THE Armstrong Creek Cricket and Sporting Club is chasing its fourth premiership in as many seasons, with the club’s top two teams into the semi-finals this weekend.
The Titans’ BPCA A2 XI easily accounted for Newcomb at home on Saturday, dismissing the visitors for 67 and reaching the target for the loss of only three wickets.
They will play Inverleigh away for the chance to secure a grand final berth against either Little River or Winchelsea.
The club’s BPCA B2 side lost to Collendina on Saturday but finished the season in second place and will stay home this weekend to also play Inverleigh, with either Portarlington or Winchelsea awaiting in the decider.
The Titans fielded their first side in the 2017/18 season – winning a flag in the BPCA C grade – and are now firmly established in the new ovals and clubrooms on Central Boulevard in Armstrong Creek.
The A2 side is in its second year in the division and Armstrong Creek president Barry Mills said the turf side had focused on recruitment over that time, picking up Brandon Ross, Aaron Morgan, Callum O’Brien and Darcy French.
“We’re very happy – we’re in the four, that’s what we’re trying to achieve. Last year we didn’t make the four, but we knew we were lacking a few players, we went out to try to cover that area, and we’ve improved out of sight.
“We’ve beaten all the teams that are in the four, so we’re in with a chance.”
He said his club’s B2 team and Portarlington were the two best sides in that division, so would likely face off in the final.
“All across the board, we’ve had a very good year.
“We’re happy with the standard of cricket we’ve been putting out there at the moment, so we’re hoping that we can go a fair way this year, pick up a few more players to fill a few more holes we’ve got, and keep going.”
Mr Mills said the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent state government restrictions had particularly affected the club’s social functions, with the Titans unable to host people in their clubrooms.
“We were having a sponsors’ day but we lost a round of cricket, so we moved that on by a week. It’s been difficult, but we got by – like everyone else, we’ve been working away at it.
“We haven’t played two-day games, which we normally do, but in saying that, our numbers are very good this year. I think one-day games are attracting a few more players – if you miss this weekend, you can play next weekend.”
The Titans plan on having four teams for the 2021/2022 season and will work on starting a juniors program, with at least an Under 11 side in addition to their existing CricketBlast program.
Mr Mills said the growth area of Armstrong Creek offered huge potential – especially from neighbouring schools – for the Titans to expand even further.
“We’re striving to be like Anglesea – Anglesea’s the number one club in this whole competition. They’re in A1, they haven’t lost a game this year; that’s where we want to get to.
“We believe we could be nearly the biggest club in this region. Over the road, we’ve got a primary school that’s got 600 kids in it, and then there’s Oberon High with 1,100 kids in it. So we want to tap into that market next year.”