MERRIVALE hopes its premiership-winning cubs will build on their form as they move up age groups after winning the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association under 13 grand final on Sunday.
The Tigers overcame a gallant Cobden-Mortlake in a high-scoring contest at Mack Oval which went the distance.
Cobden-Mortlake made 175 from its 48 overs - which were split in two - while Merrivale did enough to sneak home despite losing wickets late.
Merrivale coach Jeremy Burgess - a former division one club captain - said it was topsy-turvy, high-quality final.
"I was nervous all game; I am not the best at that sort of stuff," he said.
"Then it got tight when they got a couple of wickets near the end and I thought we might have been a bit of trouble.
"But credit to the boys at the end, they did a great job and got us over the line."
Cobden-Mortlake started strongly, making 1-105 in its first dig, with Merrivale 0-89 after its first allotted 24 overs.
The composite team posted 5-70 in its second innings while the Tigers, with player of the match Charlie Mahony-Gilchrist retiring on 40 not out, chased down the score in the 46th over allowing its players to run onto the field and celebrate.
"Charlie batted really well and made 40-odd retired, kept really well, bowled really well and caused a couple of run outs as well, so he had an all-round great game and definitely deserved man of the match," Burgess said.
"Rhys Wallace, our captain, has been unreal all year and made another 40 not out today. He's only been out once this year."
Top-order bat Beau Gannon made 26 not out in the Tigers' first innings and backed it up with 32 in their second dig before being run out to play a vital role in the result.
Burgess said he was rapt with the Tigers' dedication throughout the 2021-22 season.
"Some of them are only nine or 10 years old and we have some top-age kids as well and we wanted to get them to gel together and do the fundamentals really well," he said.
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