Bloods ready for second half of the season

By Daniel Hughes

The Murray Valley Cricket Association is getting back into the swing of things this weekend after a league wide absence of matches due to the Christmas break.

Tocumwal’s Premier Grade side will be looking to hunt down their first win of the season when they travel to Barooga on Saturday.

The Bloods had a rough first half of the season finishing 2019 with eight losses.

However, team captain Chris Shaw is hoping the side will continue to develop its young players and get a win on the board by the end of the season.

“We’re excited for the season to start up again,” Shaw said.

“We started back at training last Thursday and had really good numbers there with lots of enthusiasm for the second half of the season.

“We have a young side that is still developing so the two day games will give them a lot of experience and allow us to set the field appropriately without the fielding restrictions.”

It will be a tough task for Tocumwal on Saturday, with the fourth placed Hawks aiming to lock away a top four finish.

In Division One of the MVCA, Finley are sitting neatly at second on the table.

However, after losing their captain Cougar McGrath to a broken leg on Monday, the side will have to produce another opening batsman and keeper to take the reins.

They will have a bye this week before travelling to Katamatite to play the Tigers on January 18.

Berrigan are currently sitting sixth on the ladder and will play Katunga at home for a chance to jump up to fourth spot on the ladder this Saturday.

The Saints are just one win off the top four and only one game behind Katunga and Cobram, who are tied in fourth on 24 points.

Tocumwal’s Division One side are sitting second from the bottom of the ladder despite playing good cricket and supporting youth development in the first half of the season.

The Bloods are coming into 2020 with two wins and six losses.

Division Two action sees Jerilderie wanting to continue their unbeaten season, finishing 2019 with eight wins and zero losses.

The Demons will have a tough task first up in a top of the table clash against Katunga at home this weekend.

Finley’s Division Two side are sitting just one game behind Nathalia and CYU who are tied on 24 points in fourth spot.

The Cats will play CYU first up with a chance to get closer to making a 2020 finals appearance.

“We’re going to train hard this week,” Cats’ captain Ryan Donkin said.

“We’ve had some time off to rest and enjoy our time with family and friends but the squad is excited to start our push through the top four in the second half of the season.

“This weekend is an important game and is a must win to give us the best chance of moving up the ranks.

“We will have some absentees and injuries in both Division One and Two so it will have to be a whole club effort in this half of the season.”