Plenty Valley’s Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association under-15 Craig Shield campaign came to an end at the quarter final stage last week.

After building throughout the group stage, the Bats fell just short against Altona in the quarter finals on Tuesday.

The A’s made 8-143 off their overs, with the Bats falling just short, making 9-135.

Bats coach James Dickinson said while the side was disappointed to be knocked out of the competition, the players had continued to develop throughout all the games.

“We had a very good tournament,” he said. “We lost the first game to Kew and then started to get better and really improved with the batting intent and willingness to score runs.

“Things didn’t go our way against Altona. Altona played a little bit better and they got the win.

“We thought we could have gone a bit further but it didn’t happen.”

For the Bats, it was their two opening batsmen that were the standouts across the tournament.

Skipper Jai Lemire and Julian Drohan both averaged at least 40 with the bat. Drohan become the first Bats player to score a century in the history of the Craig/Hatch Shield.

Dickinson said both revelled in the chance to open the batting in every game.

“Jai is a great batsman who didn’t fail once,” he said. “He’s classy with hands and with the gloves as well.

“He came on leaps and bounds.

“Julian is seen more as a bowler. He was given the opportunity to open and gained so much confidence.

“It’s good reward for the hard work he has done to get there.”

Kaiden Arthur was the pick of the bowlers, and also chipped in with 61 in one game. For most of the players it was their first chance to play cricket on turf.

Dickinson said he was hopeful that some of these players would make the step in the subbies cricket next season.

It was the first foray into coaching for Dickinson, who is the Bats first XI skipper, and something he enjoyed.

“It took a bit of getting used to, but I was lucky a few parents helped out,” he said.

“Darren Callahan [club president] said there was an opening and I decided to dip my toe in the water.

“It was good fun with the young fellows. I might do a bit more coaching of the junior stuff now.”