PERSISTENCE sums up Allansford-Panmure. The under 17 boys side has been a perennial bridesmaid - not having tasted premiership success - despite successive Warrnambool and District Cricket Association finals appearances in recent years.
But on Sunday, the tide finally turned.
The Noah Greene-inspired Gators defeated Merrivale in a low-scoring 16-run thriller at Uebergang Oval, ending years of almosts to deliver a drought-breaking flag.
Greene, who was pronounced player of the match, said the near-misses made the victory all the sweeter. "My whole juniors I've made finals every year, right from bottom-age under 13s until now," he said.
This was our last real crack at it and we're able to get it done.- Noah Greene
"This was probably the last season with all these boys. I've got another year but most of them will go up into seniors.
"This was our last real crack at it and we're able to get it done."
Both Greene and Flynn Gleeson, a regular fixture in the Gators' side, said the club had invested countless hours into their development as juniors. Both reserved praise for coach Jake Bloom and his commitment to countless throwdowns in the nets at training.
They both agreed their side's bowling performance - led by four-wicket hero Blake Mottram - laid the foundation for success after it managed just 101 with the bat.
"Yeah, 101 isn't the greatest score on a deck like (Uebergang) Oval," he said.
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"But having runs on the board just really helps. I think you can see, those last 20 runs in a final just really helps.
"It was the same for us last week, we only just won the semi-final and you can see how much it helps."
Greene said the bowlers were able to execute a good line and length.
"Those balls on the top of off stump are just so hard to play," he said.
"We bowled some rubbish early, a bit of short stuff, but when you can hit that length on top of off it's just hard to put away."
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