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Goulburn Murray Cricket misses finals berth

Goulburn Murray Cricket's Melbourne Country Week team failed to qualify for the division three final yesterday.

ZACH HUBBER February 21, 2014 4:05am

An impressive run chase on the final day of Melbourne Country Week yesterday was not enough for Goulburn Murray Cricket to qualify for the division three final.

Chasing 285 for victory against West Gippsland, Bamawm-Lockington United opener Liam Gwynne scored an impressive century, the first by a GMC player at MCW.

The Englishman was eventually dismissed for 110, before captain Michael Hill and Echuca’s Curtis Townrow guided the team to victory.

Requiring 17 runs off the last three overs, GMC was steadfast as it registered the second win of the week.

The side will feel dudded by Wednesday’s result after dominating for most of the match.

Gisborne was 8/113 chasing 226 for victory before rain set in, resulting in a drawn game.

Had GMC won, it would have been a greater chance to compete in today’s final with equal wins alongside Sunraysia and Warragul.

Gwynne wreaked havoc early on Wednesday, smashing 68 off 42 balls in a 77-run partnership with Echuca captain Brendan Prendergast (12).

Echuca’s Taylor Beard (20), Hill (21) and Fire Brigade’s Joe Taylor (19, retired hurt) also contributed to the tally.

Taylor received a knock from teammate Townrow after the Echuca batsman smashed the ball into his arm.

An X-ray showed only bruising, giving Taylor the green light to play for the Flames against Echuca tomorrow.

Gisborne was reeling early at 3/39 after Fire Brigade import Tyrone Isitt claimed the first three wickets to finish with 3/21.

Rochester Tigers gun Adam Ward (3/34) also shone with the ball, but GMC could not get the job done as weather interrupted.

Gisborne was 8/113 but managed to hold out the GMC bowlers for seven overs before umpires stepped in.

GMC coach Lawrie Casey said while he was disappointed with Wednesday’s draw, he was more disappointed with Monday’s loss to Sunraysia.

‘‘Monday we were 1/125, but we struggled with batting in periods,’’ Casey said.

‘‘We lost too many wickets in clumps throughout the week.

‘‘Our top order stood up, but we didn’t get the partnerships that we needed later on.’’

Casey saved special praise for Gwynne, who averaged 71.5 runs across the four days.

‘‘Gwynne had an outstanding week. He’s a great player,’’ Casey said.

‘‘He has all the strokes and knows the areas where he can hit the ball.

‘‘He picks his areas very well, which makes him hard to bowl to.’’

The coach thanked his players after yesterday’s match for their commitment throughout the week.

‘‘They’re a pretty young group. The good part is they embraced what Melbourne Country Week is all about.

‘‘They gelled well on the field and gelled better off it.

‘‘They knew what they were here to do — play cricket.’’

GMC finished third with two wins and a draw after finishing runners-up in last year’s final.

Zach Hubber

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