Houri­gan, South­ern hero­ics save Tigers against Beechworth

Alpine Observer - - Classifieds -


OVENS Val­ley United have stamped them­selves as early fi­nals con­tenders with a stun­ning two run vic­tory over last sea­son’s grand fi­nal­ists, Beechworth.

De­fend­ing just 107 the Tigers jumped all over the Wan­der­ers to have them 6/32 as Corey South­ern (5/23) proved un­playable and Michael New­ton (2/21) con­tin­ued his good form.

But Alessan­dro Belci (23) and Wil­liam Brown (38) com­bined to have Beechworth within touch­ing dis­tance of a win at 6/94. En­ter South­ern. Af­ter tak­ing three wick­ets in the early car­nage, the for­mer skip­per re­turned for a sec­ond spell, in­stantly removing both set bats­man to have the game in the bal­ance at 8/95.

Num­ber three bats­man, Lochie Houri­gan, who has bowled just six overs across the past two sea­sons then proved an un­likely hero tak­ing 2/0 to se­cure the win.

South­ern said he was en­joy­ing added re­spon­si­bil­ity with the ball af­ter play­ing more as a bats­man un­der his own captaincy.

“It’s what I am there for now and they have been com­ing out well, it was a wicket where if you bowled in the right ar­eas the bats­man could get them­selves into trou­ble,” he said.

Ear­lier in the day, South­ern (11) and Michael Speed (13 not out) com­bined with in-form English­man Ryan Withers (31) for vi­tal 26 and 27 run stands at the eighth and ninth wick­ets.

The Tigers were reel­ing at 7/51 but the gritty bat­ting got them up above three fig­ures.

Ovens Val­ley who now sit third on the lad­der host fifth placed Be­nalla at Whorouly this week­end. BY TATE SPI­TERI

MYRTLE­FORD Men’s CBL coach, Michelle Barker says the Saints will learn more from the week­end’s 40-point loss at the hands of Shep­par­ton than they did their three con­sec­u­tive early sea­son wins.

The Saints with­out twin tow­ers Ryan Crisp and Mar­cus La Spina were out­mus­cled and out­worked by the more ex­pe­ri­enced ‘Ga­tors who have started the sea­son un­de­feated.

“Our shots just didn’t drop and their de­fen­sive pressure was ter­rific, they were the bet­ter team on the night,” Barker added.

“It’s good in some ways to get that loss so we can see where we’re at and where we can im­prove, losses only make you stronger be­cause you can fig­ure out why they hap­pened.”

Women’s coach, Les Stevens echoed sim­i­lar sen­ti­ments say­ing there was more to the game then win­ning.

His Saints were de­feated 84-56 with Paige Zam­per­oni, Grace McKer­ral and Shanae Grib­bin all miss­ing.

“I think we did very well, they broke us down in de­fence and shot at a high level- but we did a lot right,” Stevens said.

“They were a lit­tle bit big­ger than us, but we are work­ing hard and had some rook­ies play­ing. We will do a lot of de­fen­sive work (at train­ing).”

Stevens praised the work of young­sters Molly Brock and Emily Cos­sor who at just 14 and 15 years of age were among the Saints’ best in the de­feat.

“It’s all a learn­ing curve and we are de­vel­op­ing some play­ers for the fu­ture, I re­ally be­lieve there are plenty of wins there for us but we will also face some very tough teams,” he added.

Abbey Zam­per­oni was su­perb with 23 points spread evenly across the four quar­ters.

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