Invercargill-Old Boys look to go back-to-back in Southland senior one-day club cricket competition
Invercargill-Old Boys have had a taste of winning and now they are eager for more.
The Queens Park-based club broke a drought last year winning Southland's senior club cricket one-day title for the first time in what is understood to be close to 20 years.
The bulk of the team have returned for another shot this year, and with some handy additions as well, they are well-placed to go back-to-back.
Invercargill-Old Boys and Appleby will meet in the 2016/17 decider at Queens Park on Saturday.
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The two teams have squared off on three occasions throughout the one-day competition this season with Invercargill-Old Boys winning all three games.
Invercargill-Old Boys captain Jamie May said on the back of last season's title and the success to date this season the keen to maintain that winning way.
"The winning feeling was good and the fact we've been able to draft a few new guys into the squad this year with the likes of Alex [Tait], Sam Nicholson, and it is Liam [McWilliam's] second year, it is pleasing for the club's future," May said.
"It's been a good season but ultimately it is defined by one game at the end of the season. Our goal was to win the tournament again like we did last year, so obviously Saturday's match is crucial to the success or failure."
May felt Appleby would provide a tricky assignment.
"We got a good look at them a couple of weeks ago when we beat them in the major semifinal and they are a very good team. They can get the job done on the day so we are very cautious."
While Invercargill-Old Boys are favoured to go back to back, in their way is an Appleby team who are searching for the club's first one-day title since 2002.
Appleby captain Jamie Clark acknowledges Invercargill-Old Boys has a strong team but felt they were a real shot at getting their hands on the silverware on Saturday.
"It's fair to say we will go in as underdogs, especially during the season they had the wood on us.
"But I think we've improved a lot, especially over the last couple of weeks, last week we learned a lot. We've built a bit more experience..."
"We've got a few players who have been injured but will be fit for Saturday so that will make a big difference. We are very confident," Clark said.
Clark is one of the few players who were part of the last Appleby team which won the title in 2002 and remain in the team now. He said a victory 15 years later would mean a lot.
"It would be huge.  was my first year [at Appleby] and that was many moons ago.
"The boys are fizzing for it. We talked about it at the start of the season that we really want to make that final.
"It is a big honour to make the final, there are other teams that have got quality players in there so you've got to play really well to make it there. It does mean a lot to the club."
At a glance
What: Senior one-day club cricket final
Who: Invercargill-Old Boys v Appleby
Where: Queens Park, Invercargill
2016/17 Head to head
Round 3: Invercargill-Old Boys won by 96 runs
Round 7: Invercargill-Old Boys won by six wickets
Major Semifinal: Invercargill-Old Boys won by five wickets