Wodonga captain Jack Craig drops Robbie Jackson down order as he chases long-term gain

BOLD MOVE: Wodonga captain Jack Craig pushed star batsman Robbie Jackson to number seven as he looks to win games without his influence.
BOLD MOVE: Wodonga captain Jack Craig pushed star batsman Robbie Jackson to number seven as he looks to win games without his influence.

ROBBIE’S ROLE

Wodonga captain Jack Craig is running the risk of short-term pain for long-term benefit in dropping star batsman Robbie Jackson down the order.

The association’s best batsman of the past decade made 24 at number seven in the tie with Tallangatta.

“I want to learn how to win games without ‘Jacko’,” Craig said.

“I thought a round game is the perfect time to do it …I just thought it’s a good time for someone else to do it.”

LIGHTNING STRIKES

Saturday’s storm forced players from the ground in the match between Wodonga Raiders and North Albury.

A lightning strike near Birallee Park saw the players leave the field at 1.55pm and return around 80 minutes later.

“Once there was the first lightning strike we had to go off for half an hour and then there was another and it started raining as well,” North coach Matt Kirkwood said.

“I can’t remember going off for lightning.”

A woman died when struck in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs on Friday night.

HABIT BROKEN

Lavington’s thumping win over St Patrick’s was the first time the club had batted second in the last nine games.

The Panthers toppled Wodonga in last season’s semi-final but, since then, they had chased runs successfully in all bar one game, the grand final loss to Wodonga.

It will be a month on Saturday since most of the team has had a hit, with Matt Tom and Nathan Brown starring in the 4-273 win against North Albury and the 2-195 win over St Patrick’s.

A washout was sandwiched by those big wins.

LIAM’S LEGACY

Rising New City all-rounder Liam Fitzsimmons said at the start of the season, he wanted to push past the ‘promising’ tag.

And if he produces more performances like he did against Belvoir, that tag will be a memory.

The 17-year old, who represented Victoria Country at the national titles earlier this season, took 4-20 from 10 overs.

“It’s the best I’ve seen him bowl this year, he bowled nice and full, nice and straight,” coach Nick McDonald said.

He now has eight wickets.

BROWN’S BATTING

East Albury middle-order batsman Sean Barrett’s first provincial half-century proved the match-winner, but his tailend partner also played a key role in the crucial win over Albury.

The Crows were chasing only 122, but collapsed to be 8-82.

Michael Brown had made just four runs in three innings, but compiled an unbeaten 16 as the ninth wicket provided 53 runs.

“He has some good shots, more for him, it’s just about choosing the right shots, but he’s been working hard on his batting,” Barrett said.