VTCA: A1 form set to keep Werribee Centrals in division

A dramatic U-turn in the latter part of the Victorian Turf Cricket Association season has all but preserved Werribee Centrals’ west A1 division status for next season.

The Centurions have spent most of the summer threatened by relegation, but an upset win over Wyndhamvale in the penultimate round and first innings points obtained over finals hunters Footscray United at Galvin Park on Saturday should steer them well clear of the drop, particularly with score updates at other grounds going in their favour at the weekend.

Picture gallery: Werribee Centrals v Footscray United

Centurions wicketkeeper Chris Duffin told Star Weekly his side was buoyed by its win over Wyndhamvale a week prior and riding the momentum. “The win last week against Wyndhamvale was so important,” he said. “It just kept our season alive.”

The Centurions produced their best day of cricket in the season on Saturday, bowling United out for a paltry 60 and showing no mercy with the bat to finish the day at 4-141.

“It was an absolutely phenomenal effort to bowl them out in 30 overs,” Duffin said.

“The wicket gave us a bit of assistance; it was a little bit slow, but it wasn’t an ‘all out in 30 overs’ wicket either.

“Once we got a bit of a sniff, we were able to run with it.”

Aaron Edrich (3-36), Nathan Johnson (3-21) and Thanancheyan Arunthavapalan (3-1) snared three wickets each for the Centurions.

Johnson is the form bowler at the club with nine wickets in his past three matches, but Edrich is still the boss with 28 scalps at just

It’s no secret that batting has been at the root of the Centurions’ problems this season, but perhaps the tide has turned just in the nick of time.

After losing opener Leigh McIntosh (4) and captain Nick Sardi (4) cheaply, there was a sense of ‘oh, not again’ about the small run chase.

Seasoned campaigner Kulantha Ramanayake (21) was the “rock of the innings”, a steadying presence before Trent Milne (56no) and Chris Hughes (29no) unleashed late in the day.

“We were 2-20 and to then only lose two more wickets showed that guys are willing to be a little bit more patient and they’re putting a bit more value on their wicket as well as still being positive,” Duffin said.

“The last hour of the day we put on quite a few runs, not only because the bowlers were tired but because of the hard work the batsmen did to get there.

“It will be fantastic to bat long periods of time next week and build towards next year.”