Woodford’s under 17 team celebrates its grand final win over West Warrnambool.WOODFORD capped its minor premiership with the real deal in Warrnambool and District Cricket Association’s under 17 grand final yesterday.
Nanjing Night Net

The 50-over match between the Eels and West Warrnambool was shifted from the waterlogged Reid Oval to Merrivale and played in relatively dry conditions. Woodford was sent in to bat yesterday morning, gradually climbing to 5-130 in an innings that featured a half-century by Jayvan Houston and timely hat-trick by Panther Tom Smith.

While the total was about 20 runs shy of what the Eels intended, a solid bowling performance soon ousted West for 88 after 37 overs.

Victorious assistant coach Warren Burgess said the young Woodford brigade was determined to get the job done, having dropped just one match for the year, which was against West in round four.

“Teenage boys don’t show much emotion,” he laughed.

“They knew what their jobs were and were just keen to get out there and play.

“We were happy to bat first and get the runs on the board.”

Opening duo Houston (61) and Jake Burgess (22) worked steadily to 1-36 before captain Luke Wines (33) and Houston drove their side beyond 100.

However, West medium-quick Smith (3-26) grew impatient, taking matters into his own hands.

He dismissed Wines, Adam Sell and Clifford in succession and had Woodford shell-shocked at 4-103.

The Eels recovered to bat out its innings, resting at 5-130.

“We thought (the total) was about 10 to 20 runs short,” Burgess, who was covering for regular coach John Palmer, said.

“But once we started taking wickets we thought we were in with a chance.

“All of the boys gelled really well.”

West opener Will Templeton managed 15, while Jye Turland offered 14 and Will Mills top-scored for his side with 16 runs from sixth down the order.

The Panthers struggled to get a partnership together and were wavering at 9-77.

Tailender Lachlan Miller (13) did his best to make something out of nothing with Damon Harrison (1 not-out) but a direct hit by Eels medium pacer Conner Richardson (2-20) sealed the result.

Woodford leg spinner Houston finished with three wickets for 19, alongside Jake Burgess (2-11) and Jack Clifford (2-7).

As the Eels leapt into celebration mode, the Panthers lamented another missed opportunity.

Coach Cory McDonald said West’s core group of players had lost a string of grand finals, stemming from under 15s two years ago.

All-rounder Houston was named player of the match.

“It was a close game,” the 16-year-old said.

“We had to work hard at the start and we didn’t lose too many wickets.

“Tom’s hat-trick threw us back a bit but then we bowled nice, tight lines and put the pressure back on them.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.