Bacchus Marsh has claimed back-to-back Gisborne and District Cricket Association McIntyre Cup Premier Firsts premierships.
Clearly the best team over the past two seasons, the Bulls were rewarded with a second flag after beating Gisborne in the grand final at Maddingley Park at the weekend.
Bulls captain-coach James Lidgett was understandably rapt.
“This is the ultimate feeling,” he said. “It’s the best thing ever, winning with your mates. It’s the feeling you chase when you play cricket.
“This one is as good, if not better.”
The Bulls were tested by the Dragons with both bat and ball at times, but their class showed through when it was needed.
The Dragons won the toss and elected to bat, but were in trouble early with the loss of early wickets.
They steadied and were looking to post a good score, but after tea things went downhill, the Bulls bowling them out for 204.
“We stuck to the gameplan and built the pressure up with dot balls,” he said.
“We knew they would have to come hard at us and they did, but we got wickets.
“It wasn’t a bad score.”
James Bailey was the pick of the bowlers, taking five wickets while Rhys Watson took three wickets.
Lidgett said the target was more than gettable.
After the loss of Alex Porter early, Lidgett and Peter Lalor looked to be cruising, with the Bulls 1-91 at lunch.
The Dragons then hauled themselves back into the game.
Lidgett said the experience of Milinda Sepala Scott Wakefield helped get the Bulls over the line
“They [Dragons] bowled in good areas and nothing came easy,” he said.
“They made us work for it. We had a really solid start, with Pete attacking them.
“After lunch they got three quick wickets and then bowled a lot of maidens.
“Mili and Scott were able to absorb the tough period and got through it. We possibly broke their back then.”
The Bulls finished on 4-208 with nearly 20 overs to spare.
Lidgett said they knew that as long as they had wickets in hand they would get the job done.
“We stuck to the plan and played with freedom and reaped the awards,” he said.
Lalor top-scored with 64 and Bailey was named man of the match for his bowling display. Lidgett said Bailey had bowled the best he ever had during the finals.
“He is a captain’s dream,” he said. “He will bowl from either end and he bowled 26 overs in the grand final, which I don’t think he’s done before. He keeps going until you ask him to stop.”
Lidgett said the pleasing thing for the side had been that different players had stepped up at different times throughout the season.
He highlighted Bailey’s finals series and the performance of Rhys Watson in the grand final.
While the Bulls’ top side claimed the premiership, their second and fifths lost their grand finals to St Anthonys.
Lidgett said having three senior sides making grand finals illustrated the club’s depth.
“I’m proud of those guys – they gave it a red hot crack,” he said.
“It shows the depth at the club in the lower grades and that is a good feeling, knowing there is quality coming through the grades and juniors.
“Our under-17s also won the premiership. The club is in a good spot.”
Lidgett said they would enjoy the win and then start looking to next season.
“We would love to win three in a row, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves,” he said.
“We’ve worked hard and will enjoy this one.
“And then, in a couple of weeks time, we’ll look to see whether we need to add anyone else.”
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