MINOR premier Merrivale might be the benchmark side of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association but captain-coach Justin Lynch knows it's not the finished article.
The Tigers capped off their stellar home and away season on Saturday, clocking up a 56-run victory against Allansford-Panmure to cement top spot.
The result at Allansford's Uebergang Oval and a wash-out at Jetty Flat confirmed a semi-final bout with North Warrnambool Eels on Saturday.
Lynch said the Tigers would spend the week rectifying little kinks in their gameplan and skills leading into the clash.
"I was a bit disappointed with our top-order (against Allansford-Panmure). I don't think it was so much the bowling that did the damage, it was more batsman's fault," he said.
"We've just got to get better at that. That's an area we have to get better at next week and if we do go on any further, the week after.
"Especially in finals, you've just got to make runs at the top. But I was happy otherwise. Theo (Opperman) batted really well (58 from 99 balls) and he and Danny Pearson put on a really good partnership together and kept the scoreboard ticking."
Lynch heaped praise on his tailend for a resilient effort which helped the Tigers push up to a 151-run total.
We did finish on top but I said to the boys 'well done, but our season starts again'.- Justin Lynch
Pearson's 19 from number eight led the line while Hugh Fleming, Jarrod Petherick and Marcus Bunney all contributed with the stick.
Lynch said while Merrivale was proud to finish first, it needed to switch it's attention to the semi-final almost instantly.
"We've still got a lot to work on. We did finish on top but I said to the boys 'well done, but our season starts again'," he said.
"Especially in one-dayers, it's only one partnership which generally gets you away. I can't express enough how our bowling has been super and we've just got so many options with the ball."
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Lynch said his side's semi-final opponent was a dangerous prospect.
"We've just got to stick to our routines, our bowling, our fielding, our plans to them," he said.
"I rate them as good as anyone. They've got three blokes there at the top (Nick Butters, Kory Howlett and Bailey Jenkinson) who are excellent players and everyone knows that.
"They've been such a successful side for the past 10 or so years so we won't take them lightly. They're probably the smokey in the pack.
"Two weeks ago it looked like they might not make it and then had a good win and they're up there. We're looking forward to the match-up.
"We want to beat the best and they've been one of the best for the past 10 years."
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