Werribee has played out its worst nightmare under the spotlight of the Victorian Sub-District Cricket Association finals.
The Tigers were battered from pillar to post by Balwyn in a lopsided qualifying final at Gordon Barnard Reserve at the weekend.
Having advanced to the finals on the back of four straight wins, big things were expected from the Tigers in March.
Instead, they rolled over meekly against the side that was last to beat them in the home-and-away rounds.
Batting on day one, Werribee mustered a disappointing 55 in 26.4 overs.
Only two Tigers batsmen – captain-coach Tim O’Brien (11) and all-rounder James Freeman (13) – reached double figures.
Werribee was much better with the ball, but simply lacked enough runs to seriously challenge for victory. Balwyn’s 164 – a lead of 109 – was massive in the context of the game. The home side reached the target one down.
Werribee would bat again, but it did not fare much better, struggling to 4-23 before the umpires mercifully called a halt to the match.
Amid the carnage, there were a couple of shining lights for Werribee – talented teenage paceman Matt Watt and ever-reliable spinner Michael Kelly.
Watt tried to claw the Tigers back into the game with 5-24 off 14 overs, including the removal of Balwyn’s top-four batsmen. Kelly took 3-43 to make it three wickets in an innings in four of his past six games.
It has been 21 years since Werribee’s last first XI premiership. The wait continues.