West Newport secure premiership

West Newport premiership team. Picture supplied

Tara Murray

West Newport has come from fourth to seal the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 3 premiership.

The Lions needed all three games in the best of three grand final series against the Williamstown Imperials to come away with the flag.

The Lions claimed game one of the series on the first weekend, meaning they needed only one of game two or three for victory.

West Newport’s Daniel Shanahan said they knew the Imperials were going to come out firing in game two and three.

“We were full of confidence after beating [minor premiers] East Keilor the week before in the semi final.

“It’s always tough to come from fourth to win a flag, the odds are against you. Teams finish higher for a reason.

“We’ve had some good fights against Imperials over the last couple of years.

“They’ve been our closest rival in the division the last few years.

“We knew they were going to come out all guns blazing, but we always back ourselves.”

The Imperials claimed game two, to take the series to a decider.

The Lions were able to bowl out the Imperials for 91. Corey Irving and Shanahan took three wickets each.

Shanahan said they were thrilled to restrict them to that total, but knew it wasn’t over.

“It is good, but we always say the lowest totals are the hardest to chase. In the semi final we bowled them out for 51 and we managed to get 53, seven down.

“We knew we had to stick to our plans. Pick up singles and twos when we could.”

The Imperials got the runs, finishing 4-94 to seal the premiership to start a couple of whirlwind days for the side.

Irving top scored with 39 not out.

Imperials’ skipper Haydn Wilkinson was named man of the series, which Shanahan said was well deserved.

The premiership is the club’s first senior one in the VTCA and first since the 2011-12 season.

It means the side is likely to play in division 2 next season.

Shanahan said it was a challenge they were prepared for.

“It’s come at a good time, we’ve prepared for a long time.

“Last year we made the semi final and with the inclusion of a couple of players we were able to build.

“We got to continuity the side. We had only 19 players who played ones this year, that’s the least we’ve had in years.”