WARRNAMBOOL Gold coach Andrew Thomson believes the creation of a junior development program was behind victory at Horsham Under 15 Country Week.
Warrnambool Gold upstaged South West on the final day of the carnival, cruising to an eight-wicket win at City Oval after a convincing bowling display.
Jake Hetherington snared 3-12 and Bailey Timms took 3-13 as South West was all out for 88 in the 37th over — eight short of its allocation.
But openers Liam Brown, 1-14, and Brody Couch, 0-10, were also influential with the new ball.
Tailenders Lachlan Hawkins, 16 not out, and Jack Atkins, 15, were the best of the South West batsmen.
In reply, Charlie Locke made 30, Connor McLeod reached 25 not out and Liam Brown added 17 not out to take Warrnambool Gold to 2-90.
Lachlan Wareham did his best to prevent the inevitable with a stellar spell taking 1-7 from six overs.
Thomson said the WDCA junior development squad, which ensured representative cricketers trained together regularly, was a major factor in the triumph.
“The junior development squad that has been put in place in Warrnambool means they have been training weekly for the last six months,” he said.
“That had a real effect on the depth in the side. Previously, you would have five, six, seven who hold the team together.
“Now we have players who are batting at eight, nine, 10 who are capable of batting at three if need be. And it’s the same thing with the ball.”
Thomson said the teens’ attitude to playing as a team also played a role. He said each player knew their role and how they had to contribute.
“I wanted players to fill the team so the team can have the best possible outcome. That’s the way you get maximum output for the team,” he said.
Warrnambool Gold went unbeaten throughout Horsham Under 15 Country Week, beating Horsham, Wimmera-Mallee and Warrnambool Blue before yesterday.
Liam Brown earned player of the tournament honours, scoring 147 runs at 49.00 and taking seven wickets at 9.29.
Lachie Wareham was the leading run-maker for South West with 137, but finished with consecutive ducks. He also topped the wickets tally with seven.
Joe McKinnon made the most runs for Warrnambool Blue, 86, while Callum Dunn stood out with the ball, taking 10 wickets.