MODERN-DAY powerhouses North Warrnambool Eels and Russells Creek will vie for the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association premiership.
The experienced outfits ousted top-placed Merrivale and surprise packet Wesley Yambuk respectively in Saturday's one-day semi-finals.
The Eels snuck home by one wicket against the Tigers with Nick Robertson scoring the winning run and a Hank Schlaghecke cameo swinging an epic at Jones Oval in their favour.
The Creekers hung by seven runs against the Beavers at Uebergang Oval to keep their dreams of back-to-back flags alive.
Russells Creek co-coach Darren Loft said next weekend's finale would pit two "old foes" against one another.
"Both sides used experience that got us over the line in games today," he said.
"We can say we have grand final experience and they can say they have grand final experience so it's going to be interesting."
North Warrnambool skipper Nick Butters, who made a crucial 62 off 111 balls, said it was a close finish against Merrivale.
"My nerves are shot but I should've never doubted 'Chief' (Schlaghecke)," he said.
"In that last over Hank hit a six which broke their back and we needed two (runs) off two (balls) and he got a one and 'Robbo' got a one.
"With Hank you know what you're going to get and he's probably a guy who could bat a lot further up the order but he's so dependable down the middle to lower order.
"It's not the first time he's won us a game off his own bat, which some people might laugh at it.
"Robbo certainly played his part too and was super."
The Tigers turned the tide in their favour with Josh Stapleton (73 not out) and Luke Pearson (32 not out) helping them to 4-153.
"We knew we had to bat well to get it and we didn't start well - we were 2-8," Butters said.
"In the end, we left a lot up to Hank but he came through with the goods."
Butters said the Eels "carried on a bit when we got the winning runs" but quickly turned their focus to the grand final.
"I reckon for half of our team it will be their first time in a grand final next week, so it's really exciting for them," he said.
"There's a few of us who have been there and done that before but it's nice to bring fresh blood into big games and see where they're at."
Loft said it was nerve-racking watching the Creekers' game unfold.
They batted first, making 7-163 with Rukshan Weerasinghe (43), Blake Evans (19), Jimmy Elford (34 not out) and Josh Campbell (26) all pitching in.
"In a final batting first and making 163, it's like you've made another 20 or 30 runs on top," he said.
"The opposition has the pressure of having to make runs."
The Beavers were all out for 157 after a gallant run chase.
"Wesley started well but consistently lost a few wickets. It ebbed and flowed three or four times," Loft said.
"In the last 10 overs, they needed just over a run a ball and they had wickets in hand but I think there might have been three or four run outs in our innings.
"It was through good pressure from our bowling and fielding - to have four run outs in an innings is pretty good going."
Loft said the change to one-day cricket for the 2021-22 season due to COVID-19 concerns meant Creek faced a stern test.
"I don't think it's any secret that we back ourselves as a better two-day side," he said.
"But we have changed the way we structure it a little bit - Josh Campbell has come in this year and he hits the ball pretty hard, Jimmy Elford has been in good form this year and hits the ball pretty hard and our top order are getting us off to better starts than they have in the past."
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