Toc’s cricket coup

Southern Riverina news - - SPORT -

Tocumwal will en­ter the 2018/19 Mur­ray Val­ley Cricket premier divi­sion with new faces mark­ing a new era for the club.

It will be the first time since the 2013/14 sea­son that Tocumwal has com­peted in premier divi­sion.

Boost­ing their lineup will be for­mer Fin­ley cricket cap­tain Chris Shaw — who has been named team cap­tain — plus young gun Matt Wil­son and vet­eran bat­ter Daniel Hib­berd from Fin­ley.

Club pres­i­dent Rod Meloury con­firmed the premier team will be in­cluded with two English im­ports with the pos­si­bil­ity of a third.

Meloury said the club is ex­cited to be join­ing the Premier Divi­sion for the first time in five years.

‘‘It think we’ll give the com­pe­ti­tion a good shake.

‘‘It’s a foun­da­tion sea­son but I reckon we can grow on it as well with our ju­niors who are com­ing through.

‘‘Join­ing Premier Divi­sion will pro­vide the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to those play­ers in their mid-20s to see where they’re at.

‘‘It’s hard to say who will be the best teams as we didn’t play in this divi­sion last year but prob­a­bly the tough sides to beat will be Co­bram, Ba­rooga, Nathalia and Deni,’’ Meloury said.

The side is also ex­pected to in­clude 2017/18 play­ers Jesse Barker, Andy Arthur and Michael Roberts.

Shaw said he chose to join Tocumwal be­cause of the ju­nior pro­gram and was look­ing for­ward to play­ing with the younger play­ers com­ing through.

‘‘It’s an ex­cit­ing time and a new chal­lenge but Tocumwal are a great group of lads and I’m thank­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to cap­tain the club,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m happy to be work­ing with their young play­ers com­ing out of their pro­gram such as Jesse Barker and they’ve done a lot of work over the past four years work­ing on that side of the club.

‘‘The aim is to play fi­nals; we’re here to have a crack.

‘‘We have had a re­ally good pre­sea­son so hope­fully we can carry that into this first week.’’

Kick­ing off week one will be a trip to Kata­matite, who fin­ished the 2017/18 sea­son with four wins, two draws and eight losses.

Shaw said he’s un­sure how his young side will per­form on Satur­day but is con­fi­dent they’ll be com­pet­i­tive.

‘‘We need to get the ba­sics right and im­ple­ment what we’ve been do­ing at train­ing.

‘‘It’ll be an ex­pe­ri­ence for the lads as quite a few haven’t played Premier Divi­sion so that will be both a big and ex­cit­ing chal­lenge.

‘‘These first few weeks will be about ac­cept­ing the chal­lenge and en­joy­ing it.

‘‘It might just be a mat­ter of try­ing to es­tab­lish where were are and just play­ing as a team, but my aim is for us to play fi­nals.’’

Coach Ranji Oliver said bat­ting will be the key to beat­ing Kata­matite.

‘‘They’re are a good bat­ting side and had a good start to the sea­son last year but fell away late.

‘‘In my opin­ion our team can bowl okay, it’ll just be mat­ter of whether the bats­men can do the job.’’

The match be­tween Tocumwal and Kata­matite will be a one-day 45 over fix­ture, start­ing at 12.30pm on Satur­day.

Tocumwal’s Divi­sion One side will also kick-off their 2018/19 cam­paign when they host Co­bram for a one-day 40 over game at 1pm on Satur­day.

■ Tocumwal coach Ranji Oliver, new Tocumwal cap­tain Chris Shaw and club pres­i­dent Rod Meloury are ready for the 2018/19 Mur­ray Val­ley Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion sea­son.

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