By Colin MacGillivray

BROADFORD delivered a statement in the first game of the Seymour District Cricket Association’s A Grade season, knocking off reigning premier Yea Tigers in an impressive road win.

Broadford was sent in after the Tigers won the toss and set themselves up with strong contributions from openers Riley Mason, Gareth Sharpe and number three Ash Wood.

Mason and Sharpe had 59 runs on the board before Mason was caught off the bowling of Yea’s Cam Armstrong for 28.

Broadford remained unfazed by the dismissal, with Wood and Sharpe batting patiently together to build a partnership of 123.

Armstrong eventually struck again to remove both Wood and Sharpe in quick succession, Wood for 66 and Sharpe for 79, but with Broadford 3/186, the damage had already been done.

The visitors finished their innings at 5/202, pleasing new skipper Taylor Shell.

“The top three came out and did exactly what they needed to do,” Shell said.

“Considering that in the last three or four years we’ve struggled to even bat out the innings, to bat it out and not get bowled out was a really big positive for us.

“It was built around that top three, and they did a superb job with the bat.”

With a large total to bowl at, Broadford took the field with confidence and methodically worked their way through the Tigers’ line-up.

Shell removed Yea opener Nathan Beattie for seven, while fellow opener Darcy Pell fell to Jeremy Bradshaw, leaving the home side 2/52.

It was Jake Martin who opened the game up for Broadford after drinks, claiming five wickets including that of the dangerous Armstrong to help skittle the Tigers for 123.

“Jake … was brought on just after drinks when we were looking for wickets and needed to fill some overs in, so we threw him and young Riley Nolan the ball, and they did the job towards the end,” Shell said.

“Jake was good enough to get five-for and essentially seal the game.”

Shell said Broadford would take plenty of confidence from the performance.

“It was exactly the way we wanted to kick off our season given that the first week was a washout,” he said.

“To knock off the reigning premiers in what was technically the first round was really pleasing and really exciting too.

“There are a couple of little things to work on, but essentially everything we wanted to do we did in that round.

“We’ve set the bar for ourselves now and we’re going to try to look for that consistency.”

Last season’s runner-up Kilmore got its season off to a good start with a low-scoring win against Tallarook.

The Blues were sent in when Tallarook won the toss, and struggled outside of new batsman Ryan Cumberland, who joined the club from Wallan.

Cumberland’s 32 at the top of the order was the only double-digit total from a Kilmore batsman, as Tallarook’s Kalon Winnell feasted with 5/6 from eight overs.

With a target of only 70 to chase, Tallarook immediately stumbled, with opener Luke Marshall (0) and skipper Lachie Watts (1) dismissed quickly.

Only two Tallarook batsmen notched double figures as the side was bowled out for 48 in the 29th over.

Kilmore captain Josh Buttler led the way for the visitors with 3/7 from six overs, as every bowler claimed at least one wicket.

Eastern Hill was too good for Seymour, winning 7/130 to 58 in the final match of the round.

This Saturday Broadford will host Seymour at Harley Hammond Reserve, Eastern Hill will welcome Kilmore to Kings Park and Tallarook will be at home again to Yea Tigers.