HE may have been in the losing side in a tight Douglas Cup grand final, but Queanbeyan pace gun Josh Bennett earnt man-of-the-match honours with a stunning 10-wicket match at Manuka Oval.
While his batting teammates struggled to keep themselves in the game last Saturday and Sunday, the 23-year old was practically in career-best form, taking 6/27 in Wests/UC's first innings after they were 0/67, and taking 4/29 in their second innings to give his men a chance of an outright win.
He scattered Wests/UC's top four on his own in the first innings, including the dangerous Matthew Condon just as he was about to take control of the innings.
Bennett was very happy with his own performance, but said it made him feel no better about the team having lost the grand final.
"At the moment it's hard to deal with that [taking 10 wickets] though. It's just the disappointment of losing," said Bennett.
"I was a bit disappointed in myself. They were none for 67 when we got our first wicket, and in my first spell of the game I didn't bowl very well, so I took responsibilty for that."
While Bennett was happy to blame himself for giving Wests/UC what proved to be a title-winning head start, his six wickets in the first innings got him pumped.
He said the week's rain in the lead up plus overcast conditions for periods of play during the grand final made for a bowling haven.
"It was a flat wicket that was soft on top and it was overcast conditions which meant the ball was moving in the air as well as off the pitch," he said.
Bennett said just bowling a good line and length was the key to him taking out half of Wests/UC's batsmen, and said they scored their runs when the bowling was too full.
"When we pulled our length back and bowled on a middle/off [stump] line and swinging the ball away from the batsmen, that's when there was success," he said.
Bennett said the rain that followed his men having Wests/UC 6/31 in their second innings took a lot of movement off the ball and made bowling more difficult.
But he added the class bowling of Wests/UC trifle Ben Oakley, Ethan Bartlett and Dale Riley was the best in the competition, and they deserved victory.