BROTHERS Cooper and Bailey Brien led the way for St Pat's Old Boys as the club overcame Rugby Union by 18 runs to take out their Bonnor Cup semi-final clash at Wade Park.
The siblings put on a 70 run stand for the second wicket to take the Saints to 7-124 from their 20 overs before Bailey's bowling figures of 4-6 helped limit Rugby to 106.
Cooper struck 54 runs off 44 deliveries at opener to help set up the Saints, while Bailey's supporting knock of 21 allowed his brother to cut loose at the other end.
Pat's were also assisted by wickets from Jay Webber (3-10) and Hugh Parsons (2-31).
It was a powerful effort with the bat from Cooper Brien, who has spent this season among Western Suburbs' ranks in the Sydney Premier Cricket competition.
Brien said he loves any opportunity he gets to play for his Bathurst club and alongside his brother.
"I always enjoy batting with my brother. There's a pretty good competition between us to see who can stay out there longer," he said.
"I'm just trying to play the best cricket that I can while enjoying myself out there. It's great being out there with my old team."
Setting team up for success
Brien struck six fours and a six in his innings.
Skipper Adam Ryan (13 not out) and Connor Slattery (10) were the other batters in double figures.
Brien said he enjoyed the challenge of an active Wade Park pitch.
"Wade has always been a pretty good pitch, so 140 to 150 is usually the par when you're batting in a T20," he said.
"On Friday night it was a pretty difficult pitch to bat on and fairly slow, so 130 to 140 was probably ideal. We still fell short of that but we were pretty lucky that Jay came on and bowled well.
"We were nervous at the start when they were about 2-60 after six but then Jay came on to take three big wickets and Bails came on to take four at the end, which was outstanding."
Gallant in defeat
Rugby were aiming to reach the Bonnor Cup grand final once again after they did so in the 2022-23 season.
Ryan Peacock (20) and Marty Jeffrey (18) were on pace to chase down the target but their dismissals put Rugby into a position they couldn't recover from.
Tait Borgstahl (3-21) and Flynn Taylor (2-18) were Rugby's best bowlers on the night.