Back-to-back national premier men's club champions, Napier Technical Old Boys, have again claimed bragging rights in the provincial Twenty20 format.
The Innovate Electrical-sponsored Texans beat You Travel Taradale by two wickets, with three balls to spare, to lift the Murray McKearney Memorial Cup in the final at Nelson, Park, Napier, on Sunday.
"We've probably fielded and bowled the best we have all season so to be pressed by Taradale so much was a testament to their side and that was great because we don't get pushed into too many tight games," said veteran Bronson Meehan who was unbeaten on 35 in their run chase and had hit the winning boundary to eclipse the target with 8-118.
• Live cricket updates: Black Caps v India, first test, day three at Basin Reserve, Wellington
• Live cricket updates: Black Caps v India, first test, day two
• Live cricket updates: Black Caps v India, first ODI at Seddon Park
• Cricket: Black Caps complete superb ODI series sweep of India
Having won the toss, Taradale skipper Luke Kenworthy had elected to bat as they were skittled for 117 runs from their allotted 20 overs on a day devoid of the usual late-20C to early 30C temperatures as players slipped on hoodies to field.
"When you play cricket that's what you sort of thrive on from really tight games so when you help pull a team through it tends to be sweeter," said Meehan who also took 4-17 from his off-spin deliveries with teenage seamer Liam McCarthy chiming in with 3-25 as a second-change bowler.
"We're pretty stoked actually," he said.
NTOB were the top qualifiers but only a superior run rate had given them the top rung as they shared four wins from five outings with Taradale.
The Maroons had comfortably beaten Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall CC by six wickets in the preliminary final earlier in the day.
The Maraekakaho School teacher said Taradale had a penchant for T20s and tended to fight to the bitter end. If anything, the match was a good preparation for NTOB who are in search of a treble at the club nationals, which has mutated from a 50-over tourney into a T20 in Auckland, albeit in April.
"When you're playing in the same format and going to a major tournament it's always beneficial," said the bloke who was pivotal in the club nationals last year for the three-time champions.
Meehan also pointed out NTOB had crushed The Station Napier Old Boys' Marist by 289 runs in round eight of the MJF Shrimpton Memorial 50-over competition match the day before at the same venue.
Central Districts Stag Christian Leopard scored a gob-smacking 265 runs, including 19 boundaries and 20 sixes, as an opener in facing 125 balls.
Meehan, who at first drop had scored 143 runs — from 137 balls including 16 fours and three sixes — suspected the 509/4 innings might be a world record.
However, in the T20 final Taradale batsman Callum Hewetson scored 55 runs from 38 deliveries with No 4 Josh Jones adding 31.
For NTOB, veteran bowler Liam Rukuwai, returning from retirement, helped Meehan tick over the runs with 36 runs from one fewer ball.
Wright, Stan Mair and Hewetson had claimed two wickets each for Taradale.
Meehan felt it was a pitch that had favoured bowlers from both sides who had kept batsmen honest.
"Both teams turning up would have wanted to bat," he said, adding even when a side hurts in losing a nail-biting encounter it was still satisfying although the Texans were relieved to be on the right side of the ledger.
"I've been around for a long time and I certainly felt my bloody heart going out there today but I enjoyed it as much as it was stressful and getting anxious out there but that's what we play for."
While the total looked anaemic, Meehan said they hadn't underestimated Taradale who had a tendency to toil rather than roll over, as some opponents did when facing NTOB.
Having won the toss in the preliminary final, Cornwall padded up to post a total of 7-123 from their allotted 20 overs.
Opening batsman Bayley Wiggins, buzzing from the excitement of a Central Districts Stags stint, scored 35 runs from 23 deliveries, including two boundaries and three sixes, before No 4 Cameron Harding arrived at the party with 51 runs from 44 balls, including five fours and a six.
Off spinner Harry Cooper, at second change but not used in the final, and Hewetson claimed two scalps each. However, a wicket-less opening bowler Josh Jones was the most frugal and Lachlan Gouder (1-18) wasn't too far off him.
Taradale chased down the target 127/4 and eight balls left in the bank.
Kenworthy and fellow veteran opener Luke Wright provided the platform with 15 runs and 38, respectively, before Hewetson top scored with 44 runs and Jones saw them cross the line with an unbeaten 21.
Cornwall didn't help their own cause, gifting Taradale eight extras, including five wides.
Off spinner Brandon Roberts took 2-16 from three overs and Rohan Fendall 1-26 as many overs. Opening bowler Divan Bester was outstanding in taking 1-8 from four overs, including a maiden, despite the defeat.