St Patrick's big-hitting No. 8 bat Luke Evans shattered Wodonga Raiders' hopes of a breakthrough win on Saturday with successive sixes.
The pair was the only teams to lose both games on the opening weekend and the Patties required a tricky 15 runs from the final two overs at Lavington Sportsground No. 1.
But Evans ended the match an over early with two mighty hits.
"'Evo's' back-to-back sixes to end the game was the highlight," captain Dean Nicholson revealed.
"One was over wide long off, towards cover, he hit that really well and the next one he smashed over 'cow corner'."
The youthful Raiders posted 5-108 from their 20 overs, with teenager Jack Stewart (31 from 38 balls) and Alistair Burge (26 from 33) combining for more than half.
"He (Stewart) didn't take the game away from us, but he did threaten to late, while Alistair Burge tried to play that role to bat through the innings and have a few boys bat around him, he was caught on the fence and he looked threatening at times to take the game away from us," Nicholson explained.
The skipper was the only multiple wicket-taker with 2-17.
Patties' opener Neil Smith raced to 38 from 42 deliveries, with four boundaries and a six, but at 6-82 the match was tight.
"We needed 25 from the last three overs and then 'Stevo' (Kori Stevenson) got a free hit in the 18th over and hit a four, plus we got some ones and twos and finished with 10 from the over," Nicholson offered.
"It came down to 15 from two overs and 'Evo' (Evans) hit those two sixes to win the game for us."
Raiders are a building team and stated pre-match they hadn't set a win-loss target for the season, but St Pat's are at the other end after having played in the preliminary final and picked up co-coach Liam Scammell.
"It's funny, I was sitting there, thinking what am I going to say to the boys if we go 0-3 here, but we were able to get that first victory and, hopefully, we can go on from that," Nicholson suggested.
While the win was a relief for the match favourites, the performance from Raiders is a positive for the association.
ALSO IN SPORT
The club is coming off its seventh wooden spoon in the past eight seasons, but the efforts by Stewart and fellow youngster Matt Pearce (2-12), plus the influence of former Victorian Sub-District Association star Burge, has put opponents on notice that the first win is close.
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