WARRNAMBOOL and District Cricket Association has just suffered a devastating two-run defeat in its Melbourne Country Week division two grand final.
It means Bairnsdale returns to provincial grade next year and the WDCA is consigned to division two for a fourth consecutive year.
The WDCA had been chasing its lowest score of the week to claim victory after a stunning bowling display by Nirranda's Jason Mungean, Russells Creek's Ben Boyd and Woodford's Jake McKinnon helped restrict Bairnsdale to 9-168 off 50 overs.
After winning the toss and batting, Bairnsdale made a flying start, racing to 0-64 off 12 overs.
But Mungean (3-19 off 10 overs) and Boyd (2-26 off 10) strangled the run rate as the WDCA picked up 6-34 in the next 21 overs to leave Bairnsdale reeling at 6-98 after 35 overs.
McKinnon, while he didn't get the rewards, bowled eight tight overs for just 18 overs in that period.
The bowling was backed up by some brilliant fielding with Brierly's Nathan Murphy making a direct hit run out and Woodford's Nick Butters taking a tough catch running with the flight of the ball.
WDCA v Bairnsdale - Bill Lawry Oval, Northcote
S. Davidson c J. Stapleton b J Mungean 37
H. Erfurth c A. Williams b B. Eldridge 40
B. Sexton c N. Mirphy b J. Mungean 0
A. Hulme c C. Williams b J. Mungean 3
M. Latham run out (N. Murphy) 6
C. McPhan run out (B. Eldridge) 1
L. Schumann c J. McKinnon b B. Boyd 37
N. Pollard b Boyd 7
D. Freitag not out 21
A. Cameron c N. Butters b H. Schleghecke 3
J. Robinson not out 4
Extras: (5b, 1lb, 1w, 2nb) 9
1-64 (S. Davidson), 2-64 (B. Sexton), 3-71 (A. Hulme), 4-79 (M. Latham), 5-84 (C. McPhan), 6-98 (H. Erfurth), 7-128 (N. Pollard), 8-145 (L. Schumann) 9-151 (A. Cameron)
Bowling. H. Schlaghecke 10 0 1-52 B. Eldridge 10 1 1-43 B. Boyd 10 4 2-26 Jason Mungean 10 3 3-19 J. McKinnon 8 2 0-18 B. Dobson 2 0 0-4