Belvoir Eagles into finals despite loss

BELVOIR scraped into its first Cricket Albury-Wodonga Provincial finals series since 2008-09 after losing to Albury at Kelly Park on Saturday.

While it was hardly the most convincing performance of the season by the Eagles, skipper Ryan McNeil said yesterday he was relieved to stitch up a berth in the top six.

“We didn’t play our best cricket in this game, but we are playing finals and anything can happen from here,” McNeil said.

With first innings points already in the bag, Albury pushed ahead to lead by 71 runs and bundled Belvoir out for 146 in its second innings.

Albury chased an unlikely outright win, but finished at 3-41 at stumps after facing six overs.

Lavington has emerged as a genuine finals wildcard after upsetting Tallangatta by 55 runs at Wilson Oval.

Despite having only Sam Harris, Ryan Brown and Sam O’Connor in the side from last year’s premiership, the Panthers proved they will be more than nuisance value by successfully defending 270.

The up-and-down Bushies would have been in even bigger trouble had Steve Wood (89) and his son Nick (44) not held the innings together after an early collapse had them 3-2.

The pace attack of Ryan and Nathan Brown and Bryce Swift (5-30) was outstanding.