WEST Warrnambool struck every time Allansford started mounting a comeback in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) one-day final.
The Merri conference Panthers are the inaugural WDCA one-day premiers after thrashing the Hopkins conference Gators by six wickets at Jones Oval yesterday.
A miserly bowling effort was the foundation of the triumph, with five bowlers taking wickets to limit Allansford to 8-131 from 45 overs.
Karl Turner (34), Alastair Templeton (20) and Ben Threlfall (48) then ensured there would be no upset with a positive display at the crease.
West Warrnambool finished with 4-132 from 34.4 overs.
The winning run came courtesy of a leg bye off the bowling of Tim Atwell.
Victorious captain Michael Threlfall was full of praise for his side, which is favourite to complete the double when two-day finals roll around in March.
Threlfall said the match was a chance for his players to see how they would handle the pressure of a final.
They emerged with full marks.
“It’s something for us to build on,” Threlfall said.
We know we are good enough to match it with sides in the other conference.
“It’s about doing it week after week, applying ourselves at training and getting through the Saturday games.”
Threlfall said West Warrnambool won all the key moments in the match.
Four Allansford batsmen got starts and reached double figures but none passed 30.
The pattern with partnerships was similar — the best stand for the Gators was 24 for the eighth wicket, between Michael Smith and Rowan Ault.
“We bowled pretty well. We took a couple of quick ones early and from then on we applied the pressure and tried to dot them up as much as we could,” Threlfall said.
“They tried to stay at the crease and we took wickets at crucial times.
‘‘As soon as they got a partnership on the go, we were able to get a wicket, a good catch or a run out.”
The win marked the end of the Panthers’ best weekend of the season.
They made 270 and have the Pirates at 2-15 after day one of their regular-season match on Saturday.
English import Turner and teenager Ben Threlfall were the stars of the show in that match as well.
Collectively they made 210 runs across two days.
Threlfall, in particular, has picked up where he left off last season.
His season also includes knocks of 61 and 62 at under 18 state championships last month.
“Ever since he had that week with the Western Waves he’s looked in really good knick,” Michael Threlfall said.
“He’s timing the ball brilliant.”
Allansford, meanwhile, faces a major test to emerge from a mid-season rut.
The Gators have not won since December and have dropped to third in their conference.
But they have 251 on the board after day one of their two-day match against East Warrnambool-YCW and are favourite to take the points when play resumes on Saturday.