Saints to play Div. One

Southern Riverina news - - LOCAL CLASSIES -

Ber­ri­gan might be with­out a Divi­sion Two side in the Mur­ray Val­ley Cricket League, how­ever they have been able to re­tain most of their key play­ers as they pre­pare for their Divi­sion One sea­son.

Slog­ger and key wicket taker Zach Tay­lor-Nu­gent and bats­man Con­nor Thorn­ton are ex­pected be the play­mak­ers this sea­son, ac­cord­ing to pres­i­dent Damien Tay­lor.

Tay­lor said the duo will also be backed up by young guns Tom Whe­lan and Lachie Pyle.

‘‘Zach (Tay­lor-Nu­gent) is a re­ally handy player for us be­cause he can take wick­ets and score very quickly.

‘‘Last year he belted a cen­tury off very few balls but un­for­tu­nately he’s miss­ing in week one.’’

Dur­ing the 2017/18 sea­son the club was forced to for­feit Divi­sion Two matches due to in­suf­fi­cient play­ers, forc­ing its de­ci­sion not to field a side this sea­son.

The Divi­sion One side was heav­ily un­der­manned through­out last sea­son win­ning just three games and draw­ing three matches, how­ever they were com­pet­i­tive when a full side was avail­able.

Ber­ri­gan will still be rep­re­sented in the ju­nior ranks this year with the Un­der 14s con­tin­u­ing as a com­bined side with Jer­ilderie.

Tay­lor said the first few weeks of the sea­son will be ‘‘tricky’’ as the Saints work out where the Divi­sion One team is at.

They will open their sea­son with a home game against the Deni Rhi­nos on Satur­day.

‘‘Deni were a pretty strong side last year,’’ Tay­lor said.

‘‘This time of the year some play­ers are still on footy trips, wed­dings or farm­ing so you just need to play with what you have and hope­fully build on that.

‘‘Harley Mid­dle­ton and Fraser Haintz are both de­cent bowlers and can take wick­ets so we’ll be hop­ing they can have an im­pact.

‘‘Deni usu­ally have good all rounders but they’re in a sim­i­lar po­si­tion to us with player un­avail­able, so at this stage with both club still find­ing their feet it’s hard to say how we’ll play.

‘‘I would ex­pect us to at least be com­pet­i­tive for the match,’’ Tay­lor said.

The Ber­ri­gan and Deni match starts at 1pm at the Ber­ri­gan Sports­ground.

Zach Tay­lor-Nu­gent will be a key com­po­nent for Ber­ri­gan’s suc­cess this year.

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