Ambitious Roos want a flag
After losing three of its first four matches of the season, Corowa’s A Grade cricket side has sent a message to the rest of the Cricket Albury Wodonga League after notching its sixth win in seven weeks against Bethanga on December 22.
The Round 1 catch-up match played at Bethanga Recreation Reserve was a complete blowout, with the visitors comfortably cruising to a 204-run victory.
It puts the Roos in fourth place on the District First Grade ladder and sets them up for a big finals campaign on the back of a grand final win last season.
Corowa captain-coach Daniel Athanitis summed up his side’s season so far.
“(We’ve been) inconsistent at times, really good and really bad,” he told The Free Press.
“We’ve had our positive times but we’ve also had some pretty low times too, (like) being bowled out for 60.
“We’ve always bowled well I thought and our batting has struggled at times, but that also has a bit to do with unavailability too.”
Corowa has struggled with injuries and unavailability this season which has a part to play in its inconsistent performances.
The Roos took ladder-leaders Baranduda to the last over in their Round 11 clash, making 144 runs in the first innings before the top team passed the Corowa total in 44.1 overs.
But Athanitis said the Baranduda game gives the side confidence that they can match it with the top teams, despite missing quite a few premiership players.
“We still had a crack, and they’re a really handy side,” he said.
“I’m really confident, we just have to give ourselves an opportunity to play finals and I reckon we can be really competitive from wherever we finish.
“Our aim is to finish in the top six and go from there. We’ve got a good enough side I think, enough depth to compete really hard.
“It’s a really good feeling around the cricket club at the moment.
“We want to win a premiership – that’s our aim and everyone is committed to that.”
According to the spin bowler, two of the standout players of the season so far have been crucial run makers Matthew Grantham and Nathan Rhodes.
Grantham is averaging 59.2 with the bat, while Rhodes, who made 132 against Bethanga, is averaging 53.4.
Athanitis also sung the praises of young bowling sensation Gabby Sutcliffe, a 16-yearold local who was recently selected in the Cricket NSW Country Under 18 squad.
“She’s taken eight wickets for us which is awesome, it’s been really good for the club,” he said.
“It was probably different in Round 1, but she’s just one of the team now. We don’t even think of her as a younger girl, she fits in and really holds her own – don’t worry about that. We’re as hard on her as we are on everyone else.”
Solid on-field, off the field the cricket club is also having a positive influence on the community, most recently in the form of a golf day that the club is now looking to run annually.
The event attracted 90 people for a game of Ambrose, something Athanitis didn’t expect but was “wrapped about”.
“It adds to the great feeling around the club right now,” he said.
“The whole town is getting behind us and we really appreciate everyone’s support.”
Corowa’s next game is its Round 12 clash against third-placed Kiewa at Ball Park on January 19, as it looks to continue its tilt towards a second consecutive premiership.