Seniors and colts teams both win opening two games.By Geordie Cowan
Goulburn Murray Cricket made the best possible start to its Bendigo Country Week campaign with wins for both its sides on the opening day.
The senior team played Benalla in the first round and, after winning the toss, decided to bat at Moon Oval in Rochester.
Openers Brendan Prendergast and Tim Maxfield (19) gave the team a good start, before Michael Hill joined Prendergast at the crease after a run out.
The pair’s positive partnership set up the innings, with Hill falling for 37 and Prendergast for an eventual match-high of 64.
After losing a couple of middle-order wickets, late hitting by Tim Bubb (37 not out), Jake Perry (21) and Cameron Parker (22 not out) helped the team finish its 50 overs on 6/225.
The home side was on top throughout its bowling performance, with almost all bowlers snagging a wicket.
Adam Ward was the best performed with 3/10 from eight overs, while David Currie (2/8 from seven overs) and Dylan Cuttriss (1/7 from five overs) also impressed as Benalla was dismissed for 79, guaranteeing a 146-run win.
The team backed up its result with another solid win yesterday.
After winning the toss and bowling, Goulburn Murray dismissed Castlemaine for 145 with Parker busy behind the stumps, collecting four catches, while Cuttriss claimed 3/23, Liam Ringin took 3/13 and Ward 2/36.
In its reply, Prendergast again performed well to bat nearly throughout the day, finishing on 53, while Hill was again impressive with 37.
Cuttriss added 26 runs late in the innings, while coach Barry Findlay said he was looking forward to seeing Tim Maxfield bat for 20 or 30 overs.
‘‘He scores in a hurry,’’ he said.
The coach said he was pleased with how the players had performed in the opening two days.
‘‘We have bowled and fielded pretty well,’’ he said.
‘‘It has been a good solid effort but it was a bit harder than (Monday).
‘‘I would have liked to get the runs a bit earlier than we did (yesterday), but we finished really strong.’’
However, Findlay warned his players of the greater tests it would face in the next two days.
‘‘We have Murray Valley tomorrow (Wednesday) and Ferntree Gully on Thursday, so they will be a step up from what we have already played,’’ he said.
Other results in the division saw Ferntree Gully upset Murray Valley by 10 runs on the first day, while Castlemaine lost to Gisborne by 81 runs in a high scoring game.
On the second day, Murray Valley smashed 7/346 from its 50 overs against Benalla, with centuries to Shaun Downie (144) and Luke Carter (111) while restricting its opposition to 4/154, while Ferntree Gully scored 7/220 against Gisborne.
■ The Goulburn Murray Colts side also enjoyed its start to the competition, winning against Northern District Colts at Windridge Oval in Rochester on Monday.
Playing in division three, Goulburn Murray was sent in to bat and the team made the most of its chance to build partnerships at every opportunity.
Quade Albert (21) and captain Brayden Stone added 37 runs for the first wicket, while Mitch McMullan and Stone put a further 72 runs on for the third wicket.
Stone eventually fell for 72, but Kirk Teasdale came in and scored a quick 32, while Curtis Townrow helped add 35 runs towards the end of the innings.
McMullan was the last man out for a well-made 53 as the team finished on 7/244.
Grant Wachter struck twice early to give his team an upper hand in Northern District’s reply, but at 2/72 the game was in the balance.
However, the home side came back hard to take the final eight wickets for just 56 more runs, bowling out the opposition for 128.
Wachter starred with the ball with 4/22 from nine overs, while Zac Dearing was also influential, taking 3/31 from 10 overs.
The team maintained its form yesterday with a solid victory against Red Cliffs at Bagshot.
Led by wicket-keeper Daniel Major, who top-scored with 78, the team made 8/252 with handy knocks form Stone (46) and McMullan (43 not out).
The team then bowled out the opposition for 152 to secure the win.
‘‘We have good young kids playing and everyone is sharing it around,’’ senior player Kirk Teasdale said.
The team’s final two matches will be against Northern United and Maryborough.
Other results in the division saw Grassmere claim a narrow 10-run win against Red Cliffs on Monday, while Maryborough defeated Northern United by 37 runs.
On the second day, Maryborough defeated Grassmere by 18 runs, while Northern United tallied 5/280 against Northern District, with Scott Lawry scoring an unbeaten ton.
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New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
After three wins from seven starts Benalla harness racing trainer sells The Hen House House.
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