Ho­gan happy to bowl

Deniliquin Pastoral Times - - SPORT -

De­niliquin’s star all­rounder Andrew Ho­gan is look­ing for­ward to play­ing a big­ger role with the ball as he em­barks on his sixth Bendigo Coun­try Week cricket car­ni­val next week.

Ho­gan has taken 31 wick­ets so far this sea­son — the se­cond most in the com­pe­ti­tion — open­ing the bowl­ing for the Deni Rhi­nos, and this has cer­tainly cap­tured the at­ten­tion of the Murray Val­ley se­lec­tors.

The right-arm pace­man didn’t bowl a ball for Murray Val­ley at last year’s car­ni­val, but that’s un­likely to be the case this year.

‘‘I was happy not to bowl (last year),’’ Ho­gan said.

‘‘I’ve had a pretty chronic back com­plaint for a few years now, so bat­ting at num­ber three was enough with­out the pres­sure of bowl­ing, and we had strong bowl­ing op­tions any­way.

‘‘But this year Luke (Murray Val­ley cap­tain Luke Carter) said he may give me the new ball. That would prob­a­bly mean I’d drop to four or five in the bat­ting order, which I’m fine with.

‘‘The ball’s been com­ing out well this year and the back’s fine once I get warmed up. Hope­fully we can go one bet­ter than last year.’’

Murray Val­ley lost last year’s Di­vi­sion One fi­nal to Goul­burn Murray on day five of the an­nual car­ni­val.

Ho­gan said while it was dis­ap­point­ing it’s not some­thing you tend to dwell on when it’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive cricket.

He said what he’s look­ing for­ward to this year is hav­ing a cou­ple of Deni team­mates along­side him at his third con­sec­u­tive car­ni­val — wick­et­keeper Jonty Tubb and Ja­maican im­port Zeniffe Fowler — and match­ing up against his brother, Isaac, who’ll be rep­re­sent­ing North­ern Dis­tricts.

‘‘Hav­ing Jonty and Zeniffe there should make it even more en­joy­able. The past cou­ple of years I think we’ve had a Deni player travel down for the odd game and head home, but not stay for the week.

‘‘Coun­try Week’s all about en­joy­ing your cricket and catch­ing up with blokes from other clubs and bond­ing with the guys from your home club.

‘‘I’m ex­pect­ing Zeniffe will like the wick­ets down there; they’re usu­ally pretty bats­man friendly and hope­fully he can score some runs, which would be good for us at club level.

‘‘It’s a big chal­lenge for Jonty, wick­et­keep­ing for four or five five days with some pretty sharp bowlers and a qual­ity spin­ner in Liam Evans com­ing at you. Jonty’s cer­tainly up for it — he’s been in great form for Deni and up at the stumps to Wrig­gler (Rhi­nos spin­ner An­thony Bradley).’’ And brother Isaac? ‘‘He can ex­pect a bit of chin mu­sic,’’ Ho­gan said with a big laugh.

‘‘I think he’s been in rea­son­able form for Wan­della. I know he hit an un­beaten hun­dred in round one and he’s made an­other score. It’ll be a good chal­lenge if I get the chance to have a bowl at him.’’

While win­ning Coun­try Week might not be Ho­gan’s main fo­cus, the 27 year-old is no stranger to suc­cess at the car­ni­val.

He played in Murray Val­ley’s win­ning Di­vi­sion Two side in 2016, which saw it pro­moted to Di­vi­sion One where it fin­ished run­ner-up last year.

He also played three Coun­try Week car­ni­vals for the former De­niliquin District Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion, los­ing the Di­vi­sion Two fi­nal in 2012 be­fore claim­ing the ti­tle the fol­low­ing year.

Ho­gan was named man of the match in the 2013 fi­nal, knock­ing up an un­beaten 75 as his side held on to win by seven runs against North­ern District.

‘‘That win­ning 2013 side is one of my best cricket mem­o­ries,’’ Ho­gan said.

‘‘We had a re­ally good mix of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence with young guys like Ol­lie Draf­fin and Mitch O’Brien, and some older heads like Toddy (cur­rent Rhi­nos skip­per Brad Todd), Tim Hil­lier and Ranji Oliver. There was also Brodie Un­win from Mathoura and Lachy Tay­lorNu­gent from Jer­ilderie who both had big car­ni­vals.

‘‘It was a great side and we had a great time. It was ex­actly what Coun­try Week’s all about.’’

Andrew Ho­gan bowl­ing for the Rhi­nos in round three of the Murray Val­ley Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion 2017/18 sea­son.

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