Central find themselves on the brink of history - again.
For the second time in the space of three seasons the Butcher Boys are one win away from a Newcastle Rugby League decider.
No other club, since the competition kicked off in 1910, has waited longer between grand final appearances or premiership drinks.
It has been 56 years since Central last made a top-two showdown in 1963. It has been another 14 years, seven decades in total, since their seventh and final major title in 1949.
"It has been a long time," Butcher Boys captain Ethan Cook told the Newcastle Herald ahead of Sunday's preliminary final against Cessnock at St John Oval.
"We're really proud of what we've been able to do this year considering the roster changes, losing a lot of experienced players and blooding plenty of young guys.
"But in saying that, we've got an opportunity now and we want to make the most of it because we know they don't come around very often."
Compared to 2017, when in the same position and falling to eventual premiers Macquarie, this time around a new-look Central have defied all expectations and catapulted from last to third on the competition ladder over the last two months of the campaign.
"It was obviously disappointing on the weekend, but we didn't do a great deal wrong and they [Wests] are a really good side," Cook said.
"We spoke about it in the sheds afterwards and just have to let it go. We've trained really well this week, have one more session in the morning [Saturday] and it's all about these next 80 minutes."
Cook, who plays in the halves alongside Brad Murray, said he was confident Ethan Campbell would fill the void left by injured second-rower Mitch Williams (ribs).
"It's a shame for Mitch and he's one of our more senior blokes, but it's another chance for another new player to step up," the skipper said.
"Ethan does everything 100 miles an hour and goes hard so I'm confident he'll get the job done."
Luke Harragon (knee) remains in doubt for the Butcher Boys and will undergo a fitness test on game eve.
Central haven't lost to Cessnock in 2019, blowing an 18-point lead in a 30-all draw on July 21 and defeating the Goannas 28-16 at home in round four.
"That's all well and good [results this year], but it counts for nothing this weekend," Cook said.
"They have a few guys who have the ability to create something from nothing so we have to shut them down and make sure we stay in the grind all game."
Meanwhile, in the lower grades Kurri's Justin Peterkin (opens) will miss Sunday's preliminary final against Maitland at Charlestown having entered an early guilty plea this week and receiving a one-match suspension from Newcastle RL officials for a low-grade headbutt.