Tigers’ two day test

Alpine Observer - - News -

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.

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