It was third time lucky as Raymond Terrace claimed their first Twenty20 Hunter Valley Cup title with a thrilling final over win against Thornton at Lorn Park.
Will Maher steered the winning two runs through the Thornton infield to secure the title with three balls to spare.
Terrace all-rounder Nick Savage let out a celebratory roar as he and Maher crossed for the second run to finish their chase on 6-136 after Thornton posted a competitive 6-135 in their 20 overs.
It was a tough loss for Thornton, who went down to Kurri Weston, in last year’s final with one ball to spare, but success for the Lions after losses to Western Suburbs in the HVC in 2016 and the previous Maitland competition the year before.
The win was set-up by a quality 60 by man of the match Jaymes Thomas who ensured the Lions were always in front of the required run rate of 6.75.
Thomas’ innings was all the more impressive given he scored half his runs without his glasses when a lens fell out during batting.
Aaron Bills got Terrace off to a good start with a quick-fire 19 and Jacob Page contributed 21 in a 58-run partnership which left the Lions on 3/99 with six-and-a-half overs to spare.
Needing a run a ball, it appeared as if the Lions would cruise home but some terrific bowling at the death by Dan Willis and in particular Matthew Gabriel, who finished with 2-5 off 1.3 overs tested Terrace right to the end.
Willis led the way with the bat as well scoring 53, including six fours and a six. Gabriel made 20, Jake Moore 23 and Archer 12 at the end of Thornton’s innings.