REID Oval, welcome back. The newly-refurbished multi-million dollar venue didn't disappoint the neutral in its Warrnambool and District Cricket Association return on Saturday.
North Warrnambool Eels and Nestles played out a thrilling tie - both finishing on 186 - in match of what could've been for both sides.
Eels skipper Nick Butters said the result was "as good as a win" in some cases but was disappointed his side couldn't get over the line. "When Wiz (Geoff Williams) and Chook (Jake Hetherington) were out there, they were batting unbelievably and the wicket was playing pretty good," he said.
"We got Wiz with a bit of luck and obviously Baz (Bailey Jenkinson) changed the game with bat and ball.
"We'll probably walk away and take the two points and be pretty happy. I think they'd be pretty disappointed they didn't win that game."
Butters said Jenkinson, who hit 74 in a calculated innings and backed it up with figures of 5-23, was unplayable.
"He's not the sort of player who is going to whack you off the park. The ground suited him in that he could play proper cricket shots and they'd go for four and he'd get value for his shots," he said.
"He's been batting well and hasn't got the scores he or we would've liked but it was really nice to see him get reward with the stick and with the ball, he's a super spinner.
I still think he's really underrated around the league and every week, we know what we're going to get, he's going to be tight, economical but he really cashed in.- Nick Butters on Bailey Jenkinson
"I still think he's really underrated around the league and every week, we know what we're going to get, he's going to be tight, economical but he really cashed in.
"It was nice to see him get a few wickets against his old side, which is always hard - play against teams you've played with - and it's probably a shame we didn't win when someone dominates like he did."
Butters also reserved praise for bowler Hank Schlaghecke and hailed his "unbelievable" contribution across the season.
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Nestles skipper Jake Hetherington said his side had mixed feelings reflecting on the result but would take positives moving forward.
He said Factory's resolve to chase down a big score was a major high point and confidence-booster. Hetherington said the club would also take knowledge out of the game about playing to the new Reid Oval conditions.
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