-SEE: Our picture gallery of the grand final.
– SEE: Killer instinct returns and Centurions win flag
WERRIBEE Centrals would not be denied in their quest for perfection in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association west B1.
The Centurions had a summer to remember, going through October to March undefeated.
The premiership headed to Shaws Road on Saturday after the hot favourites put St Andrews to the sword in the grand final at Laverton Park.
The Saints applied their own kind of mercy rule, player-coach Jake Buttigieg calling the game off late on day three, knowing it would be a forlorn task for his side.
Centurions opening batsman Chris Duffin told the Weekly that while his players were confident heading into the finals, they were wary of not getting too far ahead of themselves with history showing that many a side has slipped up after unbeaten home-and-away seasons.
“Winning all those games throughout the year just qualifies you for the finals,” he said. “Plenty of times we’ve seen sides go all the way undefeated and get to a grand final and lose.
“You’ve still got to produce in finals.” Produce they did.
The Centurions were ruthless, particularly in the season decider. They had the Saints on the ropes at 8-32 on day one and never looked back.
The Saints did well to manufacture 90, but the game was taken away from them when the Centurions posted 256 on the back of a magical century from Jared Lions (109).
“He was probably a bit nervous, a bit scratchy late last Sunday [second day],” Duffin said. “He knew he had to put in the hard work and to be no out. The third day he was just amazing, he was hitting balls over the top, playing square drives and he really took the game away from them.”
Lions, who came in at No. 6, featured in a game-defining 100-run stand with his player-coach Phil Crea.
Crea scored 37 in the partnership, but his mere presence in the Centurions camp this season has lifted the club considerably after a hellish previous two campaigns that saw the club relegated twice.
“The most important thing Phil has brought back to the club, it’s that positive attitude and positive outlook,” Duffin said. “No matter what the situation, you’re always in the game if you play positive cricket.”
With a first innings lead of 166 in the grand final, it was going to take the Saints’ best effort and then some to pass the score and post a significant enough lead to make the Centurions sweat.
All they could offer up was 6-70, leading their player-coach Jake Buttigieg to call the game off late on day three.
“It was a strange one not knowing we could really celebrate,” Duffin said. “We knew it was only a matter of time.
“We really enjoyed those last 10 or 15 overs in the field.
“It’s a fantastic weekend for the club with the seconds also winning the premiership.”
VTCA GRAND FINALS
West B1: Werribee Centrals 256 (J Lions 109 MW Nankervis 47 P Crea 37; M Pipczak 4-45 TR Cullum 3-58) d St Andrews 90 (TR Cullum 35no; S Crea 6-30) and 6-70 (J Buttigieg 37; S Crea 3-25 AK Edrich 3-40).
You ripper! Werribee Centrals players are ecstatic after another wicket in the VTCA grand final. Picture: Michael Copp
West B2: Point Cook 136 (B Munce 47 C Kavanagh 37; D Taylor 6-36 M Wilson 3-4) lost to Werribee Centrals 249 (T Arunthavapalan 64 S Jennings 62 MW Johnson 42; A Farrier 5-60)