YARRAVILLE Club will take aim at an unprecedented fourth consecutive Victorian Turf Cricket Association senior division flag.
The Clubbers advanced to the grand final with a 48-run win over plucky Hoppers Crossing in a two-day semi-final at the Walker Oval last weekend.
Clubbers player-coach Justin Baker said the historical aspect of the premiership decider starting this weekend won't enter his players' minds.
"We won't look too much into it. We can't afford to look too far ahead. We've been there, we know what to do and we'll focus on the smaller steps that got us this far," he said.
That gives a tiny insight into the ruthlessness of a champion team. They enter the four-day grand final against Beaumaris with clearly defined goals and will not deviate from their plans.
The Clubbers' desire to improve constantly has to be admired and that will be their mindset in grand final week.
"There's always work to be done," Baker said. "Our fielding has improved since the start of the season but we dropped catches late in the semi-final.
"The last time we played Beaumaris, they gave us a bit of a touch-up.
"We're excited and I gave the boys Monday off to enjoy the semi-final win. But I told them, you've got a grand final to win and come Tuesday it's time to get stuck in."
The Clubbers won the toss and played to their strength by batting on the first day. Rock-solid foundations were laid by Baker (25) and Kayne Meehan (11), who moved the score to 42 before falling on the same score and the first session was evenly poised at 2-42. The entrance of Michael O'Keefe (101 not out), one of the great batsmen in VTCA history, and the in-form Anthony Cristofaro (43) got the Clubbers right on top, with the pair taking the score to 3-121 before Cristofaro was caught and bowled by Cats leg spinner Fawad Ahmed.
O'Keefe kept plugging away like he has done countless times and he
formed important partnerships with Andrew Cullen (25) and Emmett Bronca (18) to boost the Clubbers' total to 7-251 off 80 overs.
It was not O'Keefe's most tidy innings but it was downright gutsy.
Hoppers Crossing struggled for momentum in their run chase.
Just when it appeared as though the Cats were starting to make inroads, they would lose a wicket.
Three runouts did not help the cause, with the third leaving the Cats in a critical condition on 8-123.
The Cats had one last bid for victory.
The experienced heads of Peter Magafas and Trent Said, recognised batsmen throughout their careers, produced an element of panic in the Clubbers with a 72-run ninth wicket stand to take the score to 9-202.
Magafas went for 55, effectively stranding Said on 37 not out.
Moments later, Cats tailender Nigel Francis was out for a duck and the Clubbers were back to the big dance for the fourth successive summer.
Meanwhile, it was a heartbreaking weekend for Spotswood, stumbling at the finish line in a 17-run loss to Beaumaris at Banksia Reserve. The Woodsmen suffered a dramatic batting collapse late on day two to fall short of their target of 239 and miss out on the chance of turning the senior division grand final into a local derby game.
VTCA SEMI FINALS
Senior division: Yarraville Club 7-251 (MP O'Keefe 101no A Cristofaro 43 A Cullen 25 J Baker 25 F Ahmed 5-95 G McCallum 2-50) d Hoppers Crossing 203 (P Magafas 55
G McCallum 51 TG Said 37no ES Bronca 3-44).
Beaumaris 8-238 (IS Hewett 86 R Hignett 49 G Wood 38no S Hood 38 AJ Butler 3-54 A Dickinson 2-75) d Spotswood 221 (A Sharma 66 A Dickinson 47 G Edhouse 30 M Leddin 25 IS Hewett 3-39 H Chamberlain 3-55 S Mellick 2-43).
Senior seconds: Hoppers Crossing 126 (AT Martin 60 D O'Connell 4-10 A Turner 3-34) d St. Bernards OC 79 (T Waring 5-19 D Carrington 2-15).
Yarraville Club 133 (G Tippett 43 N Burton 34no L Jones 4-24 J Roberts 3-33) lt Bentleigh 3-148 (R Ciccarella 58 A Todd 33).
