Tigers’ two day test
BY TATE SPITERI
OVENS Valley United will enter the great unknown this week when their new look side plays in their first two day game of the season at home against Wangaratta Magpies.
The Tigers haven’t won a two day fixture in close to two years but enter the home match full of confidence and sitting second on the ladder.
“It’s a completely new side, we have forgotten last year and it’s now just about trying to improve every game,” skipper Andy Newton said.
“We will see how we go; we have a strong batting line up that bats all the way down, so if we can get to tea only losing two or three wickets I think we can make a big score.”
Newton said the batting line up would stay “very similar”, with the Tigers backing their players to adjust to the format.
“Ideally you have wickets in hand and someone like Ryan (Withers) can come in after tea and really boost the rate,” he added.
“He has been really good for us, he’s come in late and steadied the ship a bit, he manages to turn the strike over and then put away the bad ball.”
Withers played a heroic knock in round one as the Tigers out lasted Rovers Bruck United and put to rest the unwanted tag of a team that didn’t know how to win.
“Last year we weren’t winning the close games where as this year we have turned that around, it’s amazing how much of a different it makes,” Newton said.
Wangaratta possess a quality bowling line up but have been exposed with the bat on multiple occasions this season, something Newton hopes his bowlers can repeat.
“James (Neary) and Ryan (With- ers) will be suited to the two day games where they can work into their spells, and grind out a few wickets rather than need to bowl too aggressively,” Newton explained, while quicks Michael Newton and Michael Speed will also bowl extra overs.
In a further boost for the Tigers, Newton’s brother Josh is a chance to return to the side from injury before Christmas.
“His recovery has been going to plan but there’s no point rushing it, when he’s ready- he will be ready but I’m hopeful that will be for a game before the break,” Andy Newton said.
THREE three-pointers and a commanding 17 points from returning Saint, Grace McKerral was not enough to propel Myrtleford’s Women’s CBL team to an upset win over Kyneton on the weekend.
Playing away from home the Saints fought hard to be level with the Tigers at three quarter time but they ultimately ran out of legs as a 17-6 fourth quarter run from Kyneton put the game to bed.
Coach, Les Stevens, said he felt the team maintained their good form despite the loss.
“They are a really good team (Kyneton) and were way taller than us but the girls really dug deep to nearly grab a win,” he said.
“We have started to create a bit more space and are beginning to get our full list available.
“Grace coming back in really added to our scoring power, we were able to stretch them a bit more and she shot the ball really well which is what she’s there for.”
The Saints return to Myrtleford this Sunday with a home clash against Echuca, putting to end a stretch of away games.
“We want to stamp our authority and be aggressive in front of our home crowd and hopefully get a win,” Stevens said.
“On Saturday night I think we really came a long way, it was great to see us compete against a good team and hopefully we can carry that on.”
Tip off for the Saints’ clash with Echuca is 1pm.
In the Men’s, Myrtleford will be desperate to get back on the winners list when they travel to Benalla to face the struggling Breakers.
The game gets underway Saturday night at 7pm at the Benalla Indoor Recreation Centre.
IN FORM: Hard hitting batsman Ryan Withers will be a key player for the Tigers in the two games.