GOULBURN Murray Cricket’s young stars faced an unusual opponent recently in the shape of the wandering cricket side, Crusaders Australia.
GMC was first off the bat for the Crusaders’ five-game tour of the region, followed by Murray Valley, Northern Districts and Shepparton.
Although putting up a fight, GMC’s young side of 14 to 17-year-olds fell to the visitors by 28 runs in game one despite the best efforts of Tongala local Mackenzie Cowley who took 3-28 while hitting a serviceable 16 runs.
“Mackenzie had a great first game, took three wickets, a few catches and made a few runs too”, coach Chris Stephens said. “Blake Evans was also good in game one hitting 58 himself, and Matt Fleming in game two hit an unbeaten 48 not out so there were some very good performances from the boys.” The teams met again as Bendigo Districts pulled out of their scheduled game four clash with the wandering side. The Crusaders would win again, Stephens with nothing but praise for the unbeaten opponent.
“They really set the standard, just the way they attack, the way they back each other, their throwing and even the value they place on each and every wicket,’’ he said. ‘‘They were highly professional and set the standard very high.”
Even though his side lost both games by small margins, Stephens said the value of playing any representative cricket is fantastic for all involved.
“All the clubs nominated players to come train and because of school holidays and football we struggled for numbers initially,’’ he said.
‘‘None of these boys had played with each other, although they were all known to each other they hadn’t played together.
‘‘But everyone carried themselves well during the games and I hope all the kids got something out of it yeah.”
The squad selected was Joe Hamilton, Joel Stephens, Tom Morphett (Echuca South), Mitch Dunne, Matt Fleming, Anthony DePasquale, Ryan Thomson (Kyabram Fire Brigade), Sam Langley, Sam Barbagello (Cooma), Rhys Shay, Mackenzie Cowley (Girgarre), Jedd Thompson, Zac Felmingham (Bamawm Lockington United).