SOUTH OTAGO CRICKET CORRESPONDENT
The Owaka Bandits are the South Otago 40-over champions.
The Bandits beat the Waihola Swans by six wickets in a final which was hard fought to the very end.
Owaka asked Waihola to bat and rolled it for only 88 runs inside 31 overs.
A fantastic start by Bandits skipper Quentin Gare resulted in both openers being removed inside the first six overs.
Swans top-order batter Rowan Craw steadied the ship and found some willing partners in Shelford Meads and Brad Williams.
Owaka restricted Waihola to 62 runs halfway through the innings but a special bowling stint from Francis Parker changed the game for his side.
Parker started his spell after drinks and took five wickets for just six runs off seven overs in a special spell of bowling.
Craw finished on 43 for the Swans, the most successful batter by some margin.
In reply, the Bandits took 25 overs to chase down the total for the loss of four wickets.
Owaka opener Jeremy Gray continued his purple patch of form, finishing unbeaten on 51 runs. Quentin Gare helped his side with 20 runs and Reece Pullar hit 13 runs off four balls to push Owaka closer to victory.
Brad Williams was the pick of the Swans bowlers with two for 16 off eight overs.
This is the first time Owaka has won the 40-over competition since the 1998-99 season.
The Bandits also scoop the individual awards for the season with Jeremy Gray taking top runs scorer and player of the year.
Francis Parker was the top wicket-taker of the season.
Owaka Bandits 89/4 (Jeremy Gray 51*, Quentin Gare 14; Brad Williams 2-16) beat Waihola Swans 88 (Rowan Craw 43; Francis Parker 5-6).