THE ADDITION of AFL premiership player Joffy Simpkin has helped land Colac West its maiden Division One cricket victory of the season.
Simpkin, whose AFL career is in limbo after he parted ways with Hawthorn earlier this month, played a one-off game for West in its win over City United on Saturday.
The 2013 Hawks premiership player made an impressive 41 runs, which included a 58-run stand with Josh Vagg, who starred with a 75-run knock to guide the visitors to 9-206 in the clash at Eastern Reserve.
West’s bowlers then put on a solid display with the ball to restrict City to 153 from 38 overs to get the club on the Division One winners’ list.
Experienced City all-rounder Dave Treweek showed resistance in the middle-order with a measured 63 runs to give his side a glimmer of hope.
But Alex Gunning cleaned up United’s tail with his fourth Division One five-wicket haul in two seasons.
Stand-in West skipper Zac Hammond, 3-22, and Rob Thresher, 2-42, restricted the impact of City’s top order after securing the vital wickets of City’s dangerous hitters.
Injured Colac West captain Dylan Flanigan said knocks from Vagg, Simpkin and an unbeaten 35 from Tyler Flanigan were crucial for West, which was undermanned because of his and young gun Reegan Harty’s absence.
“Everyone was positive going into the game,” he said.
“I think we’ll only get stronger because Reegan was away because he had a Rockets trial game.
“And Joffy was great, I don’t think he’d played for about 10 years so he was a bit rusty at the start, but he came out and added a bit of maturity for us and took it to their attack.”
Flanigan said the victory was a vital boost for West, which aimed to continue its winning streak against another cross-town rival this Saturday.
“Between Colac West, City and Colac – you always want to beat the Colac-based teams,” he said.
“There’s a bit of a rivalry I guess.
“And we’ve got Colac this week and they haven’t won a game yet, so we rate ourselves a chance against them and we’ll try and get the strongest team we can on the track.”