BALLARAT cricket’s biggest prize is with Wendouree yet again.
The Red Caps yesterday became the first team in Ballarat Cricket Association history to win five-straight club firsts premierships with a convincing 10-wicket grand final triumph against Napoleons-Sebastopol at Eastern Oval.
Wendouree’s win was set up on day one of the decider, when it dismissed Naps-Sebas for just 53.
The Red Caps then made 165 in their first innings and rolled their rivals a second time for 188, leaving them 76 runs behind.
Openers Cole Roscholler and Tom Reece then carried the team over the line early yesterday without loss.
Wendouree president Ivan Pyke said it was an amazing achievement by the club, one that would be better appreciated in years to come.
“In time I suppose we will sit back and reflect.
“I know there is a lot of people that have been around for a long period of time that keep reminding me about it and how special it will be,” Pyke said. “We now set ourselves aside as the one side that has done it and I think that becomes pretty special for the playing group.
“And given that a lot of them have come through our juniors, I think that shows that the culture starts at the bottom.”
Wendouree achieved four-straight titles between seasons 1979-80 and 1982-83, with Mt Clear the only others to do it, winning between 1964-65 and 1967-68.
The weekend’s victory was the club’s third grand final win in-a-row against Naps-Sebas, which has to wait another year for a maiden first eleven flag.
“Success comes if you work hard and these guys have all worked very, very hard to get what they have got out of it,” Pyke said.
The firsts’ victory was part of a triple treat for Wendouree, which also won the seconds and thirds grand finals.
More cricket reports, photos, page 35
Grand final cricket scoreboards, page 30