Benalla turns the tables to claim title

BENALLA landed a stunning seven-wicket win over Wangaratta and District to take out the Keith Sherwill Shield in North East Junior Country Week at W.J. Findlay Oval yesterday.

After winning the toss and bowling, the visitors skittled their opponents for 55 on a lively wicket and reeled in the runs through an impressive stand between twins Finton and Nick Brazil.

It capped off an outstanding week for the brothers, with Nick being awarded the player of the final and Finton taking out the under-17 bowling award for the week.

Stand-in coach Ken Cousins said it was a disciplined performance after losing to Wangaratta only 48 hours earlier.

“Our coach ‘Boof Lehmann’ (Gary Abley) wasn’t here today, but he has coached the boys for the last three years and they have come along nicely,” Cousins said.

“They all played well today.”

Benalla slumped to 3-20 in the run chase before the Brazil brothers came together and cruised to victory with Nick hitting the winning runs with a towering six.

The victory comes after the squad took out the under 14 and 15 divisions in the past two seasons, with many of the squad still eligible to play under-17s next year.

In the other grades, Wangaratta defeated CAW by eight wickets in the under-16s at Norm Minns Oval and won by seven wickets against the same opposition in the under-15 decider at Yackandandah.

Wangaratta also emerged triumphant over CAW in the under-13s at Yarrawonga, but CAW reversed the trend by defeating Wangaratta in the under-14s at Corowa.

Tournament director Neill Gregg said the week had been a huge success.

“The weather was very kind to us this year and we had some great matches in all divisions,” he said.

Gregg’s Team of Country Week is: Dylan Landgren (WDCA, c); Ben Paton (CAW, vc); Finton Brazil (BDCA); Hudson Garoni, Caleb Hobbs, Liam Ross (CAW); Keegan Jenkins (CAW Country); Fraser Ellis, James Irvine, James Jordan, Vitaly Leschen, Brad Melville, Haresh Sitharather (WDCA).

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