Summer stunner: English import Andrew Ford was a revelation for Wyndhamvale. Picture: Darren HoweA MONTH into the season, Wyndhamvale had a lousy nine points, sat third-last and had lost key all-rounder Trent Lawford to Premier Cricket.
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Lawford was a big loss; the leader of the pack moved to North Melbourne and was an immediate sensation with 538 runs and 33 wickets in the first XI.

The Falcons were on the tips of no one’s tongue when it came to finals talk.

Fast forward five months and the Falcons are perched atop the Williamstown and District Cricket Association A1 turf premiership dais for the first time since 2008-09.

“No one expected us to play finals after four or five rounds,” all-rounder Ryan Radford told the Weekly.

“To go on and win it, it’s a team thing, you’re pretty happy with that sort of stuff. It’s a good feeling.”

The Falcons completed the fairytale with a 219-run victory over minor premiers Williamstown Imperials in a six-day grand final at Bryan Martyn Oval.

They controlled the match from the outset to give the Imps a second consecutive loss.

“It wasn’t as easy as the scoreboard looks,” Radford said. “We had to bowl pretty well.”

Victory was set up with a century to the Falcons’ overseas import Andrew Ford, who made 112 and found a partner-in-crime in Lee Veal (62) as the Falcons made 244 in the first dig.

“He was inspirational on day one,” Radford said of man-of-the-match Ford. “Getting him into the team was probably the turning point in the season.”

The Imperials found it hard to get out of first gear, reaching 159 and giving the Falcons an 85-run lead.

In the second innings, the Falcons were 4-29 and in a spot of bother until a 150-run stand between Andrew Mundey (91) and Adam Moscatiello (59).

“Their partnership took a lot of the pressure off us,” Radford said.

The Imperials were set a massive 321 for victory but mustered just 112.

Young quick Jake Styles left a trail of destruction with eight wickets in the innings and 11 for the match.

Styles finished on 50 wickets for the season. “It’s a pretty big season for a 19-year-old,” Radford said. “He’s pretty sharp, but he’s carefree. He just runs in and bowls.”

SCOREBOARD:

A1 turf:

Williamstown Imperials 159 (D Slattery 33 A Royston 26 M Craig 25 L Macdougall 3-35 J Styles 3-36) and 112 (J Haines 26 J Styles 8-47) lt Wyndhamvale 244 (A Ford 112 L Veal 62 B Slattery 3-22 G Robson 3-46) and 236 (A Mundey 91 A Moscatiello 59 RD Radford 30 R Hilson 5-57)

B1 turf:

Deer Park Ardeer 306 (G Bennett 97 M Szulikowski 50 M Beljac 40 P Tawaf 34 S Brown 3-46 C Tucker 2-18 S Dyson 2-31 T Stanchinotti 2-93) d Williamstown Congs 81 (R Suvada 4-32 J Bonnici 3-22 R Bonnici 2-19) and 146 (M Leach 65no R Suvada 5-75 R Bonnici 3-30)

B2 turf:

Melton South 118 (D Grero 39 D Croft 5-66 R Bolton 2-9 A Fine 2-20) and 184 (R Catlin 57 B Wilson 39 D Croft 5-33 J Bulbeck 4-57) lt Gellibrand 389 (S Buttigieg-Clarke 164 C Kennedy 78 J Bulbeck 33 D Croft 30 A Gusic 5-58 B Landers 2-51 D Grero 2-67) and 263 (D Croft 84 M Taylor 40 C Kennedy 27)

C composite:

Melton Centrals 108 (T Robinson 41 M Konjevic 4-30 S Najdek 3-21 W Donaldson 2-26) and 130 (S Bairstow 30 A Kendall 27 J Charge 25 M Konjevic 2-23) d Grand United 90 (C Patmore 3-22 B Todd 2-7 J Charge 2-18 A Zenonos 2-31) and 108 (C Patmore 4-43 J Charge 2-24 A Zenonos 2-30)

A grade matting:

Caroline Springs 158 (C Viola 58 T Blackman 39) and 291 (G O’Toole 72 V Sohi 46 M Psaila 45 N Kashyap 36 T Chhimwal 26) d Melton Centrals 109 (V Sohi 7-29 N Kashyap 2-35) and 159 (V Sohi 3-26 I Shattock 2-6 M Kannambra 2-15)

B grade matting:

Caroline Springs 442 (J Forbes-Anthony 99no N Vulic 84 R Shankar 73 D Le-Paez 61 P Singh 27) d Williamstown Imperials 137 (N Vulic 2-4 M Rahman 2-29 W Jaensch 2-29 G Gray 2-30)

C grade matting:

Grand United 437 (J Ralph 178 C Metcher 71 J Edwards 71 MC Dyke 36 T Ralph 27 C Amla 4-69 S Sachdev 2-61) d Williamstown Colts 202 (S Mahendru 90 P Bordoloi 25 BJ Bostock 5-20 D Sutherland 2-27) and 200 (BJ Bostock 3-42 MC Dyke 3-43 J Ralph 2-29)

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