Bloods prepare for season opener

By Southern Riverina News

The Murray Valley Cricket Association season begins this weekend with Tocumwal resuming its Premier Division career and looking to grow on a promising first up tilt.

The Bloods’ return to the top grade last year resulted in just two wins but it included a memorable and hard fought victory against last season’s runners up Deniliquin Rhinos on their home deck in their last outing.

Tocumwal skipper Chris Shaw said the side plans to build on that result and be more competitive during the 2019/20 season.

“The off-season was certainly a lot more enjoyable coming off a win,” he said.

“We had to really grind out a win in that last game of the year and we are using that as our base for this season.”

The Bloods aim to continue their improvement. 

Last season’s Cricketer of the Year Jesse Barker returns with some more experience he picked up playing in the UK over the last six months. 

He will again look to lead the charge with both bat and ball.

“Jesse had a great year back in Premier Cricket last year and he can certainly build on that,” Shaw said.

The Bloods’ first hit out is against Nathalia at home. 

The Purples had the wood on the Bloods both times last season with a narrow one day victory and a comprehensive two day win with Ash Quinn scoring a superb century.

“We feel this is a game that we can win if we do the little things right. 

‘‘We need to be positive from the start and make sure we take our chances,” Shaw said.

The Division One Bloods will kick-off with their opening fixture at Nathalia while the juniors also start this weekend with the Under 16s hosting the Purples on Friday night.  

Tocumwal’s Under 14s start Saturday morning with the club fielding two teams this season. 

Toc Red host Cobram and Toc White travel to Nathalia.