Murray Valley Cricket Association premier division preview | round nine

By Tyler Maher

Deniliquin is in the box seat to enter the Christmas break at the top of the Murray Valley Cricket Association premier division table.

With ladder leader Cobram sitting out tomorrow's round nine action due to a bye, the Rhinos just need to defeat winless Tocumwal to rise above the Tigers on percentage.

And after dominating Cobram-Yarroweyah United to the tune of a 10-wicket win last round - as well as brushing past the Bloods by six wickets in round four - Deniliquin has every right to be confident in its collective ability.

“The boys were pretty happy with our performance. It was good to get another win to keep the gap on the teams pushing for finals and keeping us in second spot,” Deniliquin captain Brad Todd told the Pastoral Times.

"Hopefully we get another win this weekend against Toc and finish the first half of the season with only the one loss.”

The Rhinos had five changes to their line-up ahead of the clash against the combine, allowing siblings Kai and Charlie Hillier to earn promotion from division one and each snared their maiden top tier wickets.

Kai finished with 1-16 from six overs and Charlie claimed 1-2 from a solitary trundle.

“We brought Kai on at first change and he bowled with good control, and grabbed his first premier wicket with a caught and bowled,” Todd said.

"He's still learning his way in senior cricket, but he has improved so much in the first seven rounds this year, so hopefully he can keep that going and once he gets a bit stronger he will be able to bowl some good overs for us in the years to come.

"It was good to see Charlie grab his first wicket in premier as well, he has been bowling some off-spin of late due to a back injury.

"He closed the innings out after a pull shot was caught with one handed dive at mid-wicket.”

In other matches tomorrow, the combine hosts Barooga and Katamatite clashes against Nathalia.

The Hawks and Purples sit equal on premiership points either side of the qualification line for finals, making their respective fixtures crucial ahead of an almost month-long break from cricket.