Re­cruits to make de­but against reign­ing premier

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT -

Fin­ley will in­tro­duce two new faces in their Mur­ray Val­ley Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion Premier Di­vi­sion sea­son opener against reign­ing premiers Nathalia on Satur­day.

Play­ing at home, the Cats will be boosted by Eng­land ar­rivals Daniel McHugh from Kent and Saad Qureshi from New­cas­tle.

McHugh is an all-rounder, who will bat in the mid­dle of the or­der and bowl medium pace.

Play­ing for Non­ing­ton in the Kent Cricket League Di­vi­sion II this year, McHugh made 305 runs and took 14 wickets from his 21 games.

Qureshi will be given the task of open­ing the bat­ting for the Cats.

He played for Burslem Cricket Club in the North Staffs and South Cheshire League, scor­ing 169 runs from nine in­nings with a high score of 53.

Fin­ley played with­out any im­ported play­ers last year, and pres­i­dent Chris Shaw is hope­ful of a bet­ter sea­son.

‘‘We were still com­pet­i­tive in a few games last year so to add more bat­ting strength should help us a lot,’’ he said,

‘‘We also have plenty of young tal­ent like Matt Wil­son and Dun­can Clarke who have looked good at train­ing.

‘‘An­other young bloke who is handy is Darcy Webb. He had a good back half of last sea­son and is right in the mix to play in the Premier side again this year.’’

Nathalia have won the past three premier- ships while Fin­ley failed to win a game last sea­son.

Shaw said he’s con­fi­dent the Cats can play at a high com­pet­i­tive level against Nathalia. ‘‘Nathalia are a good solid side,’’ he said. ‘‘I don’t know what play­ers they have this sea­son but if Ash Quinn is play­ing then it will be tough as he’s a very good crick­eter.

‘‘But num­bers at train­ing have been good here and every­one is keen to give it a red hot crack on Satur­day.’’

Shaw said they are happy with top or­der bats­man and leg spin­ner Rus­sell Stock­dale’s de­ci­sion to con­tinue to play with the club.

The Cats will be hin­dered by the de­par­ture of Jonothan Oliver, who has left for univer­sity com­mit­ments in Mel­bourne.

De­spite the lack of wins last sea­son Shaw says the team will need to ap­proach the sea­son with ‘‘baby steps’’.

‘‘Get­ting over the first hur­dle of get­ting that first win will be pretty im­por­tant but once we can do that and gain the con­fi­dence we should have a good sea­son,’’ he said.

‘‘The boys have been well rested over win­ter and they’re rar­ing to go.

‘‘The lower grade sides all look good at train­ing; there’s a mix­ture of older and younger play­ers.’’

A de­ci­sion was be­ing made on the coach­ing po­si­tion after the SRN went to print yes­ter­day.

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