Win­ning start Colts’ aim against Beech­worth

Ovens Valley to build off first round win

Wangaratta Chronicle - - Sport -

CITY Colts will look to in­flict Beech­worth with its se­cond con­sec­u­tive loss to start the sea­son to­mor­row when the peren­nial fi­nal­ists do bat­tle at the Bill O’Cal­laghan Oval.

Colts got its sea­son off to the best pos­si­ble start last week, re­spond­ing with 7/152 in re­sponse to Wan­garatta Mag­pies’ 111.

Beech­worth, how­ever, was un­able to match Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala’s first in­nings to­tal of 172 as it was bowled out 30 runs short of vic­tory.

As al­ways, Kent Braden looks the key to the Colts’ chances with the star all rounder dom­i­nat­ing with three wick­ets and a knock of 40 with the bat in round one.

Ol­lie Willett (48) and Mitch Gig­gins (29) also had strong show­ings with the bat while English­man Tom Jones grabbed three wick­ets in his de­but.

Beech­worth has plenty of up­side, how­ever, with Kayde Sur­rey (22), Stu­art Pearce (23), skip­per Bren­ton Sur­rey (23) and Mitch Pearce (19) all get­ting starts against the Lak­ers.

Both sides have de­cent bowl­ing at­tacks so it ap­pears whichever side puts to­gether a strong 40-over ef­fort with the bat will be in the box seat.

Op­pos­ing skip­pers Braden and Sur­rey know each other’s games in and out but it is likely to be the bat­tle of the lesser likes that that could de­ter­mine how the end re­sult goes.

Mean­while, in the fi­nal match of the round, Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala will play host to Be­nalla Bushrangers.

Both sides are com­ing off vic­to­ries in the open­ing round of the sea­son, how­ever, the Lak­ers will head into the clash as clear favourites.

Be­nalla is still find­ing its feet af­ter some key changes to its side over the sea­son while the Josh Lawrence-led Lak­ers have al­ready shown they will be tough to beat this sea­son. BREAK­ING through for its first vic­tory in over a sea­son has cer­tainly boosted the con­fi­dence lev­els at Ovens Valley, how­ever, the Tigers aren’t get­ting too far ahead of them­selves. The Tigers scored some­what of an up­set in the open­ing round, chas­ing down Rovers United Bruck’s 5/151 in the fi­nal over of the con­test. Dy­lan Bur­sill was the star with a half cen­tury while act­ing cap­tain Ryan Withers carved an ag­gres­sive 49 to guide the side home af­ter it fell into early trou­ble at 4/34 and then again at 8/124. Ovens Valley se­nior man­ager Tom Chet­tle­burgh said it was the per­fect start to the sea­son and be­lieves fight­ing back af­ter a hor­ror start with the bat will only make the side bet­ter. “Nor­mally those sit­u­a­tions are a bit of a write-off for us,” he said. “But we went into the game with 11 guys who can bat and that prob­a­bly gave us the edge. “It’s a re­sult we will take a lot of con­fi­dence from. “We still needed 80 runs from the last 10 overs so it was a great ef­fort.” But while the Tigers are now one of only four sides with a win un­der their belts, he said any thoughts on play­ing fi­nals would be put on ice un­til the side starts to put some con­sis­tent per­for­mances to­gether. The round one win also marked the first match of the newly merged en­tity with Ovens Valley join­ing forces with Bright over the off­sea­son. The A grade fea­tured a num­ber

MAIN MAN: Ovens Valley skip­per Andy New­ton re­turns af­ter miss­ing the open­ing round. PHOTO: Justin Jen­vey of play­ers from Bright last Satur­day and Chet­tle­burgh said the in­clu­sions of new team­mates had made each grade bet­ter. “It’s been re­ally good,” he said. “With a merger I think you need all par­ties buy­ing in and I think that’s what has happened.“The Bright boys we’ve brought in have had a pos­i­tive im­pact – guys want to play in the high­est pos­si­ble grade.“The pres­sure is there for spots from B grade to A re­serve to A grade.”And while English im­ports Jack Hay­cock and Michael Speed didn’t have de­buts to re­mem­ber for the Tigers, Chet­tle­burgh said the duo would hit form soon enough and their ef­forts off-field were just as im­por­tant.“In the past we have re­lied on our im­ports to carry us through the sea­son but we’ve told the guys that’s not the case,” he said.“We just want them to come and en­joy their cricket and play their nat­u­ral game.“Around the club they have been fan­tas­tic and as is the case with a num­ber of other clubs, you get a lot more from the im­ports than just their con­tri­bu­tions on game day.”The Tigers will wel­come De­latite to the McNa­mara Re­serve in Myrtle­ford to­mor­row with the Mans­field based side en­joy­ing a bye in round one.Chet­tle­burgh ad­mit­ted the side didn’t have a great amount of knowl­edge about De­latite out­side of fast bowler Matt Steven­son.“They are ba­si­cally com­ing into their round one match,” he said.“It’s a bonus for us to be at home but we don’t know what to ex­pect be­cause you gen­er­ally don’t hear much from De­latite.“Stevo (Steven­son) would be their main man though.“In one-day games we are happy to chase down scores of 150 with the side we have got now.”

Dy­lan Adams.

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