The race for the inaugural Goulburn Murray Cricket crown is heating up, with Kyabram Fire Brigade producing one of its best batting performances of the season on day one of its round 11 clash with Moama.By Damen Francis
The race for the inaugural Goulburn Murray Cricket crown is heating up, with Kyabram Fire Brigade producing one of its best batting performances of the season on day one of its round 11 clash with Moama.
The Flames tallied 290 in 72.5 overs at Moama Oval, on the back of a well-crafted 88 from star opener Paul Newman.
It was Newman’s highest score of the season and served as a timely reminder of the title threat offered by last season’s Kyabram District Cricket Association champions.
Opening partner Danny Kent made 37 of the 114-run first-wicket partnership and the visitors lost nothing when captain David Newman (48) and Andrew Elborough (31) arrived at the crease.
However, the Flames fell away badly from that point on and were all out with seven overs still to bat.
The skipper was pleased with the effort, but admitted it could have been even better.
‘‘Conditions were good, it’s a fast outfield at Moama and they probably have the best facilities in the competition,’’ Newman said.
‘‘It’s a pretty good score, (but) we got off to a good start and it was a bit disappointing to only get 290.
‘‘The last five or so wickets were from bad shots, but at least we have something to defend.’’
Fire Brigade is assured of a finals place, but would love to take some winning form into the post-season as it will likely have to make a run at the title from sixth place.
The sight of the Newman brothers at the crease for an extended period would have been welcome for Flames fans so close to finals, but less so for the home support.
Moama currently lies fourth and has been at the top end of the table for much of the season.
While Saturday will not go down as a vintage day for the club’s bowlers, they showed plenty of grit to fight back and keep the visitors below 300.
‘‘They’re a very good side and they bowled well after tea,’’ Newman said.
‘‘They took the pace off the ball a bit with spin and slow mediums and that made it hard for us to hit boundaries.
‘‘(Paul) batted well, he really knuckled down.’’
Alistair McCann (4-68) and Jade Bennett (3-26) were the pick of the bowlers for the home side.
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