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SDCA enjoys valuable country week learning opportunity

A fun week: SDCA cricketers will have plenty to take out of the Junior Country Week experience. Photo by Megan Fisher

Cricketers from the Seymour District Cricket Association (SDCA) were given the chance to prove themselves against northern Victoria’s top underage talent last week as part of the annual Country Northern Rivers Junior Country Week.

Entering three teams into the 2022 tournament, the highlight for the SDCA came from it’s under-13s team, which made it to the grand final after a stellar run through the group stage.

Beginning the week at the Numurkah Showgrounds against the typically strong Cricket Shepparton, Zane Ryan got the ball rolling for Seymour with his 53 not out at the top of the order, lifting the side to a daunting first innings total of 190.

The SDCA then continued its momentum with a complete bowling performance to bowl Shepparton out for 89 and come away with a 101-run victory.

Full of confidence after the day one win, the under-13 boys fell just short in a low-scoring thriller against Bendigo District Cricket Association to fall to 1-1.

Matthew Wal was the standout on the day for Seymour, taking 2-14 with the ball and battling manfully with the bat to compile a team-high 23.

Needing a win on day three against Murray Valley Cricket Association to advance to the big dance, captain Darcy McNicholas stood up for his team, striking a brilliant 54 off 59 balls to see his side to a strong total of 140.

The bowlers then went to work, with Wal (2-17) and Christian Papi (2-18) leading the way as Seymour managed to restrict Murray Valley to just 9-111 and progress to the grand final.

Facing Bendigo once again, Seymour went into the grand final eager to make amends and write itself into the history books.

Bowling first at Moama Recreation Reserve, the SDCA boys couldn’t replicate their best efforts in the first innings, as a complete Bendigo batting performance saw it post an imposing total of 7-160.

Needing to be almost perfect to become country week champions, Ryan started brightly with 28 from the top of the order to instil hope in his side.

But a late innings collapse saw the dream quickly evaporate, with the loss of 6-19 seeing Seymour bowled out for just 121.

The under-15 side enjoyed an up and down tournament, with some soaring highs and crushing lows seeing it miss the grand final with a record of 1-2.

The week began in spectacular fashion for the Seymour boys, as a scintillating bowling performance saw them dismiss Murray Valley for just 43 and walk away with a crushing 92-run victory.

However, from there the SDCA side found itself outmatched, as Bendigo dismissed it for 88 en route to a convincing nine-wicket win.

Cricket Shepparton flexed its muscles on day three, dismissing the Seymour side for just 68 and reaching the victory target with nine wickets still in the sheds.

The under-17 squad took some great learnings out of its country week campaign, despite not managing to register a win in its three match-ups.

Falling by seven wickets to Sunraysia, eight wickets to Bendigo and 138 runs to Goulburn Murray, the scorecards did not make for fantastic reading as the SDCA boys simply could not match the class of their talented opponents.

However, there were positives to take out of the week, with Leo Halford Molinaro making 53 runs from his two hits and Thomas Archibald claiming six wickets, including four in the final match against Goulburn Murray.