WARRNAMBOOL and District cricketers have split their junior representative fixtures against South Australian rival Mount Gambier and District.
The two associations claimed one victory each in junior Cross-Border Cup matches at Port Fairy.
Warrnambool claimed the honours in the under 14 match at J. J. Colledge Oval but lost the under 16 fixture at Avery’s Paddock.
A superb bowling and fielding performance was the catalyst for the 14s claiming a seven-wicket win against the Croweaters.
The emerging teenagers bowled their rivals out for 98 and, after an early stumble, finished on 5-147.
Nirranda’s Brody Couch took 4-7 — three of which were bowled — while Wesley-CBC’s Callum Dunn, 2-10, and Nestles’ Jacob Pope, 2-5, were also among the wickets.
Warrnambool was 2-10 but a 72-run partnership between Russells Creek’s man-of-the-match Liam Brown, 52 retired, and Woodford’s Tom Jackson, 25, swung the contest.
Coach Brian Medew said he was rapt with the youngsters’ ability to step up. “There are a lot of kids you don’t know but know things about. You wonder how they were going to gel, but it was brilliant,” he said.
“There were a couple that had gone to under 13 Country Week down at Portland. There might’ve been a couple underage that went to Horsham.
“I spoke to the opening batsmen when we had a hit-up and said ‘have you batted together before?’ and they said ‘not really’.
“That was the pleasing aspect of it. By the end of the day they were all mates.”
Medew said the efforts in the field were “amazing”.
Brody took a stellar catch at square leg while spinners Jacob, Charlie Lock and Sam Younghusband bowled tight.
“I just said to them it’s a privilege to play at this level and represent the association,” Medew said.
“There have been some really tight contests over the years.
“I just think the idea of playing at that level is going to improve their cricket.”
The 16s match was a lopsided affair again won by the chasing team.
A patient Warrnambool was 8-128 after 50 overs — making just 30 runs in the first 20 overs — with Dennington’s Shannon Beks top scoring with 37.
Russells Creek’s Jack Primmer, 17 not out, and Wesley-CBC’s Matthew Hoy, 16 and 1-13, also contributed.
The visitors eased to the target, finishing on 4-132 with nine overs to spare.
Coach Nathan Murphy said Mount Gambier was “too good on the day” but believed playing conditions didn’t help his prospects.
“They did all right. They had the worse of the conditions so they played pretty well considering,” he said.
“We had to bat first and the pitch had been under covers all night. There was a bit of life in it.
“And when we started to bowl it started raining and we had to bowl with a wet ball the whole innings.”
Murphy said he was confident the future of the association was in good hands.
“Warrnambool cricket looks pretty strong with them coming through.”
Mount Gambier’s Patrick Glynn was man-of-the-match for his 68 not out.