By Jackson Russell
THE Seymour District Cricket Association’s under 15 representative side scored the association’s first Country Week win in close to 20 years with a juniors’ win earlier this month.
The SDCA under 15s took out the Junior Country Week under 15B competition with a 105-run win over the Bendigo District Cricket Association on home turf at Tallarook on January 7.
The SDCA made 7/161 from its 45 overs before comfortably bowling Bendigo out for 56 from just 22.4 overs.
Riley Nolan made 33 and took 3/7 in the grand final win to help lead the side to glory, while Xavier Stute made 37 and took 1/11.
Oliver Munro (2/18) and Xavier Arandt (2/10) also bowled well in the SDCA’s dominant performance.
The win also served as a measure of payback for the under 15s, avenging a seven-wicket loss to Bendigo on the second day of the tournament.
The loss was the one blemish on the under 15s who also recorded wins over Goulburn Murray Cricket and Cricket Shepparton.
Under 15s coach Mark Manchester said no one gave his side a chance except the coaching staff and the families.
“I’m super proud, some of these kids have been together since the start of 2018 and have put it all together and have been rewarded for all their hard work,” he said.
“My offsider Hugh Archibald and I, we’ve been working on this for five or six years now, we handpicked the side and knew we were capable of winning it.
“For the first three games, the batting just didn’t click. It was the bowling that was getting us there and small batting partnerships from guys who weren’t expected to bat like the top order.
“We got thrashed by Bendigo on the Tuesday but we knew we could beat them if we brought out best game, which we did on the Thursday.”
Manchester said despite some great individual performances, the win was a team effort.
“It was the little things the other players did that made it happen and that was pretty much the way for the whole tournament,” he said.
“Munro and Stute opened the bowling every game, did all the hard work and didn’t get the rewards. They bowled tight and applied pressure, went off and the change bowlers took advantage of all the work the opening bowlers did.
“It brought tears to my eyes. No one gave us a chance, it was a David and Goliath situation.
“There are some smart boys on that team, the captain Tom Archibald captained well and learned a lot about captaining under pressure.”
The SDCA’s under 13s were undefeated heading into their grand final before a four-wicket loss to Bendigo at Pyalong Recreation Reserve.
Meanwhile, the under 17s were winless throughout the week.