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Country Week success for junior cricketers

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By Colin MacGillivray

SEYMOUR District and Gisborne and District junior cricketers had plenty of success in Country Week competitions earlier this month, winning a combined three grand finals.

Seymour District under 13 coach Ash Wood praised his side for ‘a brilliant week of cricket’.

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The side proved too strong for each of its first three opponents, defeating Shepparton, Goulburn Murray and Murray Valley by 47 runs, 95 runs and 54 runs respectively.

Up against a powerful Bendigo association in the grand final, the team put in its best performance of the week.

After winning the toss Seymour sent Bendigo in to bat, with opening bowlers Blake Jones and James Wilkins displaying consistent line and length.

Jones claimed the first wicket, but Bendigo stabilised until Seymour bowler Harrison Wood entered the attack, striking with two quick wickets in one over.

Bendigo looked in a comfortable position at 3/118, but excellent bowling from Jones and Matt Wal, along with exemplary fielding including three run-outs, saw the final six wickets fall for only 26 runs.

Wal had 3/35, Wood claimed 2/14 and Jones 2/22 as Seymour bowled Bendigo out for 144.

Seymour had an early setback when it lost opener Louis McAlpin for one run, but Edison Waghorn and Wal combined for 68 runs before Waghorn finally fell for 54.

Wal remained at the crease as Hamish Melville, 4, and Wood, 24, kept him company, before Wood’s dismissal opened the door for Harrison Christie to hit the winning run off the only ball he faced, with Wal remaining unbeaten on 41.

“[It was] a brilliant week of cricket for these young lads, and just reward for the effort, dedication and enthusiasm they put into their cricket,” Ash Wood said.

Six of Seymour’s players were named in the country week top 10, with skipper Wal notching 119 runs with the bat and 10 wickets with the ball to lead the side.

Waghorn finished with 170 runs and three wickets; Wood had 58 runs, two wickets and four catches; Jones took eight wickets; Wilkins five wickets; and keeper McAlpin had four catches and four run-outs.

Seymour’s under 15 team defeated Murray Valley but lost to Bendigo and Goulburn Murray during the group stage.

Gisborne fielded two under 13 boys teams, two under 14 girls teams, two under 15 boys teams and one under 17 girls team during Country Week.

A Gisborne under 15 team won its grand final against Grampians Cricket Association by 60 runs, with Archie Shore, 39, and Harrison Bobetic, 32, leading the way with the bat.

Bridget Stute’s 46 runs, Lola Coppin’s 43 and Emmerson Dempsey’s 3/5 led the under 14 girls to a dominant 114-run victory in their grand final against Northern Rivers, while the under 17 girls fell short by 15 runs in their grand final against Shepparton.

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