THE North East Knights hit back hard from their opening round loss with an impressive five-wicket win against South East Country Sharks in the Victorian Country Championships at Frankston yesterday.
After losing to Northern Falcons at Seymour on Sunday, Heath Naughton’s under-18 team regrouped with St Patrick’s youngster Matt Crawshaw (52) and former Lavington player Teeran Gleeson (44) leading the charge.
They were instrumental in the Knights chasing down the Sharks’ score of 204 in the 49th over and finishing on 9-220.
Rovers United batsman Callum Nankervis (28), Wodonga’s Lucas Hutchinson (25) and City Colts’ Isaac Willett (22) also chipped in.
It was a vastly improved performance by the Knights after they collapsed from 1-45 to be all out for 88 against the Falcons.
Naughton praised his team’s fighting spirit.
“The boys were fantastic,” he said.
“We fell away dramatically against Northern Falcons so it was good to hit back.
“The Sharks are a good side and everyone contributed today which you need.
“It was a good run chase.”
New City all-rounder Darcy I’Anson and East Albury’s Chris Bridle were the pick of the bowlers.
The Knights will play South East Bayside Breakers at Albert Park today and must win to remain in contention for a semi-final berth on Thursday.
The Country Championships has two pools of eight teams competing for the title.
Naughton said he was confident of improving on last year’s result when the team finished well down the table.
“It’s a strong competition and hopefully we can back up from today’s result,” he said.
“We have a lot of support with families and friends down here and the boys are determined to do well.”