They came in into the Hawke's Bay twenty20 playoffs with a blemish but Napier Technical Old Boys showed today why they are the best premier men's club in New Zealand.
The Innovative Electrical-sponsored NTOB crushed Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall CC in the morning before overwhelming undefeated top qualifiers Reynard Health Supplies Havelock North CC by 60 runs in the final at Nelson Park, Napier.
The Texans, who are bound for the national club championship as the Central Districts premier club champions at Cornwall CC in Auckland in April, claimed the Murray McKearney Memorial Cup although no points were riding on this piece of silverware.
Captain Liam Rukuwai said it was an all-round performance with the key batsmen and bowlers stepping up at crucial times in the semifinal and final to help them clinch another crown.
"They were used pitches so the bowlers just put them in the right areas so the batsmen couldn't really get them away," Rukuwai said, revealing the bowlers employed cutters and slow deliveries to make the villagers work for their runs.
The game came to a micro-stop in 11.3 overs due to a fleeting passage of rain during NTOB's innings but he said as the batsmen walked off the park it had subsided for a five-minute stoppage.
Rukuwai was delighted the weather gods had kept the rain away until the final had finished.
He said it was now their goal to etch their names on the one-day MJF Shrimpton Memorial Trophy in their quest to create more history in regaining the overall bragging rights for the 2018-19 season.
"The nationals are the week after the [Bay] final so, hopefully, we can take that momentum from the final, if we make it there, and on to the nationals," he said, probably explaining why they were a little reserved in their celebratory photograph today.
NTOB won the toss and elected to bat against the 55-over champions.
Seamer Joey Field, who finished with 2-48, claimed the prized wicket of opening batsman Christian Leopard, a CD Stag, for 19 runs and Rhythm Sharma sent veteran George Diack packing for seven.
Matt Edmondson, at first drop, was pivotal in ticking the strike over with a run-a-ball 45 from 46 deliveries to ensure No 4 Izaiah Lange top scored with 75 runs from 39 balls, including 11 boundaries and two sixes.
CD Stag Kieran Noema-Barnett and Stevie Smidt saw NTOB to 185-4 from 20 overs on an unbeaten 14 and 10, respectively.
Adam Winter got Lange's wicket but wicket-less spinner Bradley Schmulian was the most frugal with Sharma, who enigmatically bowled only two overs, Graeme Tryon and Pete Marffy not far behind the CD Stags batsman.
Schmulian opened the batting to give the villagers a crisp start with 50 runs from 33 balls, including six boundaries and a six, but no one else really got going in the final.
Jayden Lennox and veteran Noema-Barnett claimed two wickets each while Bronson Meehan, Leopard and Rukuwai took one each in an attack where no one went for more than eight runs an over.
NTOB had eased into the final after thumping Cornwall by 141 runs.
Having won the toss, Cornwall skipper Jacob Smith got NTOB padding up for a don't-argue 201-5 in their allotted 20 overs.
"We turned up this morning and didn't know what to do had we won the toss but, eventually, it was lost and they chose to bowl so for us it just worked out," said Rukuwai, revealing the pressure eased off NTOB when the run rate kept creeping up for Cornwall.
Leopard laid down the platform with 65 from 35 balls, including nine boundaries and two sixes, before Matt Edmondson backed him up with 39 runs and Lange and Smidt amped it up with 34 and 30 runs, respectively, at a strike rate of more than 200. Meehan was unbeaten on 19 from 18 balls.
Cornwall veteran spinner Jono Hall claim 2-25 while Irish import Grame McCarter, Bryce Green and Nick Hutton got a scalp each.
In reply, Cornwall seemed overawed, collapsing for 60 in 13.3 overs.
Opener Bayley Wiggins and No 4 Cam Crawford managed 13 runs each while the rest of the batsmen came and went even before the sun had a chance to come out to call the bluff of weather forecasters predicting heavy rain at the weekend.
Rukuwai, at first change, was almost unplayable with three wickets for two runs from 3.3 overs, including two maidens.
Lennox and Smidt took two scalps each and Leopard and Lange one each.