BALLARAT Cricket Association is out of Melbourne Country Week’s premier division.
A five-wicket defeat at the hands of Mornington Peninsula yesterday condemned Ballarat to a winless campaign and the bottom of the provincial table, ensuring relegation ahead of the 2014 carnival.
BCA president Alan Parker described the result as “devastating” and labelled player unavailability as the biggest issue facing the competition.
He said getting the best cricketers to travel to Melbourne had proven tough this season.
“We are exceedingly disappointed, but already starting to think about the campaign of next year and how we can get ourselves back into provincial division one,” Parker said yesterday.
“We will move heaven and earth...”
Parker praised the efforts of those who had put their hands up to play in the carnival.
He said the association would have a de-brief session in the coming weeks to identify other problems within its control.
A serious foot injury to captain Matt Goonan early on day one against South West was the start of a difficult week for the Ballarat team.
The Mt Clear batsman was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament.
The team was then skippered by Darley’s Matt Cape for that clash before the role was given to Brown Hill’s Ryan Knowles for the rest of the week.
Ballarat finished clearly on the bottom of the table following its four pool matches and as the only association without a win.
Mornington Peninsula’s victory over Ballarat yesterday lifted it to second on the ladder and into a grand final play-off against Sale-Maffra today.
Mornington Peninsula 51.76
South West 38.89
Murray Valley 27.19
Leongatha & District 26.66