North Albury veteran Greg Daniel produced a masterclass on Sunday to guide his team into a second successive grand final against Lavington.
Daniel posted an unbeaten 75 not out in the pulsating two-wicket win over a gutsy St Patrick's with 13 balls left.
"Everyone loves it (playing in finals), but I got a duck yesterday (Saturday) so it was great to steer it home," he said.
Quite remarkably, the two weekend games were Daniel's first since Australia Day.
"The old mate Greg Daniel's brought his old self out and took it on his shoulders and he got the job done," captain Ash Borella said.
"The last 30 overs he was looking at the run rate, looking at the Duckworth Lewis (scoring system for wet weather), seeing what he had to do at the end and once we knew the rain was gone, we just had to bat the 50 overs and get the job done."
But it was riveting action in the run home.
With three overs left, North was 8-159, needing a boundary to win, when Brandon Purtell hit the ball to cover.
Daniel called him through and Purtell was only halfway up the wicket when the throw came in to the bowler's end, but it was at the feet and the tailender, somehow, got home.
Daniel faced two dots from Will Keighran before lofting the ball into the vacant midwicket area at 6.38pm.
St Pat's had posted the moderate total of 162 with veteran Luke Restall top-scoring with 42.
Daniel had already put his stamp on the game with 3-40 from nine overs.
The home team was in trouble at 4-25, losing star players Brendan Simmons (nought) and Borella (10).
Kane Arenadarcikas, who announced he was stepping down from first grade immediately after the game, produced a blinding spell of 2-9 from 10 overs.
"They bowled really well, took the pace off a second day deck and we were lucky we were only chasing 162, the run rate was never out of control," Daniel said.
North was 6-90 when the rep captain and Haydyn Roberts combined in a 55-run stand.
Roberts made only 13 from 18 balls, but he batted aggressively, hitting the ball hard which put pressure on the Patties' bowlers.
"When Haydyn batted, he was sensational and I can't give the boys enough credit," Borella said.
But Daniel was so dominant, hitting nine boundaries, number five Tom Hemsley punched out the next highest score with 20.
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