Central Park-St Brendan’s stunned Old Students late in the second day of their clash in Kialla, flying home from the clouds to steal a three-wicket victory.
The Tigers were on the ropes at 6-157, 63 overs into chasing 250.
But up stepped Jack McCarten for the second time in three days, backing up his Twenty20 score of 66 with a near run-a-ball 48 to get his side across the line.
The Tigers, contained for so much of their innings, unleashed in the closing stages to take 99 from the last 17 overs.
It turned out to be a vital win for their season, keeping them in third place on the ladder and in position for a home semi-final, matching Kyabram’s win against Northerners.
‘‘It was a terrific win in the context of things,’’ Tigers coach Andrew Cowen said.
‘‘Particularly chasing a big total and given there was plenty of feeling in the match as there always is between the two sides.
‘‘To have our guys stand up to some good pressure and have lots of contributors is great.’’
Before McCarten’s heroics, it was a balanced batting performance putting the Tigers in the position to launch.
Xavier Chalkley fell early, but Connor Holland and Cowen played patiently to move to 1-53 before Cowen was caught for 23.
Holland (37) and Josh Larkin (14) went in quick succession and it left the Tigers 4-90 at tea, needing 160 from the last 34 overs of the match.
Brendan Crouch took three of the first four wickets for the Students, ending with the side’s best figures at 3-62.
It was time for the Tigers to make their move, and as Ramadan Yze stayed strong at one end Rhiley Lau attacked from the other, with three fours and a six in his 33.
Yze was caught shortly after Lau was dismissed and still the Tigers had much work to do needing 94 from the last 102 balls.
But McCarten’s 48, including three sixes, combined with Brendan Scott’s 24 and Nathan Berry’s 25 from 26 was enough to complete a magical turnaround, finishing at 7-256 from 80 overs.
Cowen said the target had been daunting, but a challenge his side and wanted to take on.
‘‘Certainly within the club we were looking forward to a chase like this, we’ve talked for a while that we’ve wanted this sort of opportunity to show what we can do with the bat,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve been a bit hot and cold with the bat and we couldn’t have picked a better time to chase a score.’’
The chase took many contributors — seven players made more than 20 — but none shone quite as brightly as McCarten.
‘‘It’s not a surprise from within, we see what Jack puts together at training and he’s also looked forward to a challenge to show what he can do,’’ Cowen said.
‘‘With the feeling from the opposition it was a good time to stand up; we were pretty confident in Jack and the boys around him and we couldn’t be more pleased for him.’’
The Tigers close the regular season with Karramomus at Deakin Reserve with a win to almost certainly lock in a home semi-final.
For the Students, it was a tough loss from a winning position, remaining stuck to the bottom of the ladder with only one win in their premiership defence.
Their season wraps up with another daunting task, this time an away trip to Katandra.