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Young guns shine bright

Wanderers pair play key role in Knights’ opening win in YPL

- By JEREMY WILSON

BEECHWORTH youngsters Allessandr­o Belci and Matt Pearce played starring roles in the North East Knights’ opening Youth Premier League victory on Monday before the smoke haze across Melbourne saw both matches yesterday abandoned.

The pair are two of six WDCA sides in the Knights’ under 18 side that is contesting the state YPL competitio­n that pits region against region in seven T20 matches.

The Knights got off to a rocky start on Monday morning when they fell to failed to chase down South East Bayside Breakers’ smallish total of 116, bowled out in the final over 10 runs short.

Belci contribute­d a brisk 18 off 20 balls at the top of the order while Pearce went wicketless but was economical with 0/12 from his three overs.

But after the defeat in the morning, the Knights hit back with a comfortabl­e 34run victory over Gippsland Pride.

And it was Belci that led the way with the bat for the North East side, slicing and blasting his way to a gamehigh score of 47.

The strongly-built left hander bludgeoned four boundaries in his 44-ball stay as he shared an important 52run stand with Matt Grohmann to set up a strong first innings total.

The Knights’ opening bowlers kept things extremely tight across the opening 10 overs and piled the pressure on the Pride’s middle order, which is when Pearce took full advantage.

While he only bowled the two overs, Pearce made them count, finishing with an incredible 4/15 as the Pride collapsed.

Pearce shattered the stumps of Jed Malone, Ethan Albrecht and Corey Fraser while he beat Tom Morrison in flight to have him stumped.

Hazardous air quality threatened to see more matches called off today with the Knights scheduled to meet Metro Inner East Emus and South East Country Sharks today before the final match tomorrow against Metro Outer South Pioneers.

The final will be played on January 20 at the Junction Oval.

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 ??  ?? TOP OF THE ORDER: Beechworth’s Allessandr­o Belci top scored in the North East Knight’s opening YPL win on Monday with 47.
TOP OF THE ORDER: Beechworth’s Allessandr­o Belci top scored in the North East Knight’s opening YPL win on Monday with 47.

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