The Western Stars Men’s Division 1 team has made it three titles in a row, taking out the Country Big Bash Indoor (BBI) Premier Division at Dubbo Sportsworld on the weekend
The title win also made it seven in the past eight seasons for the Stars, cementing the side’s standing as the leader in country NSW.
The Stars were forced to do it the hard way, finishing the regular rounds third and continually struggling for consistency.
To start the finals at Sportsworld the Stars took on fourth placed Northern Inland Falcons in a do-or-die contest and received a major scare.
Stars batted first and failed to get going, scraping up 81 runs from their 16 overs with Brock Larance’s 23 the top score.
The Falcons got to 48 from eight overs, leaving Stars players and supporters thinking the run of success might finally come to an end.
It took a couple of youngsters to turn the tables with Tom Barber bowling both his overs at the third pair, collecting 3/-5 and Larance again starring with 3/-6 from one over.
This was the catalyst of a major turn around and the Stars went on to win 81-64.
The Stars then turned their attention to the Coffs Cougars, who were defeated in the major semi, for a spot in the big dance.
The Stars put together one of the most clinical games of indoor cricket you are ever likely to see and took full advantage of a Cougars team, who were slightly deflated from their earlier loss, scoring a huge 145-15 win.
Larance (29) was again amongst the runs again, while Justin Knudsen made 24. Jordan Peacock (4/-3) and Dan Holland (4/-6) were the best with the ball.
That set up a grand final against the Maitland Panthers, where the Stars lost the toss and was sent out to the field.
Maitland got off to a conservative start and weathered the storm of some accurate and disciplined bowling from the Stars. They only lost one wicket in the first pair, but scored just 16 runs.
The Stars applied an enormous amount of pressure on the Panthers second pair and picked up six wickets, reducing the team total to just eight from eight overs.
Western kept up the intensity and held the last two pairs to 8 and 21 respectively, leaving the Panthers with a total of just 37.
Larance (4/-5) was again among the wickets, while Dan Holland (3/-1) was the next best.
The Panthers threw everything at the first Stars pair and held them to just five.
But when Justin Knudsen and Jordan Peacock added 36, the game was all but over and the Stars went on to make 124 in a clinical and comprehensive win.
Earlier in the day the Mens 2’s were knocked out of the running with a 141-72 loss at the hands of the Mid North Coast Mavericks. Jackson Peacock (25) and Mitch Russo (19) did their best for Stars, while Bailey Edmunds (2/3) was the best of the bowlers.
The Mens 3s also fell short, with a 104-64 loss to a solid Coffs Cougars outfit. Kevin Newbold (19) and Mitch Lincoln (10) were the top scorers.
Following the matches, Aidan Bennewith, Jordan Peacock and Brock Larance were included in the Division 1 All Stars side, while Larance was also named Player of the Grand Final. Adlai Shipp was named in the Mens 2s team, while Mitch Russo (Men’s 3s) and Mark Dee (Masters) were also named.