An undermanned Deniliquin Rhinos Division One side overcame the odds to defeat Berrigan in round two of the Murray Valley Cricket Association on Saturday.
Playing at Deniliquin’s Memorial Park, the Rhinos fielded a side of four over 40s and a host of players under 15 years old.
Berrigan crumbled under the bowling pressure of the Rhinos, going from 1/51 to being all out for 96 after 31.3 overs.
In response the Rhinos struggled early, sitting at 4/25 after losing the wickets of Chris Pyle (nine), Chris Allard (10), Tom Bradley (0) and Cam McDonald (0).
Anthony Bradley came to the rescue for the home side however, with a 68 run partnership with young batsman Dom Read (14) helping put the Rhinos in a winning position.
Read was dismissed with Deni needing just 14 runs to win.
Dean Herberte (four not out) and Bradley scored the winning runs with 19 overs to spare.
Bradley was dominant with the bat, hitting eight boundaries and two ‘sixes’ to finish 53 not out.
‘‘If I’m honest we actually thought we wouldn’t win at training on Thursday night,’’ Bradley said.
‘‘We thought we were missing too many blokes with the Hillier boys (Tim, Charlie and Kai) all playing Premier Division.
‘‘We had what was mostly a Division Two side playing, but all the young ones did their bit well in the field.
‘‘I’m here to give the young blokes a go, so we put a couple of them in to bat early.
‘‘When we were 4/25 I was worried, so I decided to go out in the middle and was just hoping to bring the game back a bit.
‘‘I’ve coached most of the younger blokes in the Under 14s, so I knew I had to lead by example.
‘‘If I got a duck I wouldn’t have heard the end of it.’’
While Bradley starred with the bat, it was Rhys Westcott who was the pick of the bowlers for the Rhinos, finishing with figures of 3/22 off eight overs.
‘‘Rhys was simply awesome,’’ Bradley said.
‘‘He had that spell of two overs where he took his three wickets, but he also kept the run rate down.
‘‘Tom McCallum was good in wicket keeper and Luke Rodda (1/12 of 3.3 overs) also bowled quite well.
‘‘Most years we don’t get any wins on the board in the first couple of weeks, so hopefully we can get a few players back and continue to build towards a strong finish this year.’’
The Rhinos had to forfeit their Division Two clash due to a lack of numbers.
Bradley said the club needs players to commit before Friday, otherwise the Rhinos will have to pull out of the Division Two competition.
‘‘We’ve had a few blokes saying they are keen to play, but we need them to actually register,’’ he said.
‘‘If we don’t have them turn up to training or have them paid up, we will be forced to forfeit the season and only have Division One and Premier Division at senior level.’’