Hourigan, Southern heroics save Tigers against Beechworth
BY TATE SPITERI
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.