Plenty of positives to take away from MVCA Country Week campaign

Learning curve: Despite not taking out a title, there were lots of positives for the MVCA at Junior Country Week. Photo by Megan Fisher

Despite walking away from Country Northern Rivers – Junior Country Week without a coveted title to add to the trophy cabinet, there are still plenty of positives the Murray Valley Cricket Association (MVCA) can take away from the tournament.

Entering six teams from under-13s to under -17s, the most promising part of the week was the improvement the association enjoyed from its 2021 campaign, with almost all sides being far more competitive on the big stage.

Winning more games across more age groups is a statistic the association will be thrilled to come away with, as well as the fact that only two teams finished on the bottom of the table this year in comparison to all bar one last year.

The highlight of the week came from the under-17 boys demolition job of Sunraysia Cricket Association, with a clinical bowling performance seeing them to a crushing eight-wicket victory.

An occurrence that you rarely see in any form of cricket, the Murray Valley boys bowled Sunraysia out for just 25, with everything the team touched in the field turning to gold through what was an incredible period of cricket.

Led by Charlie Hillier’s 3-7, this performance showed just how talented the Murray Valley Association can be and is one that will certainly go down in the history books.

Despite losing their other two fixtures, the Murray Valley boys were extremely competitive throughout and managed to avoid the dreaded wooden spoon.

The under-15 boys constructed an incredible performance of their own, bowling out Seymour for just 43.

A display which showed the promise the young squad has moving forward; the equal distribution of wicket-takers would have all coaches and supporters jumping for joy.

The remaining two fixtures would see the Murray Valley boys suffer hefty defeats at the hands of Cricket Shepparton and Bendigo District Cricket Association, but a fourth-placed finish overall would have the coaches and players alike optimistic for the future.

Both of the associations’ under-13 teams managed to find their way onto the winners lists, finishing with records of 1-2.

The under-14 and under-16 squads unfortunately couldn’t seize the reward for their hard work, losing all three encounters to end up on the bottom of their respective tables.

Despite the disappointing results there were some stand-out performers across the grades, with Kane Rattray-Robert putting together a well-constructed 48 not out in the under-16 clash with Bendigo and Travis Lawton taking 2-15 in the round-one game against Goulburn Murray.

While in the under-14s, Mikael Bennett Artavilla showed off his talent with a solid 41 and Jack Iddles took his opportunity with ball with 3-10 in the first clash with Goulburn Murray.