South Coast under 13s coach Ty Barton is preparing his side for a stern test after Sunday's three-wicket win over Highlands.
The weekend marked the first junior representative inter-zone play of the summer, last week's opening round washed out.
Josh Peters and Kasey Barton laid the platform for the South Coast under 13s, while Noah Fien and Prashane Fernando played a key role in Illawarra's 10-wicket victory over Shoalhaven.
The two sides will face off next week in a match that will likely decide the victor of the round-robin Greater Illawarra competition.
"It was a really good win," Ty Barton said. "They bowled really well and fielded well to keep them to a good total. Kasey was the standout with the bat and Noah Williams was very patient as well.
"This weekend is a tough one, taking on Illawarra. They're the Goliath of our zone. They have a strong side so will be tough to beat but we'll do our best and the boys will have a crack."
While Barton is eager for his team to finish on top, he recognises the result is of less importance than the experience the youngsters will gain by taking to the field.
"After all the rain, the kids were just buzzing. They just want to play cricket. This is also the first time on turf for 90% of these boys, it's a big opportunity to learn."
The under 14 and under 16 competitions also commenced on Sunday, South Coast defeating Highlands while Illawarra fell to Shoalhaven in the under 14s.
The Illawarra under 16s cruised past Shoalhaven, with Highlands impressive in a win over South Coast.