HOMERS have secured back-to-back A Grade premierships after defeating Rup-Minyip outright at Horsham City Oval.
The Pigeons batted first, scoring what appeared to be a below par 112, before dismissing the Blue Panthers for just 63 in reply.
However the underdogs fought back with the ball to dismiss the minor premiers for 131, before falling for 96 as they chased an unlikely victory.
Homers skipper Lachie Jones said he was thrilled to come away with the win.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic,” he said.
“This year’s win probably takes the cake – you don’t really deserve to win when you’ve made 112, but to bowl the way we did, we fought hard to get ourselves back in the game.”
“The way they bat, they bat right down and they’re quality cricketers – we took some big wickets at great times and we bowled and fielded exceptionally.”
Jones said he was confident his side would stay together to have a go at a third successive premiership.
“Of course we will,” he said.
“You don’t go anywhere when you’ve had a bit of success like this.
“We’ve got a good group, it might be an ageing group – but this group just loves playing cricket, they’re fierce competitors and they just want to win.”
No batsman passed 30 on the bowler-friendly wicket, with Paul Morgan claiming 6-28 in the Pigeons’ first innings before Craig Britten responded with a match-winning seven-wicket haul of his own.
Brayden Ison claimed 7-41 to pull the Blue Panthers back into the match, but his side couldn’t chase down the Pigeons’ total, with Chris Hopper and Jason Templeton sharing seven wickets to see them home.
Blue Panthers skipper Clint Midgley said it was a disappointing end to an otherwise successful season for his side.
“We bowled really well in that first innings, but we’re just disappointed with our batting,” he said.
“You’re not going to win too many when you’re 5-14 and lose your last seven wickets for 30 runs.
“In the end I think we had 28 overs in our second innings to make 181 and no one really got going.”
Midgley said his side would be looking to bounce back again next season.
“We’ll have another crack next year,” he said.
“We’re a pretty settled side and I think most blokes will re-commit and hopefully we’ll be around the mark.”