SOUTH West Cricket has its rags-to-riches story just one round into the season.
Woorndoo proved it would not be a top-grade push-over, upstaging Boorcan by seven wickets at Woorndoo Recreation Reserve.
The triumph comes seven months after the Tigers, battling a severe player shortage, fielded just one side in the competition — in division three.
But a productive off-season, highlighted by smart recruiting and renewed commitment from existing players, provided the launch pad for their rise.
Captain Grant Cameron said the win had generated positivity at the rural club, located halfway between Mortlake and Lake Bolac.
He said the Tigers were not getting ahead of themselves, aware greater challenges — such as Mortlake this weekend — lay ahead.
“We’re not out there to set stupid standards, we’re trying to have a bit of fun,” he said.
“We all want to play a better grade of cricket but we want to have a fair bit of fun at the same time.”
Boorcan won the toss and batted and was in a healthy position at 3-122 but lost 7-19 thereafter to stagger to 141 all out in 48.3 overs.
Gus Bourke (42) and Scott Lucas (40) added 43 for the second wicket, the only Dragons to hold their own at the crease.
Cameron was the most damaging with the ball, snaring 3-14 from 10 overs. Brody Mifsud was also effective, taking 3-15 from 7.3 overs.
Woorndoo was steady in reply, reaching the target three wickets down. The Tigers’ first four partnerships added at least 30 to the score.
Cameron and teenager Lachlan Jubb top scored with 37 and Lake Bolac brothers Nigel Otto (36) and Joe Otto (33) also contributed.
Scott Lucas was the leading wicket-taker with 3-35 from five overs, all after the result was confirmed.
Cameron said the Tigers would put up a fight each week. “We’re a bit sceptical as to where we are going to be,” he said.
“I don’t think we’ll be a finals side but we’re going to battle our arses off to get where we can.”
In other South West Cricket matches, Noorat made the most of an understrength Cobden to claim a 131-run win at Cobden Technical School.
Bernie Harris top scored with 67 and Dave Conheady hit 52 as opener in the visitors’ 7-209 batting first.
The win was never in doubt as Cobden consistently lost wickets, all out for 78 in 30.3 overs.
Paceman Warren Attrill took 4-13 and Scott Coverdale claimed 3-23 to be the pick of the bowlers.
An even spread of batsmen helped Terang score a five-wicket win against Heytesbury Rebels at Timboon Recreation Reserve.
Tom Moloney (54), Liam Venn (40) and skipper Ben Grinter (34) all contributed as the Bloods chased down 9-155, finishing on 6-184.
Travis Brown (71) and Jeff Rosolin (37) were the best for the Rebels.
Tim Place heralded his return to Pomborneit with a well-made 78 in an 85-run win against Bookaar at Pomborneit Recreation Reserve.
The Bulls made 199 before routing the Pelicans for 114 in 37.4 overs, with six bowlers among the wickets.
Jackson Merrett (5-28) and Fraser Lucas (28) were the Pelicans’ best.