By TANIA PHILLIPS
CRICKETERS all over the Gold Coast, Tweed and Logan are hoping to write their names in the grand-final history books this weekend - if the weather doesn't rain on their parade.
Palm Beach-Currumbin hopes to become the first club to win back-to-back titles in its Gabba Sports Cup first grade grand final against Surfers Paradise at Kerrydale, Robina.
PBC survived a nailbiting semi-final against Tweed champions Cudgen last week and now faces Surfers Paradise for the trophy.
Meanwhile, on the Tweed, Murwillumbah third-grade captain Jeff Singh would be happy just to break a grand-final duck after 23 years.
Murwillumbah is one of two sides hoping to stop South Tweed Colts from running away with all the Tweed's lower-grade titles.
Murwillumbah takes on minor premiers South Tweed Colts at Ron Wilkinson No.1, South Tweed, while Pottsville plays Colts in the 4B development grade at Potts-ville Oval, and Colts No.1 and No.3 face off for the 4A title at Ron Wilkinson No.2. Palm Beach captain Jason Lavender said the club had named an unchanged line-up to take on the highly confident Surfers Paradise in the two-day game.
"We are looking good," Lavender said. "Jason Simmons had a niggling strain but he should be fine. We had a good training session on Thursday and the whole team is looking forward to a good challenge.
"Surfers are really talking it up. But we are just quietly going about our business and trying not to get caught up in it."
Lavender said his side was expecting a tough game, but Palm Beach had played well all year and had survived the tough games.
Both sides finished as minor premiers, Palm Beach in the south and Surfers the northern division winners. With both as minor premiers a wash-out would see the Gabba Sports Cup awarded jointly to the two sides.
However, rain could be Murwillumbah's enemy in third grade, with Colts having finished higher on the ladder.
Captain Singh, who has played for Brothers, Tyalgum and now Murwillumbah, has made four grand finals over 23 years but has yet to get his hands on a premiership.
"I am self-taught, I just started playing with a tennis ball when I was in Year 11," he said.
"I have come up through the grades and hopefully hit my straps in the past six to seven years."
His side, which features predominantly Indian players, faces a tough challenge against minor premiers Colts - the two sides have met twice and have won one a piece.
South Tweed Colts president Luke Edmunds said his club, which missed out on the Tweed Club championship by just a few points, was guaranteed of at least one title - fourth grade - but was hoping to add more.
"The third grade will be a hard game against the Indians," he said.
"But we have been a competitive side for the past three or four years. Last year we were toppled by Cudgen. We were probably too cocky, but we are not taking them lightly this time."
He said the 4A grand final between Colts No.1 and Colts No.3 would be hotly contested, with both teams eager to win the title, the unofficial club crown and of course, the bragging rights.
The 4B clash would see Colts stalwart Ray 'Butch' McDonald and his young charges take on former Pottsville A grade captain Shane Robinson and his young team at Pottsville Oval.