It was a triumph five years in the making, but it only took the Oamaru club 65 overs to get its hands back on the Borton Cup.

Oamaru is the champion of North Otago club cricket for a record-extending 35th time following its dominant sevenwicket win over Cinderella team St Kevin’s College on Saturday.

The schoolboys were rolled for just 86, and Oamaru chased the target down in the 28th over for the loss of three wickets.

It was Oamaru’s first Borton Cup win as astandalone club since the summer of 2007-08 — it won two as a combined team with its opponent at the weekend.

Oamaru captain Robbie Breen generally has a smile on his face but the beam was extra wide as he reflected on a golden season, and the progress the club has made over the past half a decade.

‘‘It’s huge for us,’’ Breen said.

‘‘It’s been a massive five years, and the story has been well told that St Kevin’s and Oamaru combined for a while and won a couple of times, which was really nice.

‘‘For our club to get to this year, with two senior teams in the holiday comp, a junior club, a second XI going well, and to cap it off with the Borton Cup, was absolutely magic.

‘‘We’re stoked. Really rapt.’’

Breen, who is standing down as captain, said there was no magic formula to getting the Oamaru club back to the top in just its third season back as a standalone club.

‘‘It’s been about commitment and sharing the load — everyone doing their jobs, stepping up, just doing their part at different stages.

‘‘That’s just meant the effort was sustainable, and we’ve been able to progress over the past five years.’’

Nick Johnston, a survivor from the last Oamaru team to win the cup in 2008, had a solid all-round summer with 261 runs at 29 and 20 wickets at 11.1.

Sabareesh Ramesh (212 runs), Lakshay Ray Siwach (17 wickets) and Harvinder Sandhu
(15) also prospered, but Oamaru’s player of the season is an easy choice.

Veteran all-rounder Stephan Grobler smashed 403 runs at 44.78, and added 25 wickets at 11.6.

‘‘Stephan is just a monster of a cricketer,’’ Breen said.

‘‘He has so much personal success but he’s just so teamfocused. He scores runs and takes wickets because the team needs him to.

‘‘He really pushes for young guys to get a good crack and he looks after his team-mates.’’

There was no shame in defeat for St Kevin’s.

Like Oamaru, the school team has staged a remarkable turnaround, and was appearing in its second straight final.

St Kevin’s had the potential ace in the pack in the shape of former Otago Volts all-rounder Craig Smith, but he fell for just 2 after the schoolboys won the toss and batted.

‘‘He’s just scored runs for fun, so it was a major moment when we got him out,’’ Breen said.

‘‘But we still had to bowl incredibly well. That was easily our best bowling performance in five years, I reckon.’’

Jesse Valpy top-scored with 25 off 59 balls but next best was extras (16) as St Kevin’s struggled in the face of tight bowling from Sandhu (four for 17 off 8.1 overs) and Grobler (three for 18 off 10).

A target of 87 was never going to be too difficult for Oamaru, and once Lachlan Brookes (25) and Quinn Wardle (21) had nudged a few, Johnston scored 23 and had the honour of hitting the winning run.

Ben Kay took two wickets for St Kevin’s.
Valley won the Club30 final by five wickets, chasing down the Waitaki Boys’ Second XI total of 120 thanks to Neil Gilbert (45) and Hamish Loe (33).

The North Otago SIPST team won the YouthBlast final, beating Waitaki Don House by seven wickets. Hamish Fowler (43) and Tai Mclean (four for 21) made key contributions.