FERNTREE Gully District Cricket Association has a proud history of producing leading cricketers but on Sunday the association added a long sought-after trophy to its collection.
The FTGDCA under-16 side won the association's first Jim Beitzel Shield by beating Diamond Valley Cricket Association by five wickets at Gordon Barnard Reserve, Greythorn.
The Jim Beitzel Shield brings together leading interleague under-16 sides from the state's best cricket associations for a two-week tournament.
FTGDCA under-16s coach Christian Trotter said he was proud of his side for its history-making achievement.
"The boys were pretty rapt with the win. They are a good bunch of kids who had great parental support throughout the competition.We've [the association] produced a lot of good cricketers over the years so you would think we might have won one before now.
"But it involved six to seven games within two weeks and is a very cut-throat competition, so when you consider we are one of the smaller associations in comparison to others, it's a good effort to win it."
After winning the toss and bowling, the FTGDCA looked in trouble early when Diamond Valley broke out to 0-62 but was eventually restricted to 4-152 from its 45 overs.
The FTGDCA lost an early wicket in its run-chase but with opener Anthony Brolic (82 not out) carrying his bat, got to the winning score on 5-160 from 41.3 overs. Brolic won the grand final most valuable player award for his efforts.
Trotter said the whole squad contributed throughout the competition with captain Jackson Waters leading the team well, while all-rounder Zach Flintoff was also impressive with bat and ball.
Trotter also paid tribute to the exception support the team received from the players' parents and from many across the association.
"My phone was taking a battering on Sunday night with people from around the association and the key executive members calling to see how we went," he said.