Echuca pays the penalty as the Mag­pies year starts tak­ing off

The Riverine Herald - - SPORT - By An­drew John­ston

IT WASN’T just the lights that made the mood at Vic­to­ria Park on Satur­day night.

The qual­ity of the match may have played a role as well.

Moama im­proved their record to 2-2 for the 2018/19 on the back of some strong bat­ting from An­thony McMa­hon and Alis­tair McCann.

Moama pres­i­dent Kirk Teas­dale said af­ter his club started the sea­son 0-2, they needed to re­spond in or­der to build some mo­men­tum, and avoid hav­ing to get the job done late in the sea­son as they did in the 2017/18.

Moama also sug­gested they would want to be bat­ting first in or­der to avoid the night.

For­tu­nately, Echuca saw it the same way, send­ing Moama in.

Things started poorly, with Paul Henry out for a duck, and his team at 1/1.

Jack Rus­sell — play­ing just his fourth game of A grade since the 2016/17 sea­son while he re­cov­ered from his knee re­con­struc­tion — kept McMa­hon com­pany for some time, adding 19 of his own.

Af­ter McMa­hon was dis­missed for 42, the mid­dle or­der had some­thing of a col­lapse.

From 3/67, the Mag­pies were soon 5/77.

A few 20 plus sores in the mid­dle or­der kept the game tick­ing over, be­fore McCann en­tered and belted six fours and two sixes for a 42-ball 57.

With an un­pre­dictable evening of cricket ahead, the Mag­pies left the field with a score of 9/208, giv­ing Echuca a lot of work to do.

With Echuca’s top three com­bin­ing for just 35 runs, the bulk of the work fell on num­ber four An­thony Den­nis, who dom­i­nated with 79 of his own.

But by the fi­nal few overs, Echuca were in trou­ble.

When Chris Hinks fell for nine, his team were 6/128, leav­ing the bot­tom four chas­ing 80 runs.

They dug in deep, run­ning on ev­ery shot and des­per­ately try­ing to put as many runs on the board as they pos­si­bly could in the clos­ing overs, adding a fur­ther 50 to the score.

But it wasn’t go­ing to be enough, Echuca tak­ing their first loss for the sea­son and Moama mov­ing to within strik­ing dis­tance of the top four with a 31-run win.

Moama’s Jack Rus­sell played just his fourth game of A grade since the 2016/17 sea­son.

LUKE HEMER

Echuca’s Shaun Hon pic­tured dur­ing the GMC A grade match against Moama. Pho­tos:

Moama’s An­thony McMa­hon dom­i­nated with 42 runs on Satur­day.

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