SOUTH LAUNCESTON is the NTCA Twenty20 champion for season 2013-14, after defeating Mowbray by six wickets in the grand final at Westbury yesterday.
The two finalists had very different paths to the final, with South gaining automatic entry as the higher-ranked team after its semi-final against Launceston had to be abandoned at the NTCA No. 1 Ground, which was too wet for play after a problem with the automatic sprinkler system saw it activated overnight.
Mowbray had to survive a thrilling semi-final contest against Westbury to qualify after both teams played out another T20 tie, the second in as many weeks, with the match result having to be determined by a super over.
Mowbray made 7-79, batting first, with captain John Le Fevre leading the way with a top score of 38 not out, off 46 balls.
The Shamrocks found batting hard going too on a difficult Westbury wicket, being restricted to 8-79 off their 20 overs.
Openers Matthew Battle and Kieran Hume were the best with the bat, Battle top-scoring with 21 and Hume making 17.
Westbury scored 2-10 off its super over and Mowbray managed 1-14, with Clinton Reid saving the day with a couple of big sixes of the final two balls after captain John Le Fevre scored a two, followed by two dot balls and a wicket.
It earnt them a four-run victory and a spot in the decider against South Launceston.
In the T20 grand final, the Eagles were sent in to bat by the Knights and amassed 6-95, with opener Matthew Scolyer making 19 at the top and Jerome Illingworth batting well down the order for 25, and Alex Jordan making 21.
Warwick Johnson was the best of the South bowlers, picking up 2-15 from his four overs of off-spin.
South managed to chase down the Mowbray total for the loss of four wickets, with Chris Hay the mainstay of the innings top-scoring with 42, off 26 balls, with four boundaries and two sixes.
Tom Waller gave good support hitting 15 off 19 balls, the pair putting on a valuable 58-run partnership for the second wicket after they were 1-1, when opener John McCoy was dismissed for a duck.
South finished at 4-98, with four balls to spare.
``From our point of view it was a disappointing way to get into the final, not being able to get a semi-final away,'' South Launceston coach Ben Austen said.
``That was a little bit disappointing but we certainly were keen to perform today, and in the final we've concentrated a fair bit on our bowling and limiting the four balls that we bowl.
``We executed our plans well and denied their batsmen the opportunity to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
`` From our batting perspective Tommy Waller and Chris Hay put on a pretty good partnership in the top order which set our run chase up.''
Austen said Hay batted well, playing each ball on its merits and striking the ball beautifully.
MOWBRAY captain John Le Fevre was disappointed with his side's batting effort in the final.
``We didn't quite make enough runs and got bogged down a bit early on and didn't really recover,'' he said.
``South got away early but we pegged them back really well through the middle overs, but they got them in the last over and it was a pretty good game all up.''
Le Fevre praised the efforts of Scolyer and Illingworth on what he said was a tricky wicket to bat on.
``The slower you bowled, the better I thought,'' he said.
``We had two spinners in Clinton (Reid) and Alan Eadie bowl very well, and they were probably the standouts with the ball.'' STARS OF THE DAY
BEST WITH THE BAT
Chris Hay (South) 42
John Le Fevre (Mowbray) 38no
Jerome Illingworth (Mowbray) 25
BEST WITH THE BALL
Michael Lukic (Westbury) 3-14