RUTHLESS efficiency with the ball has helped Merrivale take hold of its own Warrnambol and District Cricket Association finals fate.
On Saturday, the Tigers bowled Port Fairy out for 124, successfully defending their score of 183.
The win keeps Merrivale in fourth place, with Nestles and Dennington at their heals.
The Factory and the Dogs play each other this week, while the Tigers come up against West Warrnambool.
Merrivale co-captain Josh Stapleton said the win over the Pirates had laid out a clear path for his team to follow.
“It is good to have our fate in our own hands,” Stapleton said.
“We would love to win our last two games against West Warrnambool and Russells Creek.
“They are both good teams so we know if we beat them then we would head into finals knowing we are fit for the task.”
Five Merrivale bowlers were among the wickets against Port Fairy, a even spread that pleased Stapleton.
“Our bowlers always do a good job, they work hard,” Stapleton said.
“Port Fairy got to near 60 without losing a wicket and I was a bit worried. But the boys kept plugging away and the breakthroughs came.”
Stapleton praised the efforts of 17-year-old off-spinner Ryan Fleming, who claimed 2-7 from his six overs.
“He wasn’t that pleased with how he bowled but you look at his figures and he did a terrific job,” he said.