Junior Country Week finishes with a dramatic victory for Goulburn Murray Cricket's under 16A side.By Geordie Cowan
Junior Country Week finished for Goulburn Murray Cricket’s four teams on Wednesday, with no teams qualifying for yesterday’s finals despite a series of good performances.
The under 16B team was unlucky to miss after winning two of its three games, with percentage ultimately deciding the finalists.
However, the highlight of the final day was the dramatic victory of the under 16A team.
Playing at Tongala, Goulburn Murray was sent in to bat by Murray Valley and made a good start with the consistent Jack Elliott (23) and Declan Hancock (22) putting on 43 runs for the second wicket.
However, no other batsmen made it into double figures as Goulburn Murray finished all out for 82, dismissed in the 28th over of a scheduled 45.
The home team took three wickets relatively early, but when Murray Valley was sitting at 3/71 in the 35th over, the game looked lost for Goulburn Murray.
Then came an incredible collapse.
Elliott started the rout, taking the partnership-breaking wicket, as Goulburn Murray claimed a wicket in each of the next five overs — three of them run-outs.
The bowling of Tom Holman (2/7) for the game — and indeed the week — was exemplary as he bowled five consecutive maidens, including one wicket and two run-outs, to finish the match.
He was well supported by Elliott (2/13) and Drew Barrett (2/14).
The match was decided in the final over, with Murray Valley needing four runs to win but only scored one as Barrett took the last wicket on the fourth ball, confirming Goulburn Murray’s two-run win.
Goulburn Murray Cricket junior cricket co-ordinator Jon Varcoe said it had been a good week for the association.
‘‘It’s been a pretty successful carnival for us overall,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve put out four teams which no other association has done.
‘‘We’ve given those kids a great opportunity and exposure at that level and they’ve performed reasonably well.’’
Varcoe said the team’s respective coaches and managers had been great and had received great support from the players, parents and clubs.
‘‘We have laid a good foundation for junior representative cricket,’’ he said.
‘‘Going forward we would like to improve our win-loss ratio.’’
Varcoe also thanked the GMC clubs which hosted games, with Rushworth, Stanhope, Rochester Tigers, Echuca South, Echuca and Tongala all involved.
Playing Murray Valley at Katunga on Tuesday, Goulburn Murray batted first and finished with 6/216 from its 35 overs, led by the middle-order performances of Anthony McMahon (57) and Clay McGregor (57 not out), while opener Lachlan Price chipped in with 30.
Goulburn Murray kept the opposition to just 5/114 during its innings, with Harley Haimes and Brodie Mulcahy each taking two wickets.
On Wednesday, the team played Bendigo at Vic Park.
Again batting first, the team was led by a gallant Max Scales as he scored 54 but the team could only muster a total of 114 with no other batsman reaching double figures.
The team grabbed two early wickets in reply but Bendigo proved too strong as it reached the total with five wickets and 15 overs in hand, with McGregor (1/13) and Price (1/8) the best of the bowlers.
Bowling first, Clayton Scott took 2/24 from his eight overs as Goulburn Murray restricted Seymour to 4/145 from its 40 overs.
In reply, the team looked to be going well after Alec Maguire and Josh Newton (32) put on 56 runs for the second wicket.
Unfortunately the team lost its way from there, with Maguire (45) the last man out as they finished on 97.
The other team lost to Bendigo (8/147 v 78) at Canterbury Park. No other details were available.
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