UPPER Ferntree Gully and Johnson Park will battle it out for the first Norm Reeves Shield in FTGDCA grand final at Kings Park this Saturday and Sunday.
The Kings (third) and the Sharks (fourth) won their respective semi-finals on Sunday, beating the higher-placed Eildon Park and reigning premiers Upwey-Tecoma respectively.
The Sharks are chasing their second premiership in the top grade having saluted three years ago, while the Kings are going for their sixth title, last winning in 1999.
Upper Ferntree Gully made 205 in its game against Eildon Park with Kings skipper Adam Slack leading from the front with 50 and perennial performer Jay Colee scoring 42.
The Panthers shared the wickets around with Nathan Hicks, Mick Sinclair and Steve Pimm each bagging three.
Day two saw the old-school Upper Gully put the brakes on the Panthers who fell 14 runs short of the target. Jay Colee (3-45) and Marc Hardy (3-38) showed that age shall not weary them and it was a spectacular catch to Colee that turned the game.
The Sharks set Upwey a target of 211 with the Sharks well contained by the Tigers with Upwey snaring 8-90 after a very good start by Bryn Gaunt (80).
Sam Waters took his season tally to 35 wickets returning the best bowling figures.
Day two saw the Tigers lose crucial wickets just before tea as Steven Devenish turned the game on its ear. Adam Dobb (4-77) came to the party, while Chris Jewel (49), Mick Hewitt (40) and Leigh Bianchi (33) all got starts for the Tigers who were bowled out for 187.
Kings president Tony Cross said his side had come together after Christmas and gained the confidence needed to win matches.
"Everyone was quite relieved to get there," he said. "It was a little bit touch and go before Christmas but they came good at the right end of the season after a few stern words from the coach and dose of self belief.
"The boys were not playing up to their potential but were still in it and once everyone knuckled down and got a few wins under their belt they were fine."
He said the club was pleased to get the opportunity play for the premiership after a couple of disappointing seasons. "We have almost made it a few times and the last time we were in a grand final we lost to Belgrave by five runs, when you lose like that it rips the heart out so the boys were quite elated to beat Eildon Park at Eildon Park and get there."
The Kings women's team, which plays in the Victorian Women's Cricket League, has also made the grand final and will play on Kings Park No. 2 at the same time as the FTGDCA grand final.
Cross said he was expecting the Norm Reeves Shield final to go down to the wire.
"It's third versus fourth so there is clearly not much in between the two sides. We did have a one-day win over them in the last game of the season so hopefully we can continue this good form."
The FTGDCA has reserved March 23 and 24 as reserve days for the grand final in the unlikely event poor weather affects play this weekend.
In Decoite Shield, Monbulk will be hosting Mountain Gate in the grand final.
NORM REEVES SHIELD SEMI-FINALS
Johnson Park 210 (B Gaunt 80, S Devenish 35; S. Waters 4-57) def Upwey (C Jewell 49no, Mick Hewitt 40, L. Bianchi 33; A Dobb 4-77).
Upper Ferntree Gully 205 (Slack 50 Collie 42; J Hicks 3-16 Sinclair 3-36 Pimm 3-61) def Eildon Park 191 (C Morris 84; Colee 3-45, Hardy 3-38).