RUSSELLS Creek Blue has continued its winning ways at junior level by claiming the Warrnambool and Distrtict Cricket Association (WDCA) under 17 Twenty20 title.
Creek defeated Port Fairy by three runs in a thrilling decider on the Allansford hard wicket yesterday to win its first piece of silverware for the summer.
All-rounders Liam Brown and Callum Humphrys were the pivotal players in the triumph, starring with both bat and ball.
Brown made 82 opening the innings and combined with Jack Primmer (38) and Humphrys (36 not out) in a score of 4-173 from 20 overs.
The Pirates put everything in the run chase but ultimately came up short, despite the efforts of Grayson Widmer (82) and Sam Wilson (45).
Humphrys took 2-27 while Brown grabbed 2-19. Brown secured the victory by bowling the tense final over which left the Pirates stranded on 5-170.
Russells Creek Blue coach Matt Ansell said having three top-order batsmen make runs, compared with the Pirates’ two, proved the difference.
Ansell said the win was the fourth from five grand finals for the young group, which has risen through the age ranks.
“They’re used to winning but they haven’t been travelling that well this year. They’ve been a bit up and down, a bit inconsistent,” he said.
“But the cream goes to the top sometimes. The grand final sparked them into action. I’m proud to win. It was by no means an easy win.
“Port Fairy has improved. They’ve recruited three boys and that’s added to their depth and made it tough.”
Ansell praised the efforts of Brown and Humphrys, two young leaders the club hopes will become frontline seniors in years to come.
“You could argue Callum was the difference. Liam was the standout player but Callum had a great game as well. He’s been in great form.”
The WDCA under 17 season resumes on Sunday with Dennington playing Merrivale at Merrivale Recreation Reserve, a rescheduled match from round six.
Day one of round 10 is on Tuesday. Port Fairy, Nestles, Dennington and Wesley-CBC are the top four, ahead of Russells Creek Blue and Russells Creek White.