WOODFORD’S stranglehold on the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association’s top prize is breathing life after a part-time bowler produced a masterclass to deny Russells Creek a maiden premiership.
Eels medium-pacer Luke Wines snared three wickets for just seven runs – including Creek captain Cameron Williams – to turn the tide of the match.
His also removed veteran batsman Jayaweera Bandara and Izzy Yaddehige from the crease to help his team to a third successive two-day premiership.
Woodford posted 209 runs on Saturday and defended with aplomb, removing a brave Creek side for 150 late on Sunday afternoon.
Overjoyed Eels coach John Houston told The Standard the club had not yet closed its chapter despite the three-peat success.
“It’s not closed at all just yet,” he said.
“What we’ve been able to do is recruit in good, young players. They know if they come to us, they’re going to get opportunities to play really well and at a good level.
“We’ll probably recruit another one or two younger players in the off-season just to keep turning over the guys.
“It keeps us energised, and it keeps us fresh. It means we keep that belief and excitement about our group.”
Creek looked to regain ascendancy through Williams’ innings of 63, but lost five wickets for no runs after he was dismissed via stumping.
Houston admitted his side was nervous on the back of Williams’ form but didn’t lose faith in its ability to win.
“We try to coach for that. I think at different stages we’ve got blokes who can stand up and respond,” he said.
“We’ve been together for seven years now, for the most part.
“We’ve been in four grand finals and won three, and I think that’s something you can’t buy.
“It’s just experience. We know what we have to do (to win).”
(Woodford's) chapter definitely isn't closed as of yet.John Houston