THE future of Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) is bright if its performance at the inaugural under 13 Portland Country Week was any indication.
WDCA advanced to yesterday’s grand final against Mount Gambier, but was outclassed by the talented South Australian invader.
However, encouraging Warrnambool coach Jayaweera Bandara said his under 13 side had plenty to be proud of this week.
WDCA won its first three matches against Portland Black, Hamilton Green and Portland Gold.
The first loss of the week came against eventual tournament winner Mount Gambier in the fourth round on Tuesday.
“They did a really good job all week,” Bandara said.
“They all batted and bowled well and improved each day.
“It was a good experience for them to be able to play against the best kids in the district.”
The grand final was played on turf at Henty Park in Portland.
Mount Gambier won the toss and elected to bat in the Twenty20 decider.
“We were going to do the same thing,” Bandara conceded.
The South Australians settled into the Victorian surrounds just fine and raced to 4-112.
Warrnambool leg-spinner Charlie Locke collected two wickets for four runs off three overs.
He was supported by medium-pacer Blake Evans (1-17).
An optimistic Bandara was confident in Warrnambool’s ability to chase the target.
“We thought their total was reachable,” he said.
“We lost a couple of wickets early but then we pulled it back.”
However, reality struck with five overs to go when Warrnambool required 60 runs to win the match. The challenge proved too big.
Warrnambool’s Caleb Bidmade retired with a team-high 20 runs, while Matt Dennis retired on 15 and Ben Heard made 18. Meanwhile, Grassmere Cricket Association (GCA) was unbeaten until yesterday when it was knocked out of grand final contention by Mount Gambier.
South West Cricket (SWC) won two matches in the minor rounds.