Sport

Mooroopna holds home track advantage over Karramomus

By Alex Mitchell

Mooroopna and Karramomus suffered defeats in the opening round of Cricket Shepparton’s A-grade season, but one will leave round two with a win on the board.

The Cats and Bloods will meet at Mooroopna Recreation Reserve and neither side is expecting an easy contest with two teams hungry to begin making an impact.

Mooroopna went closest to victory last week, making a competitive 6-176 against Numurkah, a total the Blues tracked down with three overs to spare.

Captain Sam O’Brien said he had seen plenty of good signs from the opening hit-out, particularly from the form of opening bat Brodie McDonald who made 100.

‘‘Numurkah is obviously a very good team, they batted really well and bowled well too, and clogged up those middle overs,’’ O’Brien said.

‘‘Brodie McDonald batted really well for us, it was a beautiful innings and his maiden A-grade ton. I think our batting line-up did pretty well, but we could have put the foot down a bit earlier.

‘‘I don’t think Brodie gave away a chance, maybe one at most. He looked a million bucks and hopefully it’s a sign of big things to come this summer.’’

For Karramomus, it was a tougher day at the office, chasing the ball all over the field while giving up 5-264 against Old Students, a solid innings of 192 not enough for a first-up win.

While star Cat bat Will Hale did not play in round one, Bloods captain Stuart Turner knew he would have an impact should he line up this weekend.

‘‘They’re always a tough side, they’ve got a decent batting line-up that relies on Will Hale heavily I think,’’ Turner said.

‘‘It would be good to snag him early, he’s done very well against us, so we’ve watched him bat a fair bit, so we’ve had time to develop a few plans and you just pray to God they work.

‘‘But they’ve also got 10 other blokes that can take the game away from you when you’re worrying about him.’’

Karramomus’ biggest problem against Old Students was a failure to take middle-order wickets with the ball, with Nick Breslin (71), Gino Saracino (71 n.o) and Taylor Chandler (65) all getting going.

Turner knows his side has to lift to bank its first points of the season.

‘‘In the middle stages we probably needed another 50-run partnership,’’ he said.

‘‘And you don’t ever like conceding 260, we need to bowl better in partnerships and bowl well from both ends, hopefully.’’