Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

O'Brien enjoys Warrenbayne's first Cleary Shield title with mates

Warrenbayne has won its first Benalla District Cricket Association Cleary Shield and man of the match Mark O'Brien is rapt to have done it with his mates.

OLIVER CAFFREY March 10, 2014 4:10am

Warrenbayne’s Mark O’Brien shows off his man of the match medal after taking 3-29 to guide his side to a premiership.

Warrenbayne’s persistence with youth paid off in its maiden Cleary Shield title win.

More than half of Saturday’s A-grade premiership side also played their junior cricket at the club.

Man of the match Mark O’Brien, who bowled his side to the historic victory, was one of those players.

‘‘I couldn’t be any happier to win a senior premiership with this group of guys,’’ O’Brien said.

‘‘Our juniors have come through the whole way and a lot of those guys are now in the senior team.

‘‘About eight of us have come through the junior system together, we’ve picked up a few a long the way, but it’s been a tough trip to get here with a bit of pain at times, so tasting that success now is unreal.’’

O’Brien’s calm and collected bowling display set-up the gripping win, removing the dangerous Jack Egan (3) early in the innings and was then able to close out the game in style.

The performance saw him finish the season with 16 wickets at an average of 14.8.

While there were a number of younger players in the side, they were balanced out with the inclusion of experienced pair Rhett Woolley and Greg Hoysted.

O’Brien said the veterans’ cricketing knowledge came to the fore with the game in the balance during the final overs to calm the nerves of the young side.

After some explosive fielding during the innings, mistakes started to creep into the Warrenbayne side.

‘‘We’ve got a few older blokes that have pretty good cricket brains and they kept us steady towards the end as it was getting tight,’’ O’Brien said.

Woolley paid tribute to the depth at the club and the system that has seen younger players develop into premiership heroes.

‘‘It’s been the hard work of a lot of people for many years to get where we are today, we really appreciate their work and especially the junior structure because that has been a huge part of our premiership today,’’ Woolley said.

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