Benalla ‘can bounce back from thrashing’

BENALLA coach Gary Abley is confident his troops can turn things around in tomorrow’s Keith Sherwill Shield final, despite being thrashed by Wangaratta yesterday.

Wangaratta will enter tomorrow’s decider at Benalla warm favourites after comprehensively smashing their fellow finalist by 97 runs in yesterday’s final round match.

After posting a competitive 9-152, Wangaratta then skittled Benalla for a paltry 55.

But with both teams already through to the final, yesterday’s clash at Mansfield was essentially a dead rubber.

And while he wasn’t in the mood for excuses, Abley said that fact had perhaps unsettled his team.

“I think it had a bit to do with it, particularly the way we batted,” he said.

“I thought both teams bowled well but they batted better than we did.

“The boys went a bit crazy and didn’t really respect their spinners.

“We had a poor day.”

But Abley is confident of turning things around when it counts.

Today is a rest day at the North East Junior Cricket Carnival, with the under-17 final to be held tomorrow at Benalla’s Gardens Oval.

“The day’s rest will help, for sure,” Abley said.

“Our boys looked tired (but) we’re still reasonably confident.

“I don’t think there’s much between the teams.”