The Northern Rivers Junior Country Week wrapped up on Friday, with all finals in Bendigo.
Cricket Shepparton’s rising stars were still among the better performers across the grades, despite not claiming an overall win for the tournament.
●Murray Valley claimed the under-17 title against Goulburn Murray with a superb bowling attack ripping through the opposition line-up.
After winning the toss and batting first, Murray Valley looked in trouble, slipping to 3-8 before Riley Gow (51) and Lewis McShane (64) steered the side to a respectable 157 from 48.2 overs.
Goulburn Murray was never given a chance to chase the total down though, as Gow (4-21 from 10 overs) and Dylan Rotherham (2-8) reduced the outfit to 5-16 and all out for 67.
Murray Valley duo Izac Artavilla (147 at 73.5) and Scott Morris (130 at 65) led the batting table for the week, with Goulburn Murray’s Brodan Evans (88 at 88) third.
Meanwhile, Bendigo’s Billy Quirk (10 at five), Morris (10 at 6.8) and Goulburn Murray’s Angus Martin (7 at 5.9) were the most destructive bowlers.
Cricket Shepparton claimed one win for the week, with Cricket Shepparton Two unlucky not to snare a victory, while Jayden Fitzgerald (63 at 21) and Connor Hawes (six at 11.33) sat atop the local statistical tree for batting and bowling, respectively, when the dust settled.
●Bendigo was crowned the under-15 champion against Cricket Shepparton by 18 runs.
Will Russell’s 2-39 led the way for Shepparton with the ball as Bendigo piled on 3-180.
Zac Groombridge (60 retired), Patrick Cormican (39) and Connor Hangan (28) tried their best to reel the total in, but in the end their side’s 8-162 was just short of what was required for success.
Cormican (91 at 45.5) and Groombridge (86 at 86) finished second and third respectively in the batting charts behind Bendigo’s Abe Sheahan (120 without being dismissed).
Cormican’s all-round talent was highlighted by his 10 wickets at 4.9 apiece — the best in the tournament.
Cricket Shepparton Two did not manage to engineer a victory for the week, but fought hard in tough conditions.
●Cricket Shepparton fell just short of glory in the under-13A division.
After batting first and posting 8-106 in 40 overs — thanks largely to Bailey Simpson’s unbeaten 30 — Shepparton had Bendigo teetering at 6-81.
Mitchell Walters (2-11), Simpson (2-12) and Darby Wilson (2-15) could not find a killer blow though and the home side escaped with a three-wicket win with less than four overs to spare.
Shepparton’s batting prowess was on show during the week with Talon Wilson (77 at 38.5) and Ryan Hill (59 at 29.5) among the top three performers.
Darby Wilson and Simpson each took seven wickets for the tournament.
●The under-13B competition did not have a final, but Cricket Shepparton would have been confident of claiming a trophy if one was on offer.
The local talents had two dominant victories from two matches, scoring 162 more runs than any other side and conceding just 99.
The dominance was reflected in the statistics, with the top four batters all from Shepparton.
Declan Newbound (59 at 59), Xavier Schmedje (56 at 56), Mason Reeves (42 at 42) and Ben Andonoudis (17 at 8.5) all enjoyed their representative week, while Isaac Cox (4 at 3.75) was the most productive with the ball.