November 29, 2017

A disappointing day of cricket sees Finley’s Premier Division on the cusp of an outright defeat to Nathalia in round nine of the Murray Valley Cricket Association season.

It was a bowler’s day on Saturday, with a staggering 28 wickets falling in 80 overs and just 197 runs scored.

The Cats batted first and were skittled for just 41 in the two-day match.

Only Russell Stockdale (14) and Dan McHugh (16) who were able to defy the hosts as Ash Quinn (6/14 off 13) tore through the Cats innings with yet another rampant spell. With conditions ideal for bowling it was a perfect storm for the Nathalia quick.

The Cats then had an opportunity to bounce back with the ball and to their credit they did.

Chris Shaw (3/38 off 15) led the way and this was backed up with some excellent fielding as some quality catching and a run out put Nathalia in early trouble.

The Cats managed to snare five wickets before Nathalia had earned a first innings victory.

Duncan Clarke (3/13 off five) snared three more wickets as the Cats reduced the Purples to 8/92 before they declared to have another crack at the Cats.

It was another heartbreaking innings for the Cats as this time Brayden Summerville (5/19 off six) ripped through the top order.

The Cats were again in dire straits.

Stockdale (15) hit three fours at the top of the order and Cameron Isedale (24) batted stoically to at least make the hosts bat again but there was little the Cats could do to stop the reigning premier.

The Cats were all out for 64 right on stumps. This leaves Nathalia requiring 14 to win outright next week and rain is all that can save the Cats now.

Finley’s Division Two side escaped with a victory against Cobram on Saturday, almost letting slip a golden opportunity.

The Cats knocked over Cobram for 86 with James Midson (2/9 off seven), Damon Anderson (3/21 off seven) and Matt Boyd (2/21 off seven) tearing through the top order.

The Cats backed this up with some good fielding as Paul Massingham (2/16 off 2.5) cleaned up the tail with two overs left in the Tigers allotment.

With the teasing total ahead of them the Cats stumbled in the run chase.

With the score 14 the Cats lost four poles with no addition to the score and when the fifth wicket fell at 22 the Cats were in disarray.

~ continued page 18

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