Rochester Tigers' Adam Ward was named man of the match after his top performance for the under 21 Northern Rivers team.GEORDIE COWAN November 7, 2012 4:13am
Rochester Tigers Cricket Club young gun Adam Ward helped the under 21 Northern Rivers team to a win against North East Country at Mooroopna on Sunday.
Vice-captain Ward was named man of the match, seeing Northern Rivers register 9/244 from its 50 overs before bowling out the opposition for 219 in the 48th over.
Tigers players Daniel Major and Sean Williams and United player Hamish Hooppell also played in the Victorian Country Cricket League quarter-final, as well as Echuca’s Taylor Beard.
The other seven players were from Cricket Shepparton.
Coach James Stokes said Major and Hooppell played handy roles with the bat, while Ward was pivotal in the bowling, taking three wickets and causing a run-out.
The coach said Northern Rivers’ last three wickets put on a vital 85 runs, including an unbeaten 41-run final-wicket partnership involving Hooppell.
‘‘I thought we batted quite well considering the squad only came together Wednesday night,’’ he said.
‘‘The guys should be really proud of how they have come together to post a competitive total.’’
Wickets proved hard to come by at the start of North East’s reply, but Stokes remained confident as they kept the run rate to about three an over.
‘‘So while we had no wickets, we were still fairly confident we could restrict them,’’ he said.
‘‘In the middle session between overs 17 and 34, we captured four wickets for about 60 runs and we had them under the pump.
‘‘Straight after the break Adam Ward came back on and the game turned.
‘‘He took it upon himself and was involved in three wickets and a run out.’’
Stokes, who is also the non-playing coach for Cricket Shepparton’s senior Melbourne and Bendigo country week teams, said he enjoyed taking charge of the under 21 team for the first team.
‘‘I wasn’t keen to take on the role at the start
‘‘I think to be amongst some young blokes that want to represent Northern Rivers and play representative cricket makes it a lot easier as well.’’
The Kyabram resident said the match helped restore his faith in representative cricket.
‘‘They’re good young people and so were the players from North East too,’’ he said.
‘‘It was a really really good game and played in the best spirit you could ask the game to be played in.’’
The team, which will remain relatively unchanged, will play the semi-final on Sunday with the venue and opposition still unknown.
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