THE Australian Cricket Masters outlasted the Coffs Harbour District XI in Friday night's Twenty20 match, holding on to win by 33 runs at the Coffs Harbour BCU Stadium.
Despite the loss it was an expressive display by some of the local competition's brightest young cricketers.
They held their own against a line-up of former Test and first-class cricketers with almost 400 games of international experience.
Winning the toss and batting first, the Masters finished at 6-180.
Former Zimbabwean opener Murray Goodwin helped to build a strong total.
He scored a half century before he was caught by Ben Andrews off the bowling of Trent Dierick.
His exit brought former Queensland master blaster Jimmy Maher to the crease and he was a standout.
Belting the bowling attack at will, Maher's power hitting was the highlight of the match.
Maher top-scored with 71, including six sixes and four fours, before he was dismissed in the field by Alex Byrne off the bowling of Andrews.
"It's an impressive pitch and ground here in Coffs Harbour. I love it. Yeah, there were a lot of talented cricketers in that Coffs team," Maher said after the match.
Coffs locals Dave Angus and Joe Wilman combined to stall the Masters innings after Maher's departure, dismissing Jon Moss for a duck, while Trent Mitchell produced a handy bit of fielding to run out former Australian spinner Brad Hogg.
Chasing 181 for victory, Coffs Harbour started solidly before Greg Matthews' off-spin and Hogg's wrist spin brought the top order unstuck.
Matthews claimed opener Trent Mitchell for 17, when he was caught on the boundary trying to raise the run rate, and then Alex Byrne followed for six.
Hogg was just as lethal with the ball, dismissing James Bellamy (14), Simon Donald (17) and taking the crucial wicket of David Angus for 29 after he began to knock the ball over the fence.
Hogg finished with 3-19 off four overs, while Matthews took 2-19 off three.
Dierick saved the innings, top-scoring with an unbeaten 54. His knock, including a six and six boundaries, was the standout of the Coffs Harbour innings.
Dierick also had a good night with the ball, taking a wicket, while behind the stumps he took a catch and completed a run-out.
The Masters line-up went on to play Armidale in the New England over the weekend.
The big news was former England spinner Monty Panesar rolling the arm over for the Australian Cricketers Association team.