Rained robbed them of an outright victory last year but there wasn't another cruel chapter to add to Central Hawke's Bay CC's premier men's twenty20 tournament history book after they profited in sublime spring weather in Hawke's Bay today.
Ruahine Motors CHB etched their names on their own on the Kilbirnie Sports-sponsored tourney honour's board after beating Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall CC by nine runs in the all-Hawke's Bay final at Nelson Park, Napier.
"The weather certainly played its part," said jubilant CHB skipper Dominic Thompson, after they shared the spoils with Onslow CC last year when rain forced the final to be abandoned after seven overs.
Thompson, who pointed out they got rained out half way through a game against Karori CC on Friday, said the weather gods had smiled on the two days that mattered this year.
Ironically the toss went the way of Cornwall skipper Jacob Smith and the early signs vindicated his decision to have the Daniel Drepaul-coached CHB pad up.
CHB were in deep trouble at 55-7 after 11.4 overs before their captain came to the rescue at No 5 with a good measure of astuteness and lusty hitting to see them post a respectable 122-9 in 20 overs.
Thompson scored 79, including three fours and seven sixes, from 59 balls before Rohan Fendall trapped him lbw with the penultimate ball of the innings.
It was a sorry looking scoreboard with every other batsmen contributing to the $2 Shop grocery list but it put into context the six runs No 9 Hugo Schaw scored in occupying the crease for 17 balls.
"Hugo just batted really batted well at the other end to get singles to just rotate the strike so we managed to get a partnership to get to 20 overs," said the 22-year-old who has just returned from playing for Stroud CC in Gloucestershire, England.
Thompson, who helps HB Cricket as a coach, said the total was imperative to offer CHB bowlers a score to defend.
"I tried not to think about what we were playing for but simply played each ball as it came and hoping it would come out of the middle, really."
He said passing the 100 mark instilled CHB's belief because 117 was the highest total their bowlers had conceded over three days.
Cornwall bowler Fendall took 4-22 and Nick Hutton, at first change, took 2-1 from three overs.
In reply, Cornwall could manage only 113-4 in their allotted 20 overs, facing the daunting equation of two sixes from the last two balls to tie the scores.
Opener Bayley Wiggins kept the kettle boiling with an unbeaten 60 from as many balls before Irish international Graeme McCarter contributed a sedate 37 from 39 balls.
Thompson saluted Welsh import Aneurin Norman, who replaces South African import GC Pretorius, for his timely 3-23 as an opening bowler to prevent wicketkeeper Wiggins forming any meaningful partnerships for too long.
"We're really happy with our performance because, last winter, we only had a couple of nets so the guys have come into this pretty fresh," he said.
Cornwall had to toil against Havelock North CC in their semifinal, booking a final berth by 13 runs.
They posted 106-6 in their 20 overs with No 5 Liam Dudding scoring 27 from as many balls after opening batsman Smith created a platform of 24 runs from 29 balls.
The pick of the Havelock North bowlers were medium-quick Henry Bone, with 3-20, and opening seamer Rhythm Sharma sharing the most frugal honours with Central Districts Stags leg spinner Bradley Schmulian 2-15 and 1-15, respectively.
In reply, the villagers started soundly, with openers Schmulian (28 runs, 22 balls) and left-hander James Field (35/41), but the rest of the batsmen failed to turn up at the park with single-digit returns.
Havelock North were skittled for 93, with 11 balls to spare, although both sides had gifted each other six wides.
Cornwall profited from a five-wicket bag (5-16) from McCarter while Nick Hutton took 3-19 and veteran off spinner Jono Hall claimed 2-15, including a maiden, although opener Dudding, who has represented the Stags, was the most frugal (2.25 runs an over) in a wicketless four overs for nine runs, including a maiden.
CHB, who won the toss, skittled North Shore CC in their semifinal for 82 runs and 14 balls remaining for a don't-argue eight-wicket victory.
Only No 6 Mitch Bremner (17 runs) and openers Stephen Baard (16) and James O'Brien (11) got to double figures for the Aucklanders.
Second-change bowler Lance Baker made inroads in the middle order to finish with 3-16, including a maiden.
However, Bay senior rep spinner Angus Schaw was the most frugal with 2-6 (two runs an over) from three overs while Toby Richardson took 2-24 and opener Norman claimed 1-14.
CHB chased down the total with 86-2 in 12.4 overs. Schaw and fellow opener Richardson gave them a cracking start with 19 runs from 10 balls and 28 runs from 18 balls, respectively.
Wicketkeeper Scott Schaw (18) and Norman (20) remained unbeaten to see CHB into the final.
Thompson said it was pleasing that homegrown talent, such as Baker, allrounder Richardson and Angus Schaw, made valuable contributions throughout the tournament.
Stags seamer Blair Ticker didn't play for CHB today because he had jetted off to Christchurch on New Zealand A duties.
"I think there'll be a few celebrations with the team tonight with a couple of beers," said Thompson after CHB won $1000 worth of vouchers from the sponsors.