Epping has been left to rue a poor batting performance which ended its grand final dreams in the Diamond Valley Cricket Association Barclay Shield.
Looking to do what no other team had done this season and beat Diamond Creek, the Pingers had moments where they matched it with the pacesetters.
But a big partnership and a brilliant bowling display kept Diamond Creek’s winning run in tact, and ended the Pingers’ season.
Pingers coach Hussain Hanif said they couldn’t have had a better start to the game.
“They were 6-60 and we were right in the game. They had a big partnership and Thomas McLean made 100 to lead them to 200.
“The bowlers did like they have all year. We didn’t drop any catches … they just batted superbly.”
The Creekers finished their overs at 8-200 with Thomas McLean scoring 104.
For the Pingers, Marcus Murphy took three wickets. Hanif said John Lever was the standout.
“John’s a stalwart with so much experience,” he said.
“He has the ability to change the game and take wickets. He took a couple of crucial wickets and was able to bowl maidens and build up the pressure.”
Hanif said they were confident of being able to chase down the runs on Sunday and get through to the grand final.
However, the dream became a nightmare, with the Pingers bowled out for 106.
“We lost two really early wickets,” Hanif said. “Little partnerships were the key for us, but we weren’t able to do that.
“They bowled really well and showed why they have been the standout team all season.”
Hanif said while the loss was disappointing, overall the season has been one of positives for the club.
It’s the first time the first XI side has played finals in 11 years, and it claimed the Northern Region T20 title.
“I think it was positive with the T20 cricket and getting a lot of opportunity to play.
“For us it’s been 11 years since we played finals. It’s a massive boost for the club and positive with a lot of youth coming through.”
Hanif said this season has set the platform for the next few seasons.
He said hopefully the playing group returns, while there has been interest from people moving into the area about coming on board.
“It’s a developing area and people are moving in,” he said.
“People are asking questions now about joining the club and success helps bring people to the club.
“We’re got good foundations which has attracted the youth.”