Mur­ray Val­ley sec­ond best in Vic­to­ria

Southern Riverina news - - Sport -

Mur­ray Val­ley Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion won its first three games to ad­vance to last Fri­day’s pres­ti­gious Melbourne Coun­try Week grand final.

The Mur­ray Val­ley play­ers, many of whom were beaten in last year’s rain-af­fected final against Gee­long, were out for re­venge.

But it was not go­ing to be easy, hav­ing been beaten by Gee­long the day be­fore (Thurs­day).

Fri­day’s final was al­lo­cated to the Al­bert Ground in St Kilda, a beau­ti­ful oval where many Melbourne Premier fi­nals are also played.

Gee­long again won the toss and elected to bat, hav­ing also brought in some big guns for the final.

MV coach Mick Clee­land asked for more pres­sure to be ap­plied than the pre­vi­ous day and it was de­liv­ered with Gee­long sud­denly on the back foot at 3/5 with Im­ran Arif bowl­ing well for two early wick­ets.

Gee­long how­ever was equal to the task and had plenty of qual­ity bats­men to see through the early set­back with Han­ley mak­ing a well com­piled 89 runs.

The lower or­der bats­men all con­trib­uted tak­ing the final tally to 8/217 with Justin Maley and Arif claim­ing two wick­ets each.

How­ever, as the ground was con­sid­er­ably quicker than the pre­vi­ous day, the to­tal was con­sid­ered about par.

Mur­ray Val­ley’s open­ers Luke Carter and Chris Armstrong put on 38 for the first wicket be­fore Carter fell to one of Gee­long’s big guns, open­ing bowler Trent Way­erys.

He then dis­missed Shaun Downie and Stu­art Thom­son for first ball LBWS giv­ing him a hat­trick and set­ting Mur­ray Val­ley with a huge task of re­cov­er­ing from this po­si­tion.

Justin Maley (30) and Luke Quinn (15) tried hard, but Gee­long’s tight field­ing caused two run outs to again put MV on the back foot.

Val­ley was even­tu­ally dis­missed for 130 leav­ing Gee­long the vic­tors for the sec­ond year run­ning — and a vic­tory well de­served as they were clearly the bet­ter team over the two days against MVCA.

How­ever, Mur­ray Val­ley should be proud of the way the team played prov­ing it is the sec­ond best as­so­ci­a­tion in the Vic­to­ria af­ter fin­ish­ing sec­ond to the large pro­vin­cial city of Gee­long for two con­sec­u­tive years.

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