It didn't happen exactly the way the players imagined, but Bathurst won a third successive Western Zone Premier League grand final at No. 1 Oval on Sunday.
A heavy downpour late in the afternoon resulted in play being abandoned, but Bathurst was well in control of the match at that stage and were declared winners via the Duckworth-Lewis method.
Bathurst was 4/142 when play was stopped, needing just 14 runs for victory after Dubbo had earlier been bowled out for 155.
With more than 13 overs still to be played, Bathurst was 42 runs ahead of the required Duckworth-Lewis target.
It marked the third straight season Bathurst had defeated Dubbo in the final of Western Zone's premier competition while it was the sixth time in seven seasons the two teams had met in the decider.
"They're all sweet. I don't think I can rank them," victorious Bathurst captain Adam Ryan said post-game.
"Three in a row is massive. We never would have imagined it three years ago and it's phenomenal now to have that as an achievement.
"It feels like each year the boys have grown and developed and it's phenomenal."
As has been the case for much of the WZPL season, Dubbo's star-studded batting lineup failed to fully fire in the decider.
While par scores have been enough to get past other teams this season, that wasn't the case on Sunday.
After Ben Wheeler (0) fell in the second over, Matt Everett and Dubbo captain Marty Jeffrey set about building a platform.
I don't think we applied ourselves enough with the bat and you can't score that many runs and expect to win.- Marty Jeffrey
But both fell for 32 via the spin of Connor Slattery and Nic Broes respectively and from there Dubbo was never able to build any meaningful partnerships.
Slattery (2/22 off 10) and Broes (2/19) strangled the batters during the middle overs while quicks Mitch Taylor (2/29) and Jack Goodsell (2/26) kept the pressure on.
"It's never ideal (to lose a grand final) but we were outclassed by Bathurst today," Jeffrey said.
"I don't think we applied ourselves enough with the bat and you can't score that many runs and expect to win.
"Although I thought our bowlers fought really well and built some pressure."
Run-scoring was never easy for Bathurst during the chase but Broes (28) and Bailey Brien (23) set the visitors on their way with a tough 68-run opening stand.
There was plenty of plays and misses and chances just out of reach for Dubbo before Brock Larance (1/30) and Ben Knaggs (1/10) removed the openers in the space of four balls.
Connor Slattery (9) and Ryan Peacock (18) were removed by spinners Mitch Bower (1/16) and Marty Jeffrey (1/27) respectively to give Dubbo some hope, but the calm head of Jameel Qureshi (19 not out) and Cooper Brien 26 not out) kept Bathurst well in control.
"He (Qureshi) is always the person we anchor in the middle order to settle it," Ryan said of the Western Zone captain.
"He can read it and guide those young fellas. He's been in good touch this year and we were keen to make sure he went in there to help us get over the line."
Despite Bathurst having won the past two grand finals over Dubbo, Ryan felt his side was the underdogs away from home on Sunday.
Ryan described Dubbo as "the benchmark" of Western Zone cricket and said there was no harder challenge than winning at No. 1 Oval, so doing so with a side littered with younger up-and-coming players like Angus Parsons and Cooper Brien made it hugely satisfying.
"We've got a few young guys and they've got some seasoned cricketers so we knew it was going to be a battle," Ryan said.
"I think it's what we relish. This is one of the hardest games of the year and we love it.
"The standard in the field was great and that's what you want. Every run was hard to get and there were no freebies."
For Jeffrey, the disappointment was clear but there was plenty to be proud of this representative season.
There was more commitment from players than there has been in second years while the Brewery Shield side was changed into a genuine Dubbo second XI, meaning there was a real squad approach and players had to work for their opportunities.
"We tried to change things around a little this year and structure it as more of a squad," he said.
"I think it's worked and we've had success. There's been a really positive group and everyone has got on well, which is the main thing."
Bathurst also defeated Dubbo in the second tier Western Zone Plate final on Sunday.
Bathurst won that match by four runs via Duckworth-Lewis.
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