By TONY WHITE
IT ranks as the classic sporting contest youth versus experience.
But lurking overhead, a third 'player' threatens to 'rain' in the season finale.
This weekend's Bananacost Community Credit Union Premier League cricket grand final between Westlawn Grafton Hotel and South Services at Ellem Oval, a repeat of last year's encounter, is under siege by mother nature.
All players are looking to the heavens, not for some form of divine inspiration, but rather, checking ominous skies.
To a man both teams are fired up and ready to do battle. Fortunately the pitch was rolled and covered before Thursday's night's deluge, but a sodden pitch and surrounds remain possible if the weather continues.
"The weather's certainly a worry," South captain Brett Woods admitted. "We're all hoping it clears and we can play."
The second and third grade grand finals will also be decided this weekend South take on Westlawn in second grade at McKittrick Park and East Royal Tavern tackle Coutts Crossing in third grade at Rushforth Park No.2 ground.
For South stalwarts, CRCA dedicated president Bruce Baxter and secretary Bill Wynn, the second grade grand final represents their swan song to active grade cricket.
No-one wants the premiers decided through a washout.
The rules governing rain delays and no play are worth noting, however.
Baxter said if the start on Saturday is delayed or deferred during the day due to rain, then the umpires would recalculate the number of overs required down from the scheduled 100.
If play was washed out completely on the first day the match would then become a 50-overs a side game on Sunday or further reduced if play cannot start on time at 12.30pm.
If both sides don't complete an innings the match is drawn and the respective premiers would be determined on the winner of the major semi-finals, not the minor premiers.