Malcheks Youngpups were forced to battle the elements, some sore heads and the history chasing A Fish Called Wanda to claim victory at the annual Charters Towers Goldfield Ashes.
With the emotions of the defeat from last years final, at the hands of A Fish Called Wanda still etched in their minds, Malcheks were eager to hit the pitch in this years tournament to erase the pain from last year.
Lead by new skipper Darren Walker, Malcheks were matched with the defending champions in the opening round. In a hard fought battle, the Youngpups were once again handed defeat, unable to chase The Fishs run total.
This defeat left them sitting in last place at the beginning of Sunday morning.
The Malcheks were able to score three comprehensive victories in their remaining games to finish 2nd after the completion of the round games and set up a rematch in the A1 final with newly found rivals A Fish Called Wanda, who were chasing a 4th consecutive title.
Bowling first, Malcheks started well with Mitch Rawlins and Daniel Gartrell snaring early wickets to put The Fish on the back foot.
The Fish dug in with Tony Hampson and Andrew Boyle stabilising the middle overs with a handy partnership.
That was until leg spinner Reece Danaher came into attack and got rid of the dangerous Hampson to shift momentum back towards The Pups.
A late flurry of strong hitting from The Fish’s tail end set the Malcheks a total chase of 90.
Confident with being able to chase the total, the Danaher brothers (Reece and Sean) opened the batting, scoring some quick runs until a sharp run out dismissed Sean.
This fired up The Fish, but some strong batting by The Malcheks youngest member Tommy Venitis kept them a float during a dangerous period.
Beginning to fall behind the required run rate and looking for quick runs with the weather setting in, the Youngpups started to lose wickets.
With 18 balls remaining and 22 runs required, the Malcheks skipper Darren Walker and Justin Rawlins fought hard to set up a grandstand finish.
With heavy rain now falling, Justin Rawlins was run out, leaving a victory in tail ender Matt Twomey’s hands.
Scoring 7 off his first 2 balls faced, Twomey gained confidence. This was until captain Walker was run out pushing hard for a second in the final over.
This left Twomey with 2 runs needed off the final ball. Desperate to prevent the winning runs, Fish bowler Kyle Dearness overstepped the mark for a no ball and Twomey pushed a single into cover to seal the game for the Malcheks.
This triggered mayhem as the Youngpups stormed the field in jubilation to celebrate the victory.
This is the first time in Malcheks 37 year history they’ve claimed victory in the A1 final.