A YOUNG and developing Mortlake outfit ended Bookaar’s premiership winning run in South West Cricket’s under 16 grand final at Cobden Recreation Reserve on Sunday.
The Cats, who were playing in their first decider since 2015/16, recorded a six wicket victory after dismissing the Pelicans for 80.
They reached the target in the 23rd over, with Charlie Calvert (38 not out) guiding his side to victory.
Mortlake coach Gary Glossop said his players were thrilled with their effort, while he was happy that their development shone through on the biggest stage.
“The kids were overwhelmed by it, they were very happy,” he said.
“They worked hard all year to get there so they were very pleased with the result.
“It was pleasing to see them put it all together on the ground in such a crucial match.”
A relatively young side, the Cats have a core group of developing players they hope sticks together.
Mainly made up of players in the 13 to 15 age bracket, Glossop said the club has the foundation to build something special.
“I think it’s given them a lot of confidence going forward into the future,” he said.
“Like the majority of them are just out of the under 13s, there are only three that are 15 plus and the rest are just out of the 13s so they were a bit apprehensive about it at the start of the year.
“But the further they played throughout the season, the more confident they got.”
Glossop said the performances of Damian Goddard (2/22) and Mitchell Hughes (2/14) early with the ball and then Simon Atkinson (17) and Calvert with the bat were integral to the Cats’ win.
“The opening bowlers got it right and got those crucial early wickets which enabled us to keep the score to a chaseable total,” he said.
“We lost a wicket on the first ball of our innings which made them a bit apprehensive but to young Charlie Calvert’s credit he just knuckled down and ground out an innings.
“Simon played his usual aggressive innings and made 17 but Charlie just ground out an innings which for his age was a tremendous effort.”
Liam Schuuring also earned praise from Glossop.
He finished with player of the match honours after taking 4/3 off five overs to clean up Bookaar’s tail.
Glossop said his performance was another example of the side’s development this year.
“He’s come on in leaps and bounds,” Glossop said.
“He was very erratic early in the season but we just worked and worked to get him to concentrate on bowling a good line and he just did it to a tee on Sunday.
“The only runs that came off him were three wides, he actually didn’t concede a run off the bat.”
Glossop congratulated Bookaar on their effort in reaching the grand final and said he expected both sides to be thereabouts in future seasons.