With 279 sides entered across all 16 Zones, Grade 7 has the largest amount of entries and therefore, statistically, the hardest to win.
The Grade 7 Finals will be played at the beautiful Nelson Bay Bowling Club and for one weekend, the picturesque surrounds will play second fiddle to the battle on the greens for State Grade 7 supremacy.
This grade regularly provides a mixture of inexperience with wily players who have been plying their craft for many decades to create an atmosphere no other sport can replicate at finals time.
These combinations can spring some stunning results and 2019 looks like it will be no different as there are many clubs appearing in the finals for the first time or are back in the finals action after a long absence.
One such club that has been progressing well over the last few seasons and have finally made it to the summit of state finals is Kiama, who have 99-year-old stalwart Norm Rowland skipping a rink.
Norm who still plays twice a week is wanting to help it make it a special centenary anniversary for the Kookaburras and a unique achievement as he closes in on an extraordinary 100 years.
A win to Kiama would also make it back to back Grade 7 wins for Zone 16 clubs, who are the most successful zone in this grade in recent times.
Country Clubs have dominated this grade, with 17 of the last 20 winners, however there are some strong Metropolitan clubs represented this year, who are determined to get one up on their country colleagues.
Section 1 is comprised of all country clubs and will see Penrith (Zone 5) take on Port City (Zone 14), Merimbula (Zone 7) & Clarence Town (Zone 6).
Section 2 sees Merrylands (Zone 10) tackle Kiama (Zone 16), Caragabal (Zone 4) and Engadine (Zone 13).
In Section 3, Colleambally (Zone 8) plays off against Guyra (Zone 3), Mingara (Zone 15) and St Johns Park (Zone 12).
Whilst in Section 4, Ballina (Zone 1) will trek down the coast to play against Harbord (Zone 9), Nelson Bay (Zone 2), who play on their home greens and will be expecting a parochial crowd to help ride them to victory and Sporties Tuncurry (Zone 11).
With the advent of quarter finals for the 1st time, more clubs have the chance to reach the post sectional stages, which also means that every sectional match will be vital as sides jockey for position.
In what is always a tough grade to forecast, Head of Sport & Operations David Ellis, prediction is “I think it will be Country to the fore in this grade and it would be an unbelievable achievement to see a club win on its home soil for the first time in any grade since 2012”.