WODONGA paceman Byron Hales believes the emergence of the Bulldogs’ lesser lights late in the Cricket Albury-Wodonga season was pivotal in their premiership success at the weekend.
While Hales, a dual premiership player, said skipper Robbie Jackson had been outstanding during the home and away series, players such as opener BJ Garvey had played huge roles in turning the team’s season around after back-to-back losses in February.
“When we had a bit of a lull before the finals, BJ and a few others really lifted and helped get us back on track,” Hales said yesterday.
“BJ in particular has been super for us.
“He’s compact, confident at the moment and is starting to believe in his ability.
“Brad Scheetz did a job on Saturday as well, just like Trent (Ball) and Robbie Jackson and James Tonkin who have been doing it virtually all season.
“Dylan Beattie was good too.
“It just came together at the right time.”
Hales, Garvey, Jackson, Beattie, Jack Robinson and Lucas Hutchinson also played in Wodonga’s premiership success in 2011-12 when it defeated St Patrick’s at Xavier Oval.
The opening bowler said the premierships were difficult to compare.
“They were at opposite ends of the scale,” Hales said.
“The last one in 2011-12 went down to the last over of the match and this time we only got halfway through the game because of the rain.
“Sunday was really frustrating for both sides.
“St Pat’s wanted to bat and we wanted to bowl.
“Our batsmen did a terrific job and we were looking forward to bowling against their top guns such as Jason van der Merwe and Luke Restall.”
Wodonga expects few changes to its premiership line-up when it defends its title next season with Jackson believing the Bulldogs have the right structures in place to remain a force.
“St Pat’s have managed to keep their group together and the way they conduct themselves is something we would like to equal,” Jackson said.
“They have built a really good culture.”