WARRNAMBOOL Gold captain Liam Burgess left the perfect performance for when his side needed it most.
After scrapping into the under 17 country week semi-final by four runs and the final in the last over, the Woodford all-rounder made sure Gold were in the hunt for victory against South West in the decider at Reid Oval on Friday.
The 17-year-old, who had scored just 12 runs in two innings across the week, piled on 103 runs as Warrnambool posted a total of 206.
A century from Mortlake’s Ollie Mahncke was not enough for South West to get across the line as Gold held on for a 16-run victory.
West Warrnambool’s Elijah Dawson was also handy with the ball in Gold’s defence, taking 3-43 from his 10-over spell.
Burgess was quick to shift the focus away from his player-of-the-match performance, which included two wickets.
“I hit them alright and we were struggling a bit at 2-20 and me and Matty Sinnott (31) said we got to get a partnership going,” he said.
“’Sinno’ batted really well and and I had a few lucky shots and got dropped a couple of times. It was good to get some runs on the board and help the team out.”
Warrnambool coach Al Templeton said he was proud of the week his side had put together.
“They were really good all week and if we look back from Monday to now they are a much better side now as they have gelled,” he said.
“They have talked it up in the field and supported each other more and all those things that you don’t do at rep cricket at the start of the week.
“They have improved a lot between now and Monday and I think we probably saw today what our best cricket is and that was the best thing to see in a final.”
In last year’s decider Warrnambool Blue and Colac combined for just 167 runs from 20 wickets. This year both sides combined for a total of 396 runs from 14 wickets.
Burgess, along with Tom Mahony and Mitch Annett, were all part of the Blue team that claimed the title in 2018.
Portland and District Cricket Association’s Lachie Wartburton was named player of the week after scoring two tons – 101 against Warrnambool-Grassmere in round one on Monday and 112 against Hamilton Green in the semi-final on Thursday.