DEFENDING champion Russells Creek is preparing for a tough grand final showdown against Brierly-Christ Church.
A six-wicket haul from Matthew Petherick on Sunday helped guide the Creekers to their third straight Warrnambool and District Cricket Association decider.
The Cameron Williams-led side recorded a 35-run win over Dennington in their semi-final at Jones Oval.
Bulls captain Mark Murphy (5-39) and veteran Jason Mungean (4-37) combined for nine wickets in their 52-run victory over Woodford at Dennington.
Murphy said a grand final berth was reward for a season of growth.
"There's real excitement. We have a good supporter base and they were in the rooms congratulating us and that's a thrill for the team," he said.
"The team shares it with the whole club. It means so much for people on the committee and past players as well."
Brierly-Christ Church made 176 on day one with Murphy's older brother Nathan top-scoring with 41.
Woodford showed resistence with captain Nick Butters chiming in with 52.
"They bat right down to 11 and we had to fight for every wicket," Murphy said.
"It was a great effort and I am proud of how everyone came together."
Williams was rapt with Creek's ability to defend 134.
He said two Dennington wickets on day one gave it confidence when it returned to the field on Sunday.
"Overnight wickets calmed the nerves and we got the big wicket of Dustin Drew,' Williams said.
"It put us in good stead. I thought our bowlers pushed hard and got constant wickets."
Williams labelled Petherick's 6-27 "unbelievable".
He said Russells Creek hadn't talked about the prospects of winning back-to-back flags and it was "all about this year and sticking to our game plan".
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