Cricketers can hold heads high
DESPITE Euroa’s first 11 finishing Saturday’s game as losers on first innings, there was much to be proud of following their effort in week two against Central Park/St Brendan’s.
The side came into the weekend’s play having already surrendered the six points, however were hopeful of getting something out of the matchperhaps even some points via a good second innings performance.
They would be without their captain Brad Gleeson, which meant being down both an opening bowler and consistent middle- order batsman.
Conversely, Central Park welcomed back their opening bowler and batsman, Jordan McGregor, who would prove a decisive addition.
With both sides dismissed last week, the day began as though a one- dayer, albeit with the Magpies already 30 runs behind.
The crucial factors for both teams in avoiding a second innings defeat were both runs and to spend some time at the crease- something neither could manage the week prior.
Central Park began well, seeing off the new ball and batting with patience and technique that Euroa would look to emulate.
Losing just the one wicket in the first session, CP’s two young- guns batted their way to a commanding position, giving few real chances.
The two occupied the crease for over 30 overs, with opener Jordan McGregor passing 50 before Euroa finally snared the second and final wicket of partner Connor Hayes for a well- made 39.
This allowed the Tigers’ next batsman the freedom to come in swinging, adding a further 40 runs before the tea break, at which point the captain chose to declare.
This left Euroa a nasty run-chase of 185 to win- or more realisticallytwo hours to survive.
Central Park 2- 158 declared, with McGregor finishing 71 n.o.
It must be said there was nothing overly wrong with the bowling effort Euroa put in. In fact, they showed considerable discipline in restricting the scoring to a little over three runs per over.
The CP batsmen were simply very good, and took full advantage of some grassed chances.
Euroa needed to mount a strong batting performance to regain some confidence going into the end- of- year break.
Corey Robins, who had struggled to find runs leading up to this point, proved to be the rock around which Euroa could build a score.
With opening partner Mitch Gleeson bowled in the third over, and first- drop Rodney Jones playing a pull- shot off the cue- end of the bat to mid- wicket, Euroa looked destined for another collapse.
When Linton Colclough, who had looked very solid and comfortable against the CP bowlers was skittled by a short ball that rolled along the ground, it really didn’t look like the Magpies’ day.
However, Robins was joined by James Lloyd, who had also been short of runs in recent weeks, and the pair steadied.
By ‘steadied’, I mean they blasted their way to an 80- run partnership off considerably less deliveries, taking Euroa from a position of real vulnerability, to the point where the 180- run target looked achievable.
However, in the pursuit of more quick runs, both would go in quick succession with little more than half an hour to play.
Corey Robins finishing on 32 confidence- boosting runs, and James Lloyd a commanding 55.
It was left to Lucas Paul and Andrew Crosbie to see out the remaining time, with the game eventually drawing to an anti- climactic end.
Euroa 6- 134, 50 runs short of second innings points.
The loss leaves Euroa around mid- table heading into the break, but with a three weekend rest, the side is confident it can make a charge toward the top in 2017.
QUICK RESPONSE: Linton Colclough swiftly moved in to scoop up this ball.
STRONG BOWLING: Will Murray kept pressure on the batsmen during Saturday’s difficult match against Central Park/St Brendan’s.