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Monday, 12th March, 2012

PREMIERS: The victorious West team celebrating yesterday after wrapping up the finals. PREMIERS: The victorious West team celebrating yesterday after wrapping up the finals.

West cruise to premiership

By Andrew Robertson

Minor premiers West have secured the 2011/2012 Barrier District Cricket League premiership - the club’s first in five years - after crushing last year’s premiers Central at the weekend.

The Robins dominated the best-of-three finals series against the Magpies who struggled against a bowling attack that restricted them to less than 90 runs in both games.

Chasing a modest total of 83, West won by four wickets in the first final on Saturday before wrapping up the series yesterday with a dominant 122 run victory.

The premiership, West’s first since 2007, follows the team’s disappointment last year at making the finals only to see the trophy handed to minor premiers Central because of rain.

Robins captain Nick Christos said yesterday his young side had done its homework and was confident heading into the finals.

“We had a plan how to bowl to their batsmen; we’ve been working on it for a while,” Christos said.

“We knew we could bowl them out for under a hundred.”

In the second final yesterday West posted 199 runs before their bowlers, led by Brenton Malthouse and Scott Withers, ripped through Central’s batsmen who made just 78 in reply.

“A lot of it comes down to pressure,” said Christos, who added his team probably used the pitch “a bit better” than Central.

“We put on a good total which put the pressure on so they had to (try and keep up to) the run rate.”

Malthouse finished the finals with seven wickets while Central opener Rhyse Harding backed up his top score of 37 in the first game with 47 yesterday.

He was also an important contributor with the ball, taking four wickets in the series.

The game was Harding’s last for West as he is leaving the city, said Christos, who finished the weekend with four wickets.

“He’s actually going but it was good to have him while he was here.”

West playing coach Paul Attard said the side played well in both games, and would continue to be a threat to the competition in the future.

“The boys were really positive; I think we’ve got a really good bunch of lads who really wanted to win,” he said.

Attard singled out 21-year-old Scott Withers for extra praise, saying the medium pacer bowled exceptionally well and was unlucky not to pick up more wickets.

“He just hit the lines really well.

“Brenton got all the wickets and Withers missed out.”

Attard, who topped scored with 51 yesterday, said he had been batting down the order to “give the younger blokes a bit more responsibility”.

First year captain Nick Christos has also settled into the role well, according to Attard.

“Nick’s done a really good job as captain.

“He stood up to the occasion and led by example.”

Turning 42 next year, Attard said he would make a decision on his playing future closer to the start of the season.

“At the moment I still feel I want to play.”

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