City United and Kurri Weston will meet in the Maitland first grade cricket grand final after contrasting paths through the weekend's semi-finals.
A captain's knock of 67 by City skipper Matt Trappel delivered his side a hard-fought and thrilling four-wicket win against Northern Suburbs at Lorn Park.
However, at Robins Oval only eight overs were possible before the game between Kurri Weston and Thornton was abandoned and the Warriors advanced to their second grand final as a merged entity as the higher place team.
It was sad end to a terrific season by Thornton who had been the most consistent team across the year, but were denied the chance to further their push for a grand final spot by two successive weekends of rain.
Last week Thornton's run chase against City was cut short by rain in the final regular round game of the season and the semi-final was abandoned because playing conditions were deemed dangerous with Warriors bowler Isaac Barry repeatedly slipping on his bowling approach.
The umpires in consultation with the two captains decided to abandon the game saying the playing conditions were too dangerous.
"I think everyone feels for Thornton in this situation, but the umpires had no choice but to abandon the game as the run-ups were dangerous," Kurri Weston skipper Josh Tuckwell said.
"We were not prepared to risk the safety of one of the best young bowlers in the Hunter."
At Lorn Park every dot ball and run drew applause from rival fans in the tense last hour of play as City United narrowed the gap chasing North's total of 159.
Norths skipper Mike Wilson top scored with 56 and Lincoln Mills made 34, but four quick wickets at the end for just seven runs proved costly.
The Trappel brothers delivered together with Josh scoring 51 before bowled by Rex Greaves and Matt falling on 67 bowled by Jordan Callinan with City needing just four runs for victory.
"That was an incredible game, full credit to both teams, what a great game to be involved in," an elated Trappel said after the match.
Michael Heinrich who was not out on 14 thrust his arm into the air in jubilation as he and Nick Bower (not out 3) crossed for the winning runs.
Do you know you can subscribe to get full access to all Maitland Mercury stories? Subscribing supports us in our local news coverage. To subscribe, click here.