The upward trend of junior cricket in the South West Cricket Association (SWC) is being reflected in the performance of its representative team.
SWC will contest the semi-finals of under 17 country week after finishing the qualifying rounds with three wins from four games.
This included Twenty20 wins against Wimmera Mallee and Portland on Wednesday.
SWC will take on Colac Gold in a semi-final at Uebergang Oval on Thursday.
Hamilton Gold and Warrnambool Gold will play the other semi-final at Avery’s Paddock
SWC has experienced growth in its club under 16 competition this season, with the inclusion of the Simpson Rebels taking the number of teams from six to seven. The new team is a combination of juniors from Simpson and the Heytesbury Rebels.
SWC coach Travis Brown, who also leads the Simpson Rebels, said cricket continues to gain momentum.
“The extra team at club level is giving more kids the chance to play cricket and that is always good,” Brown said.
“With our country week team there are some very talented players. It is great for the other boys in the team to be able to play with the lads who are playing senior and higher representative cricket.”
One of those top-end players for SWC is Isaac Wareham.
SWC had to defeat Portland to make the semi-finals and Wareham took it on himself to make sure that happened.
He took 1-5 with the ball and followed up with a match-winning performance with the bat.
Wareham guided the successful run chase, with SWC hauling in Portland’s score of 84 and going on to finish with 5-114.
Wareham made 60 off 53 balls, in a knock that included five fours and a six.
Warrnambool Blue was the only team to win three of its four games for the week and not make semi-finals.
It finished with a flurry on Wednesday, defeating Warrnambool-Grassmere and Colac Gold.
Warrnambool Blue and the other teams that finished outside the top four, Portland, Warrnambool-Grassmere, Hamilton Green, Wimmera Mallee and Colac Black, will play positional finals on Thursday.