Harden Hornets took on the unbeaten Binalong Bushrangers at Binalong on Saturday and put a scare through the locals.
With a massive and vocal crowd in attendance (Caravan Club Picnic & Brahman's Christmas party) it came down to Harden young guns Beau Abnett and Jack Glover who nearly stole the show.
The Hornets were set the massive total of 219 and the pair came together with the fall of the ninth wicket still requiring 36 runs.
The pair showed courage and skill to whittle the score down until they just required 6 runs when Abnett was bowled.
After the game Jack Glover said he was disappointed with the loss as he and Abnett had worked hard together and were on top of the Binalong bowlers.
In fact he was waiting for fast bowler Dylan Arabin to drop one short and he would have hit it over covers to win the game, was his confidence!
The game started with Hornet's captain Kai Steele again losing the toss and the Hornets put into the field.
Hornets got off to the best possible start when Jeff Brown had Oscar Knight caught behind for a duck and Nathan Anderson had Dylan Arabin (6) caught by Paul Potts at first slip.
It was a magnificent catch by Potts as he has put a few down recently, the ball flew chest height to him (hip height for a normal person), he got a hand to it, the ball popped up and then a dive forward secured the catch inches off the ground.
This brought George Knight and Nic Arkoswamy "known as Bumble Bee" together for what turned out to be a 135 run partnership. Hornets case was not helped by local Publican "Patto" keeping them in the field while it raining which allowed the ball to turn to a piece of soap.
Knight and Bumble barely gave a chance and were severe on anything short. Finally Hornets had some luck when Anderson bowled both Bumble (75) and Mark Dyball (0) in the same over. Chris Hammermeister and Jason Kelly rolled their arms over and picked up a wicket each. At the end of the innings Binalong were 6 for 219, Knight not out 76.
Hornets failed to gain momentum early losing Ben Davis (4), Nathan Anderson (0), Jeff Brown (11) and Shane Abnett (18).
A 70 run partnership between James Woodhead and Kai Steele steadied the ship until Steele (22) lost his head a few balls before drinks and was bowled by Oscar Knight.
After drinks wickets of Paul Potts (5) and Jack Nicholls (3) fell cheaply until a 54 run partnership between Woodhead and Chris Hammermeister gave the Hornets a sniff of victory.
Woodhead the aggressor while the Hammer, built like a brick outhouse, held up an end. Binalong were very chirpy until Woodhead took to AJ Sykes, one ball sailing out of the ground and into the pine trees. As the saying goes, you bowl that rubbish then you should go fetch it!
The partnership ended when the Hammer was run out and Woodhead followed next over for 67 runs. When Beau Abnett was joined by Jack Glover the crowd started to pack up, 36 runs were needed from 9 overs but the entertainment was only just started.
The youngsters duck in with good defence and sharp singles when possible. Binalong recognising the danger brought strike bowlers Drew Arabin and Dylan Arabin into the attack and bowled fast, but the pair would not give their wickets up.
Just when the Hornets got within sight of a victory Abnett was bowled for 14 leaving Glover not out 6.
An absolute thrilling end to a hotly contested match. Hornets have a bright future with these two young stars in their team.