WHEN the pressure was piling up, Finn O'Sullivan stood up.
The youngster's 64-run total helped Warrnambool Blue secure Horsham Country Week victory on Friday, stunning Wimmera-West Mallee by 14 runs at City Oval.
It was O'Sullivan's second-straight half-century. The opening batsman also blasted 60 to help his side over Warrnambool Gold in Thursday's semi-final.
Warrnambool Blue coach Anton Lucas said his side had several contributors but praised O'Sullivan's resolve.
"He's a young boy who just really stood up when the pressure was on," Lucas said.
"It brings out the best in him. We had a couple of kids contribute most days and get a good total.
"Our bowling was nice and even as well. We had quite a few guys getting wickets so it was a pretty even performance."
Lucas said the opportunity for youngsters to "get away and do anything" was savoured given the coronavirus-interrupted year.
"It's been a pretty lean winter for them all," he said.
"It's been good for them to all go away and have a good week. They get to play with boys they wouldn't otherwise play with and enjoy each other's company."
Lucas said the benefits of country week were endless.
"They get to play on some good, fast pitches that offer a bit more bounce than they're used to playing on," he said.
"It's an opportunity to play against good cricketers. We lost to Hamilton this week and they had two boys who could really bat.
"But when you come away to this, all 11 players are capable of getting wickets."
Lucas said his side displayed resilience throughout the tournament.
Wimmera-West Mallee was in control at 2-111, chasing Warrnambool's 155-run total, but a flurry of wickets meant the ascendancy swung back to Blue.
Several bowlers - including Will Colla, Jesse Mahony-Gilchrist, Ryan Lucas and O'Sullivan claimed multiple wickets.
Aside from O'Sullivan, Joe Douglas (27 runs) and Will Colla (26) contributed heavily with the bat.
"It was a great effort from the boys, especially towards the end of the game," Lucas said.
"We probably should've got a few more with the bat. We would've liked to have been pushing 175 or 180.
"We thought 155 was still a good score though and it's always good to get some runs on the board in a grand final.
"We started off well bowling with a couple of wickets but the two boys who came in worked the ball around and didn't take too many risks at all.
"We dug deep and got a couple of crucial wickets and thankfully it swung back in our favour."
Allansford-Panmure's Noah Greene was awarded player of the tournament.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.