A dazzling half-century from Noah Berry wasn't enough to steer Wimmera-Mallee to victory in the under-15 country week grand final.
A spirited bowling effort put the underdogs in a good position, before the middle-order inched the locals closer, but ultimately it wasn't to be against a polished Warrnambool Blue side.
Wimmera-Mallee was asked to bowl first and started superbly; Bailey Dixon picking up a wicket in his second over to have his opponents 1-2.
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The going got tough from there, with Warrnambool's opener posting a gritty half-century.
Wimmera-Mallee didn't allow any easy runs, and the pressure eventually brought wickets.
Hunter Connolly collected figures of 2-9 off his 10 overs, while Dixon (3-17) claimed another few scalps.
Elliot Fitzpatrick continued his stellar week to claim 2-30 and help restrict Warrnambool to 9-155.
Wimmera-Mallee's defence started shakily at 2-11 before a crucial partnership between Noah Berry and Jett Adams resurrected the chase.
The pair occupied the crease for 20 overs, mixing explosive hitting with smart running between the wickets.
Berry worked his way to 49 in quick fashion, but forced to entertain a drinks break before he could raise his bat.
The break almost proved his undoing, with the first ball back finding Berry's edge, though fortunately for the Wimmera-Mallee gun the chance went down.
Berry would bring up his half-century the very next ball, but wasn't able to add many more, heading back to the sheds for 55.
Adams (38) would be the next to depart, and at 4-120 Wimmera-Mallee would have backed in it's middle-order to get the job done.
Unfortunately, Warrnambool Blue had other plans.
Some high-quality bowling proved the difference, with the next six wickets falling for just 21 runs; Wimmera-Mallee ending 14 runs short.
At Dudley Cornell Park, Horsham Blue triumphed in the Horsham Cricket Association derby.
Horsham Red posted 6-62 against a quality bowling lineup, helped by fighting knocks from Brodie Foster (20) and Jed Uebergang (11*).
Jackson Hoffman (2-2) and Dylan Newell (2-2) were the pick of the bowlers for Horsham Blue.
Newell would also star with the bat, ending unbeaten on 25 to guide his side to an eight-wicket win in the ninth over.
Joey Nagorcka also chipped in with a hard-hitting 22.
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