TERANG batsman Tyson Hay has wanted to play in a division one grand final for as long as he’s been playing cricket.
The now 18-year-old first-drop batsman started out at Terang when his dad Paul coached the under 12s and has worked his way up through the ranks, cementing a spot in the top grade over the past four seasons.
On Saturday, he will take to the field with his good mates for the club he loves when they take on South West Cricket giant Mortlake in the final at Camperdown.
“Since I’ve been at the club, I’ve always wanted to play a grand final with the division one boys, so it feels good,” Hay said.
“I’ve always loved the game of cricket and I was a keen little cricketer and always wanted to play division one.”
Hay credits cricket training sessions with Warrnambool-based Nathan Murphy, who captained Brierly-Christ Church in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association this summer, for his rise from the lower order to the top two seasons ago.
“I wasn’t much of a batsman – I had been number eight,” Hay said.
“I had lessons with Nathan Murphy, focusing on batting and bowling. Nathan was unreal to me and made my batting a lot better. I’ve moved up to first-drop now.”
Hay said this season has stood out as a highlight, not just for him, but the team as a whole, particularly since resuming after Christmas.
“After Christmas, I think we all started to take training more seriously; we thought this year could be our year,” he said.
Terang captain Brett Hunger said the realisation the team had made it through to the grandest stage set in immediately after their thrilling semi-final win over Heytesbury Rebels. They passed the required 210 runs with two wickets and an over to spare.
“It was an amazing game – 420-odd runs scored, it had to be game of the year,” Hunger said. “We were just elated to come out with the win and know there was going to be a next week for us. One thing we gained out of the weekend, it was the moment we realised that we’re never out of a game."