Oamaru and Valley secured their places in tonight’s Dick Hunt Twenty20 final after claiming two wins each last weekend.
With the first two rounds of the pre-Christmas competition washed out, a catch-up game was played on Friday night as well as the regular Saturday afternoon clashes, ahead of tonight’s final.
At King George Park on Friday night, Valley restricted Union to 79 runs, and chased down the total in just over 10 overs.
And at the Whitestone Contracting Centennial outer oval, Albion’s slightly underpar 104 was not enough to prevent Oamaru chasing down the total with two and a-half overs to spare.
In a thriller in Glenavy, the host’s total of 161 was overhauled by the Union Warriors in the final over.
On Saturday, teams batting first were all victorious.
Oamaru’s 164 was too much for Union, which scored 127, to chase down.
Albion set a mammoth total of 206 as Jonty Naylor smashed 121 off 63 balls, and the Union Warriors were all out for 70.
Valley piled on 177 runs against the Glenavy Rangers, who managed 161. At 102 for two after 11 overs, the Rangers would have fancied their chances, but Valley’s young bowling attack managed to take wickets and get the result.
DICK HUNT MEMORIAL TROPHY FINAL
Oamaru is the defending champion, but Valley won the three previous Twenty20 competitions.
The game is being played tonight at Whitestone Contracting Stadium oval, starting at 6pm.
There is nothing like making a final to get players out of the woodwork.
While Valley struggled for numbers at the start of the season, being selected for the team now was a competition in itself, captain Lachie Kingan said.
‘‘Playing cricket week in and week out probably helped a lot,’’ Kingan said.
‘‘In years gone by with Valley we have sometimes struggled to get a core group of guys.
‘‘That’s been quite good to get that and get some good practices in.’’
The team has a strong bowling attack, he said.
Ben Mavor and Taine Stirling are looking sharp, while Cameron Grubb will be wanting to back up his Hawke Cup heroics.
Oamaru recovered from a slow start in the Dick Hunt competition to win both games last weekend and secure a spot in the final.
The strength of the side was in its depth, captain Robbie Breen said.
‘‘As far as winning games, we’ve had different people stand up at different times, which has been pleasing,’’ he said.
Oamaru’s dangermen — Stephan Grobler, Nick Johnston and David Percival — had all come into form at the right time.
As well as the Borton Cup regulars, Oamaru picked up some handy additions from St Kevin’s College during the school holidays.
‘‘We’ve got a really well balanced bowling attack, especially with those young fellahs,’’ Breen said.
‘‘Jacob Fowler has proved he is as good as anyone going around. Anthony Docherty has some raw talent and Isaac Clunie can hit the ball as far as anyone in the competition.’’