GRASSMERE Cricket Association fell at its final Bendigo Country Week hurdle yesterday.
Bendigo proved too strong for the Chris Bant-led side in the division three grand final.
Grassmere fell 75 runs short in a rain-delayed match.
Teenager Tom Mahony said it was a heart-breaking finish after entering the decider undefeated.
“We dropped a few catches early and they got too many runs,” he said.
“We played some wrong shots during our innings and couldn’t do the job.
“It’s really disappointing, winning four games and then coming in to the grand final and getting beaten fairly convincingly.”
Play was reduced to 42 overs each after two hours was lost in the morning.
Mahony, 17, tried his utmost to destabilise the Bendigo batting line-up but it set 9-242.
The Panmure all-rounder took 7-69 to be the pick of the Grassmere bowlers.
Mahony, who only batted in one of the preliminary games, said it was his career-best haul.
“I did all right. A lot of them were caught — it wasn’t all my own work,” he said yesterday.
Grassmere was all out for 167 in reply, handing the title to hosts.
Ben Julius top scored with 46 and James McKinnon chimed in with 42.
Mahony said Grassmere, which lost the grand final in 2013, was pleased with its efforts throughout the week.
He said the side had strong batting depth, which was highlighted in its four wins, and produced strong, tight bowling displays.
“We came with a more talented side than last year and we knew if we played good cricket as a team we’d be able to beat anyone on our day,” Mahony said.
Grassmere recorded a five-wicket win against Maryborough on Monday, defeated Northern District Colts by 131 runs on Tuesday and clinched a 15-run victory against Red Cliffs on Wednesday and celebrated a 123-run victory against Grampians on Thursday to snare a grand final berth.