The Binalong Bushrangers capped off a perfect season on Saturday with a nailbiting four-run win over the Yass Taipans in the Yass District Cricket Association C Grade grand final.
Leading into the final, the Bushrangers had won all 12 of their completed matches for the season.
Binalong captain, Mick Paterson, was thrilled by Saturday's win, and said the team's success throughout the 2019/20 season was a result of the group's cohesiveness.
"It's just a good bunch of boys, everyone gets along well," Paterson said.
"We were very surprised with our year, but the boys worked hard and came up to training every Friday."
After winning the toss and electing to bat first at Bowning Oval, the Bushrangers started steadily.
Dylan Arabin was out early to Tommy Roberts, but George Knight (31) and AJ Sykes (22) steadied the ship with a 29-run partnership.
After Sykes was dismissed, Knight put on 43 with Nic Aroiaswamy (20) before he himself was out to Ian Kemp.
Though the lower order crumbled towards the end of the innings, Mark Dyball (40) held things together for long enough to see the Bushrangers to a total of 9-158.
It was a formidable total for Binalong, one which gave them confidence against the reigning champions who beat them in the 2018/19 final.
In response, the Taipans struggled early.
Opener Jake Garner was the only Taipan to withstand the Bushrangers' pressure, and he compiled 39 runs while the other top order batsmen fell around him.
Eventually, Garner was dismissed with the score at 6-100, while no other batsman had made more than 10.
However, Hugh Morrison had come in at number seven and proceeded to blitz an unbeaten 60 to push Binalong to a total of 8-154, just four runs short of another title.
It was a fittingly thrilling finish between the two teams with one of the most entertaining rivalries in the C Grade competition.
"We were always in for a tough game against the Taipans ... so it was good to get one back," Paterson said.
"It was very close again. We were a bit nervous [towards the end]. But that's how you want grand finals, isn't it? You want them nice and close."
Following the match, Binalong celebrated boisterously. It was a fitting end to a year in which the Bushrangers established themselves as the team to beat in 2020/21.
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