The West Wimmera Warriors’ B and C grade teams earned their young club its first senior titles when they won their respective Twenty20 grand finals in the Horsham Cricket Association on Sunday.

Both games were low scoring matches with all teams giving themselves a chance of victory, but it was the Warriors teams that held their nerve to finish victorious.

Above - all the players from the two victorious West Wimmera Warriors teams.

C Grade

The C grade grand final was the first to be played on the pristine Horsham City Oval, and with many of the Warriors have never played at this venue, and not regularly playing on turf wickets, an extra dimension was added to the game.

The Warriors were invited to bat first and with the dew still on the grass combining with some tight bowling and fielding, the score was only on four runs in the fourth over when the first wicket fell.

At the halfway point of the innings, the scoring rate was just on two and a half runs per over for the loss of three wickets, and it was becoming more difficult to post a challenging total.

At just 30 runs for the loss of five wickets after 12 overs Bailey Zimmermann joined Austin Merrett at the crease and together they added a valuable 23 runs in five overs before Merrett was dismissed for an innings high score of 28.

Two more late wickets, including Zimmermann for 8, saw the team still below 60 runs but an entertaining partnership of 14 between Steve Leach (8 not out off four balls) and Trevor James (4 not out off six balls) saw out the team’s allotted twenty overs and ushered the total to 73 for the loss of eight wickets.

With only a small target to defend the Warriors needed to bowl tight and field well to stay in the game, and when the Laharum opening batsmen had taken their total to 36 in the sixth over they looked to be well on their way to a victory.

At this point, Merrett was the fourth bowler to be tried to attempt to slow the scoring, and with a wicket in his first over and two in his second, all momentum was taken out of the Demon’s run chase and their focus moved to bat out their overs rather than passing the total in the shortest possible time.

Two wickets to Dan Cross and another to Merrett destroyed Laharum’s middle order, and four wickets from 15 balls conceding for one run by Jack Crowhurst cleaned up the tail and saw the last batsman dismissed with the team total still 17 runs short of their target.

The medal for the player of the match went to Merrett for his patient innings of 28 off 47 balls and for his four wickets that broke the back of Laharum’s challenge for the title.

B Grade

The second game for the day was the B grade final between the West Wimmera Warriors and Lubeck-Murtoa.

Lubeck-Murtoa’s captain won the toss and elected to set a target but did not receive the desired support from his batsmen as they lost wicket regularly throughout their innings, beginning with a run out in the second over.

Some tight bowling and energetic fielding kept the pressure on the batsmen with two partnerships of just 13 runs each being the most productive.

At the end of their overs, only two batsmen had made double figures, with the top individual score of 22 contributing to a team total of 70 for the loss of eight wickets.

Bowlers Nathan Alexander, Tim Braendler and Ash Dickinson all took three wickets each, and Braendler was instrumental in the remaining two wickets which fell to run outs.

The Warriors’ innings started cautiously and although the scoring rate remained on track, regular wickets kept Lubeck-Murtoa in the game. Solid batting by opening batsman Nathan Alexander anchored the inning and when he was the fourth wicket to fall, he had scored 18 runs and he had set the foundations for the middle order batsmen to complete the victory.

Josh Cramer (10) combined with Ash Dickinson for the biggest partnership of the innings with 16 runs for the sixth wicket, and it was Dickinson and Braendler, who both finished on 8 not out, who saw the victory target passed in the 16th over.

The umpires awarded the Player of the Match honours to Nathan Alexander for his two wickets and solid contribution with the bat.

The big day of cricket finished late on Sunday afternoon with Rupanyup-Minyip defeating Homers in the A grade grand final.

The senior West Wimmera Warriors cricket club came into existence following the demise of the West Wimmera Cricket Association after the 2017/18 season and is made up of players from the old Jeparit, Kiata, Nhill, Rainbow and Winiam teams. The club plays its home games on Davis Park in Nhill and Sir Robert Menzies Park in Jeparit.

This is only the club’s second season in the Horsham Cricket Association and it is a stunning effort to have already won two titles, and with the B grade already qualified for the One-Day grand final in March, and both teams well entrenched in their respective top fours in their grade’s major competitions, there is the potential for these players to add to the trophy cabinet before the end of the season.

Horsham Cricket Association - C Grade - Twenty20 Grand Final

West Wimmera Warriors won by 17 runs

West Wimmera Warriors

J Hardinglbwb. J Tyler1
D Bullenct. D Scollary   b. J Tyler6
A Merrettct. J Tylerb. A Marra  28
J Crowhurstct. D Scollaryb. J Tyler0
S Gusmanlbwb. A Cutter3
J Leach b. A Marra0
B Zimmermann    b. W Haby8
D Crossct. D Johnsonb. C Cowan1
S Leachnot out 8
T Jamesnot out 4
Sundries  14
TOTAL 8 for 73

Laharum Bowling

     O    M    R    W
J McInnes3170
J Tyler3143
D Scollary  30110
W Haby20101
A Cutter30121
A Marra3072
C Cowan30181


J Tyler b. A Merrett  19
A Cutter b. A Merrett15
W Gulline   lbwb. D Crpss0
D Scollaryct. J Hardingb. A Merrett0
A Marract. J Hardingb. A Merrett2
W Habyct. J Crowhurst   b. D Cross0
P Rathodnot outb.  6
J McInnesct. D Bullenb. J Crowhurst1
M Whelan b. J Crowhurst0
D Johnsonlbwb. J Crowhurst0
C Cowanct. R Jamesb. J Crowhurst0
Sundries  13

West Wimmera Warriors Bowling

     O    M    R    W
S Gusman  20120
R James3070
B Zimmermann10130
A Merrett30104
D Cross30122
J Crowhurst2.3214

Horsham Cricket Association - B Grade - Twenty20 Grand Final

West Wimmera Warriors won by 4 wickets


P Yewrun out (T Braendler) 0
S Reddiect. J Cramerb. A Dickinson16
J Delahuntyct. M Dahlenburg   b. N Alexander   1
M Friediebct. M Dahlenburgb. T Braendler0
A Chenoweth    b. N Alexander22
B Cullinanct. J Cramerb. A Dickinson2
D Gellatly b. T Braendler2
B McKenzierun out (T Braendler) 7
N Ballaghnot out 9
Sundries  11
TOTAL 8 for 70

West Wimmera Warriors Bowling

     O    M    R    W
J Lees41120
N Alexander40142
T Breandler40112
A Dickinson40162
J Cramer41140

West Wimmera Warriors

N Alexander b. B Cullinan  18
M Dahlemburg   ct. D Gallatlyb. B McKenzie6
D Webbct. M Friedlieb   b. N Ballagh   9
J Leesrun outb. B Cullinan0
L Smithlbwb. N Ballagh   7
J Cramerct. S Reddieb. O Gawith10
A Dickinsonnot out  8
T Braendlernot out 8
Sundries  8
TOTAL 6 for 74

Lubeck-Murtoa Bowling
     O    M    R    W
S Reddie   40200
B McKenzie4261
N Ballagh40232
B Cullinan3.50151
O Gawith1051