PROMISING St Patrick’s batsman Matt Crawshaw blazed the first century of the North East Junior Country Week series to steer Murray Cricket Council to an eight-run victory against Wangaratta in the under-17 division yesterday.
Crawshaw, who hit 11 boundaries and two sixes in his knock of 117 at Norm Minns Oval, proved the difference between the sides as Murray made 3-223 off 50 overs and restricted the home team to 7-215.
The North East Knight was dismissed on the second last ball of the innings with the highlight being a 139-run partnership with Chris Bridle (38).
Team manager Peter Bridle said Murray was forced to work hard against a spirited Wangaratta team.
“It was a very hot day, but the boys stuck to it well,” Bridle said.
“They did well because Wangaratta didn’t give up in the chase.”
Wangaratta paid the price for losing a steady flow of wickets with Callum Nankervis (69) and Isaac Willett (45) proving the mainstays with late support from Jack Davies (25 not out).
Davies hit out well in the dying overs and, combined with some excellent running between wickets, ensured the result went down to the wire.
Wangaratta manager John Dodd said his team took a lot out of the match.
“We weren’t far away,” Dodd said.
“The boys got close and we probably just lost our way towards the end of Murray’s innings when they made some quick runs when Matt Crawshaw batted really well for them.”
In the other under-17 match, Benalla scored a hard-fought win against Cricket Albury-Wodonga at Benalla.
Set 192 for victory, the host association suffered a late collapse before regaining its composure and making the runs with three overs to spare.
Alan Sutherland and James Thomas led the way with 45 and 31.
Benalla manager Steve McCallum said it was a good performance.
“It was a bit tight in the finish,” McCallum said.
Murray will meet CAW at Xavier High School today, while Benalla will meet Wangaratta at the Barr Reserve.