SOUTH West Cricket captain Steve Castle has called for calm after his representative cricketers crashed to defeat at Melbourne Country Week yesterday.
A 153-run loss to Bendigo and District at Kew Cricket Ground delivered the squad a harsh lesson about how tough its provincial grade debut will really be.
SWC was riding high after opening its campaign with an upset victory over Ballarat but fired few shots on day two against a high-quality opponent.
Bendigo and District posted 5-288 batting first, an innings which included one century and three partnerships of 50 runs or more.
SWC was bundled out for 135 in 39.4 overs in reply.
Just three batsmen passed 20 and the biggest partnership was a 46-run stand between Castle and Clinton Baker.
Castle said there weren’t a lot of positives in the performance. But he was adamant the loss did not suggest SWC was incapable against the best bush cricketers.
“We’ve had worse losses than that in division four. I don’t think it’s an indication of our ability to play at the level,” he said.
“It’s one of those things. Scoreboard pressure just results in batting performances like that.
“I certainly think our best is up to scratch.”
Bendigo and District won the toss and opted to bat but lost opener Aaron Monro for one courtesy of Baker.
But the Goldfields men then took control. Sam Johnston hit 45, Anthony West compiled 77 and Cameron Taylor belted 106 en route to the big score.
Clinton Baker copped the bulk of the barrage, finishing his overs with 1-71, while Fraser Lucas (1-55) and Todd Lamont (1-40) also endured frustrating days.
Castle top-scored with 31 in the reply. Five South West batsmen failed to reach double figures.
Bendigo and District batted a second time, finishing on 5-66 from 10 overs.
SWC will play unbeaten Sale-Maffra at Dandenong’s Shepley Oval today.