AS the celebrations started to kick up a notch on Saturday evening, the knowledge they had won the South West Cricket division two crown was still sinking in for the Boorcan Dragons.
“After the last two years going down, today – it’s still a little bit surreal,” co-captain Damian Jones said.
The breakthrough four-wicket win over Heytesbury Rebels at Terang Turf came after consecutive heartbreaks for the Dragons the previous two summers.
But Jones said the sustained excellence that has seen the Dragons compete in all three grand finals since stepping back into division two went beyond creating a winning culture.
“We play for each other; we love playing together,” he said. “When you’re hanging around with your mates, you don’t want to let them down.”
Jones paid credit to the team’s younger players, who stepped up to help it cover the loss of a couple of quality players this summer.
Boorcan bowled the Rebels out for 95 on Saturday, before securing the runs required with four wickets in hand, finishing on 6-96.
Jones made 26 not out, Lachie Boyle 22, Roger Horspole 15 and Matt Boyle eight not out – hitting two boundaries to secure the winning runs – as the Dragons spread load in the chase.
“To keep them to 95 was very unexpected, but we’ll take it,” Jones said.
“They’re quite a potent batting line-up, but they hand’t played on turf this year. We knew if we bowled the way we wanted to, we could make it difficult for them.”
Heytesbury Rebels had been 4-91 before Tim Fleming (3-21) and Ben Harty (3-19) struck, combining with a run-out effort from Noah Boyle to dislodge the final six wickets for just four runs.