A successful week for Goulburn Murray Cricket's colts side was capped off with a win in the final on Friday.By Geordie Cowan
Goulburn Murray Cricket claimed its first triumph as an association after its colts team won the Bendigo Country Week division three title on Friday.
Opening batsman Quade Albert was named the player of the final after his innings of 80 helped the team to a commanding total of 8/266 against Grassmere at the small Bell Oval.
The colts then bowled out Grassmere for 185 to seal the 81-run win and the title after going through the week undefeated.
Goulburn Murray Colts captain Brayden Stone said it was a surprising and excellent finish to country week.
‘‘At the start of the week we were very keen just to bring our kids and develop them, develop their own game,’’ he said.
‘‘So to come away with the win at the end of the week was a great thing.
‘‘I’m very proud of the boys.’’
After winning the toss and batting, Goulburn Murray enjoyed a good start through Stone and Albert to put on about 60 runs, before Stone (25 retired) tore his hamstring while coming back for a second run — a second injury in what has been a torrid season for the Cooma captain.
Albert and Steve Barrett then enjoyed another good partnership before Barrett (15) became the first batsman dismissed with the score on 116.
Albert’s superb innings came to an end shortly after, but Goulburn Murray recovered well and enjoyed three more solid partnerships with the likes of Justin Saker (27), Mitch McMullan (25), Kirk Teasdale (34) and a rapid-fire Hamish Hooppell (29) helping to boost the score to 266.
‘‘To win the toss and have a bat at Bell Oval is really important, (as it is) one of the smallest grounds and I think we made a really good start,’’ Stone said.
‘‘Quade Albert in particular really demonstrated he’s a quality player and to churn out 80 in a final is a great effort.
‘‘Everyone contributed, particularly in the middle order. No one got under double figures today, but to have some experienced hands like Kirk Teasdale and even Hamish Hooppell, who smashed 29 at the end off 15 balls, was a great effort and it really just topped us off to get the big score that you need.’’
The colts made the best possible start defending their total as Chris Russell and Doug Edwards jun. struck early to remove Grassmere’s top-order batsmen and have it 3/8.
The Goulburn Murray bowlers kept the pressure on and, when the economical Teasdale found the edge of Jethro Serle (31), the end looked nigh as the score reached 6/61.
However, the opposition’s tail-enders kept battling and added 124 runs for the final four wickets.
Stone paid tribute to BCW-newcomers Grassmere, who hail from just north of Warrnambool, but complimented his bowlers on their efforts on the day and throughout the week.
‘‘To Grassmere’s credit they put on a few big stands in their last partnerships,’’ he said.
‘‘Made the game a bit more difficult, but with 266 runs on the board we knew it was probably going to be out of their reach in the last 10 overs.
‘‘Chris Russell bowled three days straight of long spells and to get three early wickets was really pleasing.
‘‘I thought Doug Edwards bowled really well, and then just to have some cover with Kirk Teasdake and Grant Wachter.
‘‘We fielded well all week and that was probably the reason why we’re here today.’’
Russell finished a good performance with 4/50, while Edwards (2/45), Teasdale (1/10) and Wachter (1/4) were the other wicket-takers.
‘‘Each individual this week has chipped in at some stage and probably some of these kids have exceeded their expectations as well, so from my point of view it’s been a real honour to lead Goulburn Murray Cricket in its first year and in particular to lead a bunch of kids who are fantastic on and off the field,’’ Stone said.
The captain said a couple of the youngsters also had a big impact on him throughout the week.
‘‘I was really impressed with Mitch McMullan from Echuca South,’’ Stone said.
‘‘He really showed that he is a capable batsman and it won’t be too long before he will be representing our division one team and Quade Albert at the top of the innings showed maturity well beyond his years.’’
Kirk Teasdale bowls for the division three Goulburn Murray Cricket team.
Quade Albert attempts a run-out.
Brad Jones runs out Grassmere's Brian Wilson on Friday.
The division three winners (back from left) Chris Russell, Hamish Hooppell, Josh Preston, Kirk Teasdale, Mitch McMullan, Curtis Townrow, Justin Saker, Brad Jones, Shannon Bish; (front) Quade Albert, Steve Barrett, Grant Wachter, Brayden Stone, Jake Toll and Doug Edwards Jun.
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