VSDCA: Melton Lions win premiership

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– Melton players tell us the thrill of winning a premiership

MELTON claimed another piece of cricket history on Sunday as it beat Werribee to claim a third consecutive Victorian-Sub District Cricket Association premiership.

The 68-run win at MacPherson Park sealed the south-west first XI title, the club’s fourth premiership since its drought-breaking win in 2008-09.

James Wheelahan sealed victory by bowling Werribee’s Jonathan Burton, sparking celebration for the Lions.

Werribee’s 173 all out ended up being well short of Melton’s 5-241 made on Saturday.

Duncan Harrison retired on a high after five years as the club’s playing coach, while captain Mick Allen signed off for the season with 957 runs, a sub-district single-season record.

Werribee crumbled under the pressure of a rising run-rate on Sunday, losing 5-39 through the middle overs as Brad Jones (6-52) turned the screws during a marathon spell.

Melton had revived its innings on Saturday from 3-81 with late runs as David Kirk (59), Anthony Gale (53no) and Jeremy Liddy (43no) got on top of the Werribee attack.

Dropped catches took their toll for Werribee, while Melton was superb in the field.

Werribee was already starting to feel the pinch of the run rate required at the tea break and loose shots followed.

Kyle Andrews slashed to Nathan Allen at point and he held the sharp chance to make the score 4-89 and start the rot.

Jones conceded few runs during the ensuing overs, frustrating batsman and drawing false shots to get Jake Purton caught in the slips, clean bowl Wade McCall, have Werribee captain Shaun Dean hole out to mid-on and then trap Matthew Thomson lbw.

Shane Harwood (2-24) knocked over Werribee’s top-scorer Adam Alifraco for 40, before Wheelahan sealed victory soon after.

Allen’s 957-run season broke a VSDCA record going back to the 1966-67 season, held by Val Holten with 903.