The Ballarat Cricket Association country week team won its way back into the provincial division in thrilling circumstances on Thursday.
The BCA side defeated Goulburn Valley by one wicket. Ryan Knowles (73*) and Jayden Hayes (6*) putting on 16 for the final wicket to move it into the grand final of the Victorian Country Cricket League Melbourne Country Week division two, where it will meet Bendigo Cricket Association.
Chasing 200 runs for victory, Ballarat found itself in trouble at 6-86, the task looking even more difficult at 8-141. However, Knowles was the backbone of the innings and guided his side to a memorable win. Jonah Healey, coming in at number 10, was crucial in the latter stages, hitting 35 off 24 balls before a "blinder" of a catch dismissed him.
Hayes clipped a ball to the fine leg boundary to bring up the victory, and deliver on what the BCA set out to do, return to the provincial division.
Knowles said he felt confident throughout the run chase, despite some nervy moments and that it was a relief to return to the top division.
"I was pretty confident," Knowles said.
"He (Hayes) bats three or four for his home club.
"The team's done pretty well all week.
"We weren't as good with the bat today, a few guys missed out, so hopefully tomorrow they're set to go.
"Being able to bat deep got us over the line today."
Matt Ringin was the pick of the bowlers taking 2-31 from 10 overs.
Ballarat will take on Bendigo Cricket Association in the grand final on Friday.
The two teams will have some idea of what to expect given they played each other in a lead-up match prior to the tournament.
The grand final will begin at 10am at Noble Park Reserve.