EAST Warrnambool-YCW has defied late-match nerves to post one of its most memorable wins in Warrnambool and District cricket.
The division one cellar-dweller defeated table-topping Woodford by one wicket at Koroit’s Jack Keane Oval.
The win was the Broncos’ first since they returned to division one as part of an expanded top-grade competition.
Captain Mick Townsend and tailender Jarrod Wilson were the saviours after East, chasing Woodford’s 104, collapsed to be 9-100.
The pair helped the visitors scrape over the line and eventually finish to be all out for 131.
Opening bowler Jason Alberts then put the exclamation point on the day by taking a hat-trick as Woodford closed its second innings at 6-82.
Townsend said he was proud of the side for persevering after a lean start to the campaign.
“It was very nerve-racking. To myself and Jarrod’s credit, we stuck at it. I was very determined, I wasn’t going to lose another game,” he said.
Townsend said Wilson could expect a promotion up the order. He described the win as “a massive stepping stone”.
The dramatic victory was almost not to be as East, resuming at 1-23, was 7-89 and 9-100, thanks to Eel Jake McKinnon (3-23).
But Townsend (40) and Wilson (15 not out) held their nerve to ensure the points would return to Jones Oval.
Elsewhere, Geoff Williams’ second century in two weeks was in vain as Nestles succumbed to Brierly-Christ Church in a thriller at Reid Oval.
Williams carried his bat in making 100 not out — 11 days after posting 104 not out against Koroit in a Twenty20 match.
But Nestles finished nine runs short, all out for 185 in pursuit of 194.
A slow, rain-affected ground on Saturday proved crucial, with the Bulls enjoying the best of the batting conditions seven days earlier.
Factory co-captain Scott Kelly conceded the weather did play a role, saying Williams’ knock was worth 140 “on a dry ground”.
“You don’t want to make excuses but the cold, hard facts were the sun was shining last weekend and it was a time to bat and it was a lot harder yesterday,” he said. Nestles endured a rollercoaster ride throughout the afternoon. Battling at 5-62, it recovered to be 5-162 thanks to Williams and Daniel Clifford (39). But Phil Edwards (5-43) bowled Clifford for 39 to turn the contest, and the Factory lost a fatal 5-33.
“We’ll end up being one of those teams that the teams fighting for a spot in finals don’t want to be coming up against,” Kelly said.
“Obviously there is plenty of talent there.”