THERE'S something poetic about a sporting club creating a parallel to a previous campaign.
As the results and scenarios begin to line up you can't help but wonder if fate is playing its hand in what's unfolding.
Bathurst Panthers will hope that's the case because they are currently playing out a season with remarkable similarity to the one from 12 years ago.
In 2007 the Panthers Group 10 premier league side were looking to become the first back-to-back winners of the trophy since Orange CYMS in 1987 and 88.
They succeeded, crushing the Lithgow Workies 24-4 on the back of a punishing first half of play at Carrington Park.
Panthers' premiership in 2006 - a win away to Workies - helped the club put three previous grand final defeats behind them.
However, their title the following season came with a greater weight of expectation, especially with a home crowd cheering them on.
Panthers' wait for the next title ended in 2018 when they brought down Cowra Magpies at Sid Kallas Oval.
As the Panthers prepare to face the Mudgee Dragons at Carrington Park in this Sunday's decider they will hope it's a case of history repeating - an away grand final win followed up by one at home.
The premier league men will receive plenty of support since they have their under 18s and first division squads also in action this Sunday.
Panthers president Dennis Comerford spoke with the Western Advocate in the lead up to a long awaited day of grand final action in Bathurst.
Panthers put themselves into the grand final by stamping their authority on the major semi-final, winning 36-16 over minor premiers Orange Hawks.
It's been another superb team performance week in and week out from the Panthers men this season and Comerford said player-coach Doug Hewitt deserves plenty of the wraps for such a result.
"Doug getting coach of the year was well deserved when you look at what he's done in that job. We threw him in the deep end and he took them through to a grand final last year," he said.
"He's also club coach so to get all three men's teams into grand finals two years in a row and win the club championship two years in a row is amazing. He's done an excellent job."
Trying to nail down a team's success to even just a handful of factors can often be a difficult thing to do.
For Comerford though there's one element about the premier league squad which stands above all else: Familiarity with one another.
"it's difficult to win one grand final, let alone going back-to-back. Doing that would be fantastic and I'm confident we've got the players to do it," he said.
"These guys have the opportunity to do the exact same thing Dave Elvy did in 2006 and 2007. The thing that stands out is that the majority of guys in this team are our kids who have come through our system.
"You've got Doug who went to Panthers, Jack Siejka who went to Roosters and Blake Seager who went to Raiders. They've gone their different direction but come back together again as a team, so to do what they've done feels very special."
RESERVES ON THE CHARGE
The parallels to that great day on 2007 don't end with premier league.
Panthers first division were also in action on that day.
This year's team are aiming to repeat their success from that day where the Aaron Bateup-led side brought down rivals St Pat's 18-16.
This time it's an undefeated Workies side who lie in wait.
Panthers knocked over defending champions St Pat's to reach the grand final but the men in black go into their next contest as huge underdogs.
Reserve grade were the missing piece in what would have been a Panthers title treble last year.
"Reserve grade have had to do it the hard way. They're copying what first grade did last year - finishing the competition in fourth and playing do-or-die games all the way through finals," Comerford said.
"They got one back on St Pat's after going down last year but they're really going to be up against it when they play Workies.
"There's the old saying that the longer you go winning the closer you are to losing so we'll see what happens on Sunday."
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Darrin Fardell came on board to lead the team in 2019 and the change in coaching did nothing to change their exceptional reserve grade finals record.
This year might not have had the polish of their 2015 and 2017 minor premiership seasons but, more importantly than anything, the team are peaking at the right time.
"Darrin mentioned, after he'd been coaching in Portland, that this was like being handed the keys to a Ferrari," Comerford said.
"There's been ups and downs, which there always is, so he's ecstatic to be in the grand final.
"He works with a lot of the blokes involved with Workies so he would really love to get one up on those blokes."
JUNIORS EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS
Panthers have the chance to go back-to-back not just in premier league but also under 18s.
Expectations weren't high on the Panthers in their bid for another title but they've stood tall all year under the guidance of John Fearnley.
"Our under 18s at the start of the year weren't expected to win many games but they ended up being the first team into the grand final," Comerford said.
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"For a lot of these kids there's quite a lot of them who haven't played finals football before, let alone a grand final.
"They now know that they can do it. They beat the minor premiers to get in."
Panthers will look to send several of their under 18s out on a high note as they leave the age group.
Among them is the likes of Mackenzie Atkins and Brad Fearnley, both who have linked up with the Penrith Panthers next season.
"Those kids have been playing under 18s then backing up for first grade," Comerford said.
"Brad's been coming off the bench and Mackenzie's been playing full games in both grades. They have the chance to win two grand finals in one day."