FERNTREE Gully District Cricket Association rode its luck but came away with its first Bendigo Country Week cricket title last Friday.
The FTGDCA started the week with an upset win over four-time champion Murray Valley but suffered two losses which left it making the grand final by percentage. It then swept to a 53-run win over Goulburn Valley in the final at picturesque Queen Elizabeth Oval.
Ferntree Gully batted first in the final making 7-219 from 50 overs with Josh Henry (52 off 61 ), Marshall Bunting (42 off 44) and Robbie McComb (41 from 109) leading the way.
Goulburn Valley was 4-99 off 28 overs before Adam Dobb took a key wicket which sparked a collapse as Valley was bowled out for 166. Dobb won best player for the grand final, taking 4-45 and making 22 off 14 balls late in the innings.
Ferntree Gully president Norm Reeves said his side, with an average age of 22, had proudly represented the association.
"It was a great week. We were lucky to make the final in some ways but when we got there we won, it was terrific."
Batsman Jayden Bradbury starred during the week making 202 runs but was out for a duck in the final while Mohammed Furrukh, Dobb and Cameron Wheeler were also instrumental.
"The overall performance was fantastic; everyone achieved something," Reeves said. "It wasn't just left to one or two players, someone always came to the rescue when needed ."
He said the win was a great reward for the association's commitment to representative cricket and the FTGDCA used the Bendigo event to give young players a chance to experience representative cricket.
Reeves hoped some players would make the side for Melbourne Country Week next month.
"Bendigo is a good breeding ground for young cricketers because they play against good country sides on some lovely grounds and turf wickets. Hopefully, a few of the boys will go onto Melbourne Country Week and perform as well as they did in Bendigo."
FTGDCA captain Jay Collee said he was proud of his young side. ""We batted well to get the runs on the board, and the bowlers bowled well, so it was a great effort all round."