The Victorian Titans’ 2018 Gilley’s Shield campaign has come to an end after going down in a thrilling third versus fourth playoff against South Australia in Mirrabooka on Thursday night.
The Titans, who were competing in their first National Championships final for 14 years, were aiming to progress to a Preliminary Final match up against Queensland on Friday.
South Australia made the early running in the playoff game with a run in each of their first two batting innings, but the Titans stuck firm and kept the pressure on the Starz on the back of some tight pitching from Delanie Gourley.
It took until the sixth inning for the Titans to get on the scoreboard courtesy of Jess Bahn and draw closer to the Starz at 2-1. Unfortunately for the Titans, the Starz held their nerve in the final couple of innings and the score remained 2-1.
Despite the disappointment of not progressing to the Preliminary Final, all players, coaches and support staff associated with the Victorian Titans program this year have represented the state with distinction and can be extremely proud of their efforts.
The news was better for the Under 17 Boys in Blacktown, who won their first playoff game against the ACT on Thursday night.
Earlier in the day, the Vics went down to the previously undefeated Queensland 10-0 in the morning and then 10-5 against ACT in the afternoon. But the Vics were able to turn it around when it mattered, getting the better of the ACT team in the important playoff fixture at night, winning 11-6.
The Vics pursuit of the Arthur Allsopp Shield will continue today in their Preliminary Final clash with Queensland at 12:30pm on Friday, with the winner to face New South Wales in the 2018 Under 17 Boys National Championships decider at 5:30pm.
The Under 17 Girls and Under 15 Girls were unable to close out their 2018 Nationals campaigns with a win on the final day of their respective competitions. The Under 17 Girls lost a closely-fought 10-9 encounter with the ACT in the morning before going down in the afternoon to South Australia 11-4, resulting in a final tally of three wins for the tournament.
The Under 15 Girls also finished with three wins for their tournament in Mirrabooka after falling narrowly to NSW Country Gold in their final game, 7-6. Despite being on the wrong end of the result, Thursday’s final game to many observers was the Under 15 Girls’ best performance for the week and was a wonderful illustration of the improvement shown by the group as the tournament wore on.
To see a full list of results, schedules and ladders from each of the 2018 National Championship events this week, click here.
Image above: Victorian Under 17 Boys Team (Credit: Sandi Tidey)