It was no surprise that Lancefield’s bowling star Matthew Bowden was named man of the match in the B-grade grand final win.
The Tigers, who were playing in E-grade in 2012-13, have now won three premierships in four different grades in the past five years. They’ve also finished runners-up during that period.
Next season the Tigers will play in the McIntyre Cup for the first time after an outright victory against Wallan in the B-grade grand final on Saturday. Last time they were in the top grade, in 1994-95, it was still known as the A-grade competition.
Bowden, who took 10 wickets, including seven in the first innings, said the closeness of the side was vital to the success.
“We’re a really tight-knit group,” he said.
“Most of us are locals and have been through the grades together and are really good mates. It does help when you’re on the field.”
Nine out of the 11 players have played most, if not all their cricket at Lancefield. Skipper Luke Barker came in three seasons ago from Woodend, while Glenn Warner came across this season, also from Woodend.
Jarryd McGill and Chris Collins have played in four grand finals over the five year period. Nathan and Luke Malone, along with Bowden, have played in three of the four grand finals.
Bowden said he didn’t think the side’s rise could have come without the arrival of Barker.
Bowden, who has taken out man of the match in both the B-grade and C-grade premierships, and was B-grade bowler of the year with 45 wickets for the season, was more than happy to focus on the team achievements.
“I was just happy to get the grand final win,” he said. “I had a good day but everyone else played their role too. Individual awards don’t mean anything, team success is more important.”
Bowden said he was looking forward to the challenge of playing in the McIntyre Cup next season.
“It’ll be pretty good and we’re looking forward to see how we will go in it,” he said.
“A few years ago no one thought it would happen The team now believes we can match it with anyone.”