Benalla and District Cricket Association’s Under 14 side competed strongly in last week’s North East Region Junior Country Week carnival.
Playing for the Geoff Welch Shield, the team was made up of players from Benalla, Mansfield and Euroa and came up against the strong Wangaratta and District Cricket Association team on Tuesday at Benalla Racecourse Reserve.
Electing to bat first, Wangaratta compiled 165 from its 40 overs with Wade King (2-26), Pat Marks (2-18), Jim Chiller (1-37) and Jack Connor (1-17) sharing the wickets.
In reply, Benalla muscled its way to 9-143, captain Jim Chiller scoring a well-hit and aggressive 62 runs. Wade King (38) and Jim Taylor (13) were the other major contributors.
On Wednesday, Benalla travelled to Tallangatta to take on Albury Wodonga Cricket Association. Batting first the strong Albury Wodonga team compiled 191 from 45 overs, with Kaiden Skelton (3-29) and Jim Chiller (3-18) the wicket-takers.
In reply, Benalla could only manage 104 with Pat Marks (17) and Jim Taylor (17) the top scorers.
Keen to finish off the carnival on a high, Benalla took on Murray Cricket Council at the Benalla Gardens and again found itself bowling first. Murray scored 7-152 off its 45 overs despite some excellent bowling and fielding. Leg-spinner Alistair Bennett was the best of the bowlers snaring four wickets, three which were bowled.
Pat Marks (1-28), Kaiden Skelton (1-22) and Jack Connor (1-22) all bowled well.
Needing to start well Benalla was in trouble early before captain Jim Chiller and Jack Connor compiled a 119-run partnership to give Benalla a chance of victory.
Chiller finished with 71 runs before he was dismissed with just three runs for victory. Jack Connor was unbeaten on 20 runs.
The victory was a great reward for the Benalla Association players who had battled hard during the carnival.
Player of the Carnival was Jim Chiller who scored 141 runs at an average of 47 and took four wickets. The best bowlers were Alistair Bennett, Kaiden Skelton and Jim Chiller who all took four wickets for the carnival.
The Under-17 game against Murray Cricket Council at Albury was called off due to a lack of players on Friday.
Benalla Under 14 cricketer Wade King, 13, of Benalla was in fine form against Murray Cricket Council (Albury) Under 14s on the final day of Junior Country Week at Benalla on Friday morning.
Benalla Under 14 player Kaiden Skelton, 14, of Benalla is all smiles after bowling out Murray Cricket Council batsman Jarrod Scammell.
Pat Marks, 14, of Manfield (far left) is warmly congratulated after claiming a classy wicket. Photo by Randall Johnston
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