Tigers fall in thriller
BY TATE SPITERI
OVENS Valley United suffered a thrilling four run loss to fellow finals hopefuls Benalla at the weekend.
The Tigers in their first game at Whorouly for the year and without star quick, Michael Newton, bowled tightly to keep Benalla to 5/158 off their 40 overs but were let down by cluster wickets with the bat.
Veteran Scott McNamara who was recalled to the top of the order after strong reserve grade form started well with an early boundary but when he was caught off the bowling of Connor Brodie for 12, Jack Haycock (0) immediately followed.
Skipper Andy Newton then launched a counter attack at the Bushrangers’ bowling with 24 at just under a run a ball but after he was bowled by Henry Sadaya, Lochie Hourigan who had been defending well also lost his wicket.
Hourigan faced 25 balls and survived 38 minutes for his 1, putting on a 27 run stand with Newton before he was also caught off the bowling of Brodie.
Bright pair Dylan Bursill (19) and Seamus Phillips (51) then got the scoreboard ticking along nicely before Bursill and Ryan Withers (2) quickly departed.
The elegant Phillips received good support from Corey Southern and Michael Speed (both 12) as the score creeped up to 7/144 but for the fourth time in the innings successive wickets put the Tigers in a hole.
They lost 2/5 forcing the final pair of Speed and number 11 Bailey Wyatt to the crease with nine runs still needed.
Requiring a further five runs off eight balls, Speed was then caught behind off the Bushrangers’ opening bowler, Vaughan Kirk.
Ovens Valley travel to Greta next week to face the winless Greta.