The first two teams through to the Statewide Twenty20 competition have been decided following St Aidan’s victory over Wellington in the SCA decider on Tuesday night.
The two clubs have proved the dominant short form teams from its Association in recent years — St Aidan’s is the only club from outside the three major state leagues to win the statewide trophy in 2010-11, while Wellington fell just short of replicating the feat when it lost the final to Riverside in 2015-16.
A match winning knock from Saints skipper Glendon Bentley (52) was the backbone of the Saints’ 137, which was short of expectations after the side flew out of the blocks to be sitting 1-91 in the ninth over.
However when Bentley’s 67-run stand for the second wicket with Gavin Quirk (25) ended when he was bowled by Shane Piuselli, it triggered a stunning collapse of 8-24.
Off spinner Aidan Grace was the destroyer, capturing 5-11 from his four overs — including two maidens — to put the Warriors in the box seat, only for former Clarence first grade run machine Ben Harris to add some invaluable runs at the end before being last man out for 32.
Having fought back with the ball, Wellington would have fancied itself to pick off the seven runs an over required for victory but the chase started in horrendous fashion when gun recruit Nathan Webb was caught at short third man for six, star batsman Wayne Quarrell was run out without scoring and then Grace was brilliantly caught first ball by Tom Robinson diving forward at mid-wicket to see the side slump to 3-18 in the fifth over.
Any chance the Warriors had of recovering went out the window in the 12th over when Adrian Smith took three wickets in five balls, including the big scalp of Nathan Muir (28).
Some late hitting from Piuselli (43 not out) proved too little too late, with Wellington falling 18 runs short of its target at 9-120.
The HCCA final is scheduled for November 18 while the Statewide T20 competition, featuring clubs from every association in Tasmania, will commence in January.
Courtesy of The Mercury