Textbook: English import Andrew Ford digs in for Wyndhamvale. Picture: Darren HoweA MONTH into the season, Wyndhamvale had a lousy nine points, sat third-last and lost key all-rounder Trent Lawford to Premier Cricket.
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.
Put simply, 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 winners of the Williamstown and District Cricket Association A1 turf premiership for the first time since 2008-09.
CLICK HERE for our picture gallery from day one of the grand final.
‘‘No one expected us to play finals after four or five rounds,’’ all-rounder Ryan Radford said.
‘‘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 219-run victory over minor premiers Williamstown Imperials in a six-day grand final that went thedistance at Bryan Martyn Oval.
They controlled the contest from the outset to leave the Imps sick and sorry on the back of a second consecutive grand final loss.
Victory was set up with a century to the Falcons overseas import Andrew Ford, who made 112 and found a valuable partner 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.
The Falcons set about posting an unassailable lead in the second innings, although t it did not start well for them.
They 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.’’
Playing-president Chris Plummer brought up his 100th A1 turf wicket in the grand final.
The 44-year-old heart and soul of the club will return for the premiership defence.