Inswing Ignition completed a fairytale rags-to-riches story as they claimed the 2020 Southern Smash title in impressive fashion in front of a strong crowd in Albany’s marquee T20 cricket tournament on Tuesday, December 29. The Inswing franchise went through the inaugural Southern Smash winless, and after rebranding themselves Ignition for the expanded six-team competition, they became champions following a 27-run win over the Camtrans Bulldogs in the grand final. Tambellup’s Guy Taylor was part of the championship-winning team, who had to hold their nerve in a thrilling super-over semi-final against the Retravision Warriors. Led by UK professional Cameron Steel and Australia’s dual World Cup-winning spinner Brad Hogg, the Ignition orchestrated a remarkable turnaround in 2020. Steel blasted 71 runs from 55 balls at the top of the order as he and Kallen Bond got their side off to a fast start. Bond was the first player to fall on 23 to Darius D’Silva after a 52-run opening stand. D’Silva snared left-hander Shayne Wornes for one but he then limped from the field with a side injury after snaring 2-10. Goldfields seamer Dylan Hinchliffe had Luke Gollan caught behind, and that brought Dan Rees to the wicket. Rees helped to up the scoring rate as he crunched 27 from as many balls, only to be run out from a Matt Clothier direct hit. Rodney Ford hit one lusty late blow as Ignition finished for 4-156. In reply, the Bulldogs made a terrific start as they scored at eight runs an over in the first 10. Michael Tassone (22 runs from 14 balls) and Bevan Bennell (31 off 22) set the platform for their side with a 52-run stand. However, Tassone was trapped in front by Bond (3-33) and that sparked a collapse as the Bulldogs limped to 6-95. Hogg, who hails from Williams, ripped through the middle order and got the prize scalp of Bennell in his match-winning four-over spell of 3-8. Former Australian batsman Travis Birt, who was coming off a blistering 85 in the semifinal, remained at the crease as wickets fell around him. The Bulldogs needed 51 from 36 balls but all hope for the Bulldogs evaporated when teenage fast bowler Tyler King had Birt caught in the deep after he skied a ball to Steel on 29. Steel took the final wicket as the Bulldogs were bowled out for 129. Ignition captain Ryan Kinnear said it was a marvellous turnaround from his squad. “Credit to our boys with our recruiting this year, we hit the nail on the head,” Kinnear said. “Bringing in Steelo and Bondy at the top of the order made a huge difference and we took a bit of a punt with Tyler King and it paid dividends. “We knew that we needed to push 160 with the firepower they had and we had a strong spin attack that suited the wicket. “Hoggy bowled exceptional, he’s a champion player and he proved that. “What a great experience for our boys to be a part of and to play in the competition with him.” Guy Taylor made eight runs from six balls in Ignition’s first-round win over Albany Finance Fury but he was run out for a duck in the semifinal. Wanderers’ Ricky Marris played for runners-up the Bulldogs, taking two important catches in their round-two win over Ignition. Kendenup’s Keegan Berry played for the Warriors, bowling one over for 13 runs in round two. Tambellup batsman Jack Taylor was part of Arc Infrastructure Aces and made 10 no from 18 balls in the semifinal as his team went down by 59 runs, while in the opening game he made 12 off 15 balls. Nathan Willmott, also from Tambellup, played for Albany Finance Fury taking three wickets and scoring seven runs over the three games. Kendenup’s Clinton Gilbert was part of the Elders Avengers, making eight runs from two innings while bowling two overs for 16 runs in round two.