Colts remain undefeated as Benalla and Ovens Valley grab wins
Wangaratta & District Cricket Association
CITY Colts moved to 4-0 and on top of the ladder following a gritty 29-run win over Greta.
Winning the toss the Colts batted and had scored 44 runs before Englishman Tom Jones lost his wicket for 28 runs in a new role for the import.
Mitch Giggins, who entered the game in strong form, was removed for a golden duck as he was trapped leg before wicket by Nick Pell and all of a sudden Greta was back in the game.
But it didn’t take long for Colts’ captain Kent Braden took control of the game and in a partnership with Ollie Willett steadied a Greta momentum swing.
Willett was removed for 16 runs by Tom Webster which left Kent Braden and Fraser Ellis to bat the Colts to a defendable total.
Braden grabbed his second half century of the season and fourth consecutive score over 40 to start the year before he was out for 53.
Ellis added 26 and remained not out in a good innings for the all rounder.
Colts set the Blues the task of chasing down 150 runs from 40 overs.
And up until the 20-over drinks break, the Blues were in the box seat at 3/70.
“We had started poorly and it looked like Greta were about to chase down the total easily with about six overs to go,” Braden said.
“We had to turn it around with the ball and quickly and we managed to get the game back in our favour.”
Andrew Squires knocked the ball around for 41 runs and fell shortly after the drinks break.
The Colts then took another three wickets for the cost of just 20 runs to get the game back to a level playing field.
Greta captain Matt Gathercole made 12 runs as did Tom Webster but the Blues were bowled out on the second last ball of the innings 29 runs in arrears of the Colts’ total.
“I was rapt with the effort to fight back like we did,” Braden said.
“Fraser Ellis batted really well and was efficient with the ball; I think he took 1/17 off his eight overs, but eight of those runs were nicks through the slips.
“Tom Jones grabbed 28 runs in a new role for him.”
Dylan Adams (hamstring) didn’t bowl off his usual run, while Mitch Howe and Nick Norris (unavailable) were either missing or playing in a reduced role from the winning side.
City Colts remain undefeated after winning each of their first four games, but face a tough three week stretch against Yarrawonga Mulwala, Rovers United Bruck and Benalla Bushrangers.
“We are in a good spot but I would be lying if I said this next month or so isn’t difficult,” Braden said.
“It is critical; looking at it, you would love three wins but if we can get through with two out of the three wins then I will be pretty happy and that sets us up well going into the two-day matches.”
In the other games, Ovens Valley United held off a fast finishing Beechworth side on the back of a brilliant one-two punch of Corey Southern and Lochie Hourigan.
Ovens Valley made 107 runs behind a tail end 31 to Ryan Withers, but with Southern 5/23 and Hourigan 2/0 cleaning up the last seven wickets of the match the Tigers defeated Beechworth by two runs.
Beechworth’s Mark Butters took four wickets in the bowling innings, while Will Brown scored 38 runs in the chase.
Benalla also held off on in a fast finishing clash against Delatite.
The Bushrangers managed 159 off their 49 overs, and after Delatite’s Chris Anderson (27), Fergus Patterson (29) and Joel Sanford’s 46 runs Delatite was in the box seat for victory.
But Benalla’s tight bowling got the Bushrangers over the line to win by eight runs.
Lee Brennan (3/3) and Vaughan Kirk (2/32) did the damage for the Bushrangers in the defence.