Only three weeks ago, Tooma were holding their breath and hoping for a Batlow loss to secure their place in the Tumbarumba and District Cricket Association (TDCA) finals.
Luck was with Tooma that day, who scraped in as the fourth and final team after the regular season had come to a close – Batlow finishing last and missing out altogether.
Fast-forward three weeks and that same side will be playing in the TDCA grand final when taking on heavyweights and Minor Premiers, All Stars at Rosewood on Saturday.
It has been an interesting road to the decider for Tooma, who belted the Falcons by 124 runs in their elimination final, before a tense one-wicket victory over Rosewood in the preliminary final on Saturday.
One player who led by example on Saturday was Mathew McCallum, who scored 60, and he admitted there were some very nervy moments before Tooma sealed the surprise victory.
“We only just won. We bowled them out for 130 and we chased down to win with nine wickets down,” McCallum said.
“There were some very nervous moments. When I got out, we still needed 30 runs to win and we lost two quick wickets and it was very tense.”
Matt Cooper and Daniel Bates dug in for the win in the end, with the pair scoring 13 and eight not out respectively, as they guided their side to the unlikeliest of victories.
“That was very pleasing to see the lower order bat well, and it was the same the week before, it was a team effort,” McCallum said.
“We know what we need to do to win and we know that If we have to bat to number 11, we can.”
As Tooma prepare for the All Stars, the underdogs will bank on their in-form bowling attack.
“Our bowing has been pretty good the last two weeks and Brendon McCallum has taken 7/37 in those two games,” McCallum said.
As far as getting the win, McCallum said the vital wicket of Matthew Byatt would be key.
“We need to try and get Matthew Byatt out early. I don’t know how to do it but we need to,” McCallum said.
“We are 100% of the belief that if we can get Matty early, the rest of them could fall pretty cheaply.”
McCallum said Byatt had no weaknesses in his game, and they would be relying on him making a mistake.
“He is a very all-round complete player and you just need to hope he will make a mistake somewhere,” McCallum said.
“We have to be tight in the field, bowl tight lines and take the chances when they come.”
Tooma would hope to bat first on Saturday, with their in-form top order capable of putting on a big score if given the chance.
“Our top five or six need to score runs. They are batting well and we need to consolidate and get two good partnerships. Our number three and four are both good bats and we are capable of putting on a big score,” McCallum said.
While Tooma enter the match as underdogs, after winning only one game this season before scrapping into finals and surprising Falcons and Rosewood, McCallum believed his side needed to be respected.
“It’s very pleasing for this group to be playing in the grand final, but to be honest, we knew we had the team to be there,” McCallum said.
“We haven’t had a full side all year and we knew if we had a full side, we would win, and now we have that team.”
Grand final action will hit off in Rosewood at 1pm.