and new addition Mitch Bower who'll both travel to Goulburn for the Country Championships this weekend, which puts the pressure on Ryan and the other experienced Colts to repeat the team's first round success against CYMS.
"We've definitely still got a much more experienced side, we've got a lot more veteran players, guys like Ben Taylor and Benny Semmler, Chris Morton and myself, it'll just be that bit of depth we'll be lacking this weekend," Ryan said.
"It's going to be up to the senior players in the team to stand up on the day."
Among the younger squad members, second graders Alex Orth and Preston Beauchamp will both be key as the Colts look to take wickets often and early and maintain a steady run-rate.
"Alex, he's a young quick, he played a few games in first grade last year, he's a real young, tall kid and he's been bowling really well for a couple of years now," Ryan said.
"Preston'll get his chance again, he's done a really good job whenever we need him to step up and score, he'll get a chance at the top of the order and he'll be looking to get some runs."
Both young guns have spent time in first grade, which should help settle any nerves, but there'll also be a stable of committed first grade players to call on.
"Everyone else has been there or thereabouts, we haven't lost too much experience, bloke's like Nathan Jones are coming back in and they've played first grade for a while on and off, it won't phase him at all," Ryan said.
"Josh Smith, myself, Chris Morton, we've got to stand up and score some runs, Anthony Atlee's in good nick, he'll be looking to keep that good form going too."
Colts eked out a win early on this season and Ryan is drawing on that win to provide a pathway to a repeated result.
"If we can get early wickets against them, we can get right into them, but otherwise, they're a very young, confident side that'll always rack up a decent score, so it'll be important for our bowlers to strike early tomorrow," Ryan said.
All four other sides will cross the greens at Victoria Park on the weekend, with matches between Macquarie and South Dubbo and Newtown and Rugby, starting from 1pm at the number two and three ovals.