Napier Technical Old Boys' CC have booked their flights to Auckland for an attempt at a New Zealand Club Championship three-peat in April.

The Innovate Electrical Texans walloped United CC by nine wickets in the final when the two-day Central Districts qualifying tournament ended in Palmerston North on Sunday.

"It's been our goal from the start of the season so we're really stoked," said Matt Edmondson after he and Christian Leopard formed the nuclear-powered head for the NTOB missiles at Fitzherbert Park to lend credence to season-rookie captain Jayden Lennox's pre-tourney prediction that the Twenty20 format suited their demeanour.

Edmondson said United CC had put some early pressure on them but "we got lucky and got away with it". United CC had pushed them in the second game the day before succumbing to a 13-run defeat.

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A Hawke's Bay rep wicketkeeper with an excellent red-ball diet, Matt Edmondson also knows how to rack up runs in the Twenty20 format. Photo / file
A Hawke's Bay rep wicketkeeper with an excellent red-ball diet, Matt Edmondson also knows how to rack up runs in the Twenty20 format. Photo / file

The 25-year-old Findex accountant from Napier said the bowlers had to find tight lines and lengths to eke out dots in the final to stifle United CC to 9-122 in 20 overs after the hosts won the toss and elected to bat.

Opening batsman Ma'ara Ave top scored for his side with 27 runs as Kieran Atkinson, Lennox and veteran Bronson Meehan took two wickets each.

The Red Army wobbled when another veteran, Craig Findlay, departed for a run from a Jack Harris ball but opener Edmondson (56 runs not out from 32 balls) and first drop Leopard (65no/35) steadied the ship to 1-123 with eight overs to spare.

Edmondson said the wicket was a little slow but if bowlers found the right length and took off the pace it was difficult for batsmen to put the balls away despite a quick outfield.

"To be honest, to go to Auckland for a third time [in a row] is something very special for us so we're stoked," he said, mindful the Texans would have to rethink their blueprint at the nationals — from April 2-5 — where rain has dictated terms.

"We had a super over to get to Palmy," a chuckling Edmondson said after tech had come through after pipping Red Star Wairarapa in Masterton on January 26. "It looks pretty slim [super over in Auckland] but looking at the Black Caps, you never know."

NTOB had crushed Stoke Naylands CC by nine wickets in their opening match on Saturday morning after the latter won the toss and chose to bat.

Only No 6 Ben Homan, who scored 27 runs, got into double figures as the Nelson outfit were skittled 82 all out in 17.5 overs.

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Atkinson, Todd Watson, Lennox and Meehan had claimed two scalps each.

In reply, NTOB were 1-85 in 8.3 overs with Edmondson unbeaten on 50 from 26 balls and Leopard 29 not out from 18 deliveries.

In the afternoon, United CC made the victors toil after Lennox won the toss as NTOB posted 7-168 with Leopard's 75 runs from 42 deliveries providing the platform.
United left-arm spinner Felix Murray tightened the screws with 3-41 and seamer Cam Figjam Harris took 2-31.

The Manawatu side got into a dogfight before they were skittled for 155 but must have rued the eight balls left in the bank.

Wicketkeeper Ave scored 39 runs and fellow opening batsman Mason Hughes top scored with 42.

Left-arm leg spinner Lennox took 3-29 with teenager Mitchell Williams-North backing up brilliantly with 3-16.

"He bowls medium pacers and plays for Napier Boys' High so he's just finished school and bowled really well," said Edmondson, especially the Williams-North cutters.

"Mitch did well to close the game against United [in the qualifying game] so he did really well under pressure."

NTOB wicketkeeper Kurtis Weekes snaffled eight catches in four games at the tournament.

Christian Leopard also hopes to secure some stability with the CD Stags while helping his NTOB side stamp their supremacy as the best in the land. Photo / Photosport
Christian Leopard also hopes to secure some stability with the CD Stags while helping his NTOB side stamp their supremacy as the best in the land. Photo / Photosport

On Sunday morning, the defending champions ran riot over Marist CC, of Whanganui, in posting 2-301 in 20 overs for a 174-run flogging.

Having won the toss again, opener Edmondson went berserk with the willow in racking 174 runs from 70 balls, including 29 boundaries and four sixes.

Leopard joined the party, clobbering the Marist bowlers for 113 not out from 44 deliveries, including 10 fours and eight sixes. He had upped the strike rate to 256.82 compared with Edmondson's 248.57.

Marist's Dom Raigner, Nick Harding and Hadley O'Learey, in just one over, were left licking their bowling scars with stitches of 20.50, 21 and 24 runs an over.

In reply, Marist could only muster 3-127 in the allotted 20 overs. No 4 Mark Fraser nudged the above the 100 per cent strike rate with 54 runs from 44 balls but opener Chris Stewart's 45 from 60 deliveries wasn't in the supply-and-demand scale.

Tyler Annand won the frugality stakes with veteran Liam Rukuwai, returning from retirement, and Atkinson joined him as a wicket taker.