North division: Keilor 8-207 (K Dixon 54 SA Hussain 42 L Ryan 29 G Lambeth 3-30 D Bulcock 3-61) d Westmeadows 206
(R Capron 64 M Butera 28 G Lambeth 25 R Cook 3-10 D Law 2-39 D Schuppan 2-54).
Doutta Stars 5-323 (A Mato 162no J Duddington 71no J Glenister 37 C Dunlop 2-44 L Kennedy 2-63) d Strathmore 167 (M Reynolds 45 C Wenlock 33 A Gurry 26 C Dunlop 25no B Shafayat 3-35 C Stafford 3-37 B Tankard 2-22 A Mato 2-27).
North seconds: Strathmore 202 (S Houlden 96 N Pantland 37) d Altona North 78 ( Z Carey 5-20 N Pantland 2-8 A Steel 2-19).
Keilor 3-122 (M Woolbridge 48 M Newman 39no) d Sunshine United 117 (K Singh 50no M Rao 4-34).
North A1: Laverton 4-123 (C Swallow 42) d Moonee Valley 95 (S Delaney 3-21 C Swallow 2-16 M O'Brien 2-19).
St Albans 143 (M Montebello 42 S Harman 35 A Arrowsmith 6-51 G Dhar 3-53) lt East Keilor 156 (B Robertson 43 J Bell 27 T Langley-Dunn 7-42 R Nikolic 2-44).
North A2: St Albans 130 (M Murat 36 D Brown 5-17 BA Miles 3-51 A Driver 2-43) lt Laverton 7-269 (A Driver 102no S Williams 84 M Pisani 3-50 D Mackenzie 2-49).
Taylors Lakes 7-176 (R Morgan 49 F Buttigieg 36 M Wilson 28) d Werribee Centrals 173 (L Shanley 3-46 M Wilson 2-21 S Haigh 2-35).
West B1: Altona Roosters 0-85 (D Roach 41no L Lewis 39no) d Barkly Street Uniting 82 (D Williams 33 H Uppal 3-16 C Dine 3-26 L Niemi 2-10).
Kingsville Baptists 101 lt Seddon 136 (G Truter 4-16 G Semerzidis 2-32) and 2-105 (RN Khwaja 2-14).
West B2: Seabrook 94 (J Singh 4-18 M Nolton 2-27 D Clarke 2-27) lt Altona Roosters 9-215 (N Weiman 46 J Sideris 26).
Barkly Street Uniting 90 (S Johnson 25) lt Seddon 139 (S Lucas 5-34 inc hat-trick G Kawar 2-23 S Johnson 2-32).
North C1: Old Essendon Grammarians 5-169 (SF Calthorpe 3-42) d Flemington 166 (G Thompson 58 R DeAlwis 39).
Hoppers Crossing 160 (G Mitchell 49 L Cannan 41 M Wright 32 J Coutts 3-16 M Henry 2-35 L Bassi 2-38 P Isabella 2-41) d Strathmore 113 (B Carey 32 G Mitchell 4-18 B Stuart 3-29 G Haw 2-12).
North C2: Yarraville Club 92 (D Boudrie 28 R Pratt 4-17 J Gibson 3-18) and 1-11 d Doutta Stars 39 (M Spence 5-26 J Gibbs 4-11) and 61 (M Spence 6-42 J Gibbs 3-13).
Altona North 111 (HQ Lai 4-36 S Hynds 3-10 R Bashir 2-55) lt Taylors Lakes 8-128 (L Lau 30).
North C3: St Francis de Sales 7-210 ( Calafiore 48no R Costello 44 W Fawcett 32 G Reed 27 N Fitzpatrick 4-77 S Purdie 2-51) d Glenroy 119 (B Schwarze 41 M Conboy 5-33 D Hynson 2-18).
Yarraville Club 172 (A McGuinness 63 M Paull 26) lt Hoppers Crossing 5-176 (A Gabb 2-57).