VIDEO: IT was a case of third time’s a charm for Strathfieldsaye last night as it won its first Bendigo District Cricket Association Twenty20 title.
Having lost Twenty20 grand finals in 2010 and 2011, the Jets beat Huntly-North Epsom by nine runs in front of a big crowd at the Queen Elizabeth Oval.
The Power bowled well to restrict the Jets to 98, which proved to be enough as Huntly-North Epsom was dismissed for 89 in reply.
The star for the Jets was Andrew Stove, who had a superb all-round game.
Stove made a valuable 15 not out off 15 balls, and shared in what proved to be a match-winning partnership of 19 for the last wicket with No.11 Justin Hargreaves (4).
And his leg-spin bowling later netted 3-16 off four overs, while he also fielded superbly, running out the Power’s Ryan Grundy (4) and Brett Elvey (1).
After winning the toss and batting, the Jets lost wickets constantly throughout their innings and looked in danger of failing to bat out their 20 overs when they fell to 9-79 in the 16th, before the Stove-Hargreaves partnership.
The mainstay of the Jets’ innings was No.3 Cory Devanny, who top-scored with 33 off 33. Devanny hit two fours in his innings, one of which nearly took out umpire Peter Bennett at the bowler’s end.
Aside from Devanny and Stove, the only other Jets’ batsman to make double figures was captain Ben Gunn.
Looming as the main danger to the Power, Gunn was dismissed for 13 off 11 when caught at deep mid-wicket by Billy Evans off Matt Rule (2-18) in the fourth over.
As well as the outfield catch of Gunn, youngster Evans also bowled superbly to take 3-20 off his four overs, with all three of his wickets bowled.
The Power’s run-chase got off to a disastrous start when they crashed to 4-12 in the fourth over, with the wickets of Grundy and Chris Guinane (0) run-outs from Stove and Liam Smith.
However, Josh Collinson and captain Sam Johnston restored momentum in the Power innings with a 44-run partnership.
Johnston batted aggressively from the outset, while Collinson provided strong support as they put the Power back in control.
They took the score to 56 before the introduction of Stove in the 12th over had an immediate impact for the Jets when he trapped Collinson lbw for 18 off 26 with his first ball.
And when Stove struck again two overs later when Johnston (27 off 26) was caught at deep mid-wicket by Tim Wood, the Power were 6-65 and the game was in the balance.
While Johnston’s innings helped the Power back into the game, it came at a cost though as the star all-rounder suffered a hamstring injury.
Johnston’s dismissal left the Power 6-65, which by the start of the last over to be bowled by Ben Devanny had become 8-88.
Needing 11 off the last over to win with Matt Rule and Elvey at the crease, Rule hit the first delivery straight down the ground.
However, attempting a second run, Elvey was run out after a superb throw from Stove.
Two balls later Rule (10) skied a ball and was caught by Liam Smith at mid-wicket as the Jets celebrated their first piece of first XI silverware since winning the 2000-01 premiership.
Meanwhile, Eaglehawk’s Richard Tibbett (126kmh) won the fastest bowler contest, while Bendigo United’s Miggy Podosky took out the 100m sprint as part of the entertainment at the change of innings.