A double hat-track Josh Hall was not enough for Young to take the O’Farrell Cup off Griffith for the second year in a row.
An impressive seven-wicket haul from Hall had Griffith in all sorts of trouble after they were bowled out for 100, but his team failed to chase down the paltry target on Exies Oval.
They often say the smaller totals can be the hardest to chase and it proved to be the case on Sunday.
In a thrilling contest it came down to the wire.
Young needed seven runs with plenty of overs in hand before Marc Tucker was able to take the final wicket after a diving catch from Reece Matheson.
It seemed an unlikely result when Griffith came off having only scored 100, but captain Haydn Pascoe said it was about getting into the right mindset before heading into the field.
“We spoke about it before we went out there about how small totals are the hardest ones to chase because you think you are just going to get it easy,” Pascoe said.
“There was a fair bit of enthusiasm out there especially when we got a couple of wickets before they even got a run and that sort of turned the flow in our favour.”
Things didn’t start well for Griffith when they lost Dom Brown (0) early to the bowling of Nick Hall (2-26) however Pascoe, and Phil Burge combined well to get Griffith moving in the right direction.
The introduction of Josh Hall into the attack looked to derail Griffith’s innings when he picked up Burge (18) and Pascoe (24) before taking a rare double hat-trick to have Griffith slump from 3-62 to 7-65 in the blink of an eye.
Jimmy Binks compiled a defiant 18 which helped Griffith to 100 before they were bowled out in 36 overs.
If they were to have any hope of defending the modest total, Griffith needed early wickets to put the pressure back on Young.
Thanks to tight bowling from Satvir Chahal, who ripped through Young’s top order dismissing Scott Neville (0), Brendan Croese (0), Geoff Palmer (five) and Nick Hall (eight), the visitors were struggling at 4-16.
Young captain Sam Langford (25) tried to lead a fightback along with Duncan Cameron (eight) however the introduction of Charlie Cunial (2-21) and Theo Valeri (2-32) saw wickets continue to fall at regular intervals.
With the visitors sitting on 8-61, it looked like the game was set to go Griffith’s way but Jason Hall and Jacob Lucas gave Griffith one last scare before Chahal (5-31) picked up his fifth for the game.
“When it was two wickets to go, and they hit a couple of boundaries it made it a bit tighter than you would have liked, but we got there in the end,” Pascoe said.
Then Tucker brought the game to an end to see Griffith become the first team to successfully defend the O’Farrell Cup this season.
They will now look to hold off the challenge of West Wyalong, who held the cup over the winter two seasons ago, on Sunday.