A BRUTAL display of power-hitting from Tom Johnson and Ash Borella propelled Cricket Albury-Wodonga to an emphatic nine-wicket victory over traditional rivals Wagga at Bunton Park on Sunday.
Wearing black arm bands as a tribute to Joe Wooding, Johnson (82 not out off 56 balls) and Borella (61 off 37 balls) helped the hosts reel in Wagga's score of 177 in the 20th over.
The victory saw CAW retain the O'Farrell Cup over the winter for the second successive season with coach Daryl Tuffey admitting it was another near faultless performance.
"The boys were really keen to finish the rep season well and they certainly did that," Tuffey said.
"We wanted to win and so did they but when two batsmen (Johnson and Borella) get on a roll like that it's pretty hard to stop.
"When it was pitched up they hit over the top and when it was short they found the boundaries as well.
"It was impressive the way they went about it."
Johnson hammered 14 boundaries and two sixes over cover during his innings while Borella hit six boundaries and three sixes.
Belvoir's David Farrell made a quickfire 24 not out after Wagga broke the 118-run opening partnership.
Opening Wagga bowler Mitch Sykes went for 0-40 off four overs while Sam Perry fared even worse with 0-43 off his four.
After winning the toss and batting, Wagga slumped to 2-25 as Cameron Suidgeest, Ryan Brown and Brandon Purtell bowled with plenty of venom.
Purtell finished with the fine figures of 3-35 off 12 overs on debut.
"We made a good start to the game which put them on the back foot," he said.
"I thought Brandon was fantastic on debut.
"He's been bowling well at club level and took his chance today.
"All the bowlers did their job."
Wagga's Joel Robinson topscored with 57 while Josh Thompson made 27 in an innings which never really gained momentum.
CAW dedicated the victory to association and East Albury life member Joe Wooding who died after a short battle with cancer late last week.
"It was nice to pay our respects," Tuffey said.
"While I didn't know Joe personally, a lot of the players did and were keen to perform fittingly."
Wagga 177 (J. Robinson 57, J. Thompson 27, N. Cooke 22; B. Purtell 3-35, C. Suidgeest 2-27, F. Ellis 2-37) lost to CAW 1-179 (T. Johnson 82 not out, A. Borella 61, D. Farrell 28 not out).