Top teams Port Jackson Red and Riverina Drive played out a high-scoring final in the Veterans Cricket NSW Over-50 State Championships at Wade Park on Tuesday.
Port Jackson claimed the title with a thrilling run chase that finally passed the Riverina score in the last of their allotted 45 overs.
After winning the toss Riverina chose to bat and quickly set about raising a competitive score.
Opener Peter Stimson hit two fours before being caught by Darren Smith off the bowling of Graham Turner.
Fellow opener Tim Weilandt joined with Eric Koetz to add 87 runs before Koetz was leg before wicket to Alan Willmore for 27 which had included four boundaries.
Weilandt hit eight fours as part of his total of 43.
He was finally out, stumped, just before the side reached 8-262 off its 45 overs.
Peter Gerhard top scored with 44 not out, including five fours and a six, in just 52 minutes at the crease.
Jamie Bennett contributed a handy 40 before retiring not out.
Best of the Port Jackson bowlers was Darren Smith with 2-35 off five overs.
With a target of 263 runs the chase stuttered when opener Scott Atkinson was run out for three with the score at 16.
But just like what occurred in the opposition innings a strong second wicket partnership, between Warwick Hayes and Darren Smith, steered the side back on course.
Smith retired not out on 40 while Hayes was eventually run out on 41.
It was left to Graham Turner and Rob Pagano to score the winning runs to finish at 8-265.
Best of the bowlers was Peter Gerhard with 2-50.
The Orange and Molong-based Canobolas Cougars did not make the final after two losses in the first rounds.
On Sunday at Molong they managed 9-73 against eventual finalists Riverina Drive.
The Drive passed the Cougars’ total with only two wickets lost.
On Monday the Cougars fought out a close tussle with the Mid North Coast Marlins.
The Cougars made 5-237 only to be overtaken in the final over by the Marlins who scored 9-238.
The tournament’s second division championship saw the Bathurst and Oberon-based Western Wildfires make the final after two wins.
They struck 5-261 in the first match as the Earlwood Wanderers could only manage 5-110 in reply.
In the second round the Wildfires blasted 8-206 while the Mid North Coast Mudskippers fell short with 166 runs of their 45 overs.
The carnival doubled as an important selection trial to pick the NSW over 50s team which will head to Perth in November for the national championships.
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