Wodonga is following in the footsteps of Tallangatta as it eyes a place in the TAC Regional Bash grand final in the new year.
Following the success of the Bushrangers in the T20 tournament two years ago, falling to Doutta Stars in the decider, Bulldogs’ captain Jack Craig has his sights set on going one better.
Wodonga claimed a 16-run win in the qualifying final against Kilsyth, before taking down Box Hill North Super Kings by 18 runs to reach the preliminary final against Buckley Ridges.
Craig was delighted with the way his side played.
“It was a great result for the team and a good couple of games actually,” he said.
“Another positive we got out of the weekend is we’re playing better cricket week-by-week.
“We hit our mark in every facet and it’s given us confidence.
“Two months ago ‘Jacko’ (Wodonga coach Robbie Jackson) put up an article saying we’re one of the poorer fielding sides in the league and I think we’ve totally shrugged that off.
“I thought we were excellent, it was up there with one of our better performances.”
Jackson found form in the opener with 47 runs as Wodonga posted 5-145, before restricting Kilsyth to 7-129.
Byron Hales impressed with figures of 4-24 from four overs.
In the next match, Wodonga reached 8-126 against Box Hill North and the Bulldogs’ bowling attack clicked again to dismiss the Super Kings for 108.
Craig top scored with 57, while Beau Kennedy was the star with the ball, repeating Hales’ effort from game one with 4-24 himself.
“They were a pretty good team full of crafty players,” Craig said.
“Early on it was tough, but we managed to get to 126 and we bowled to our plans and won.
“I saw them alright, but I played a bit of an anchor role because we were losing wickets and weren’t getting too many runs at the start.
“I thought if I could take it deep and get my 60-odd we were in with a chance, because anything over 120 is competitive in T20 cricket.
“But the bowlers really won us the game.”
Debutant Tom Johnson also had no trouble finding his feet at representative level, scoring 15 and 24, respectively, in the two games, following a century in his last innings for Wodonga’s district A grade side.
Craig admitted he particularly enjoyed the fact he could play at a higher level whilst still representing his home club.
“It felt really good to play that standard above club cricket, but be with your club at the same time,” he said.
“There was a few that hadn’t played at that level before and they all performed.
“I think the boys really enjoyed and it can only be good for the club.”
Wodonga will take on Buckley Ridges at Martin Park on January 21 in order to progress to the grand final at Melbourne’s Junction Oval against Mount Clear or Doutta Stars.