Eldridge leads the way with ton

THE WRAP: A BRETT Eldridge-inspired Warrnambool and District has opened its Melbourne Country Week (MCW) division two account with victory today.

Eldridge made an unbeaten 133 coming in at first drop to steer WDCA to a four-wicket victory against Hamilton and District at Geelong Cricket Ground.

HDCA, having won the toss, had posted 7-269 from its 50 overs, with Brendan Huf making 88 and Ben Boyd taking 3-31 off nine overs.

WDCA was in trouble in reply, slumping to 5-119 when Mark Murphy departed for eight.

But Eldridge and Jake McKinnon (58) combined for a 134-run stand for the sixth wicket.

McKinnon was run out with WDCA still needing 17 for victory but his replacement Nick Butters (16 not out) was calm at the death. WDCA reached the target with 18 balls to spare.

The day belonged to Eldridge. His 129-ball knock included 10 fours and three sixes. He reached three figures having faced just 103 balls.

WDCA plays Mornington Peninsula (2) at Brighton on day two tomorrow.

But day one of MCW was brutal for South West, which suffered a hefty seven-wicket defeat in its provincial clash against Geelong at Merv Hughes Oval in Footscray.

SWC, having lost the toss, managed just 125 batting first with Ben Grinter (41) one of only four batsmen to reach double figures.

David Murphy made 26, Steve Castle posted 20 and Travis Brown scored 14.

GCA lost three wickets in its run chase but reached the target in the 26th over. It powered on to be all out for 354 in 61 overs, losing its 10th wicket on the last ball of the day.

Chris Bambury hammered 137 at second drop to spearhead the massive score.

Clinton Baker was the pick of the SWC bowlers with 4-37 from 12 overs while Wil Pomorin took 3-43 off four overs at the end.

SWC takes on Leongatha at Kew on day two tomorrow. Leongatha lost its opening match to Sale-Maffra by one wicket on the last ball of the day.

4.55PM: Warrnambool and District has defeated Hamilton and District by four wickets with three overs to spare at Melbourne Country Week today.

WDCA reached HDCA's 7-269 six wickets down at Geelong Cricket Ground as a much-anticipated bid for the division two title got off to a good start.

Jake McKinnon was run out for 58. Brett Eldridge remains at the crease as WDCA hunts for quick runs late in the day.

South West was on the end of a seven-wicket defeat against Geelong at Merv Hughes Oval in Footscray.

GCA finished all out for 354 on the last ball of its 61 overs after SWC was all out for 125 earlier in the day.

Clinton Baker took four wickets while Wil Pomorin took three.

4.35PM: Nestles skipper Brett Eldridge has posted an unbeaten century at Melbourne Country Week.

Eldridge reached three figures just minutes ago as Warrnambool and District pushes for victory against Hamilton and District at Geelong Cricket Ground.

WDCA is 5-234 in the 43rd over and needs 270 for victory. 

4.20PM: Nestles' Brett Eldridge and Woodford's Jake McKinnon are mounting a lower-order fightback on day one of Melbourne Country Week.

The Warrnambool and District pair have put on 57 for the sixth wicket in a division two match against Hamilton and District at Geelong Cricket Ground.

WDCA is 5-176 after 34 overs chasing HDCA's 7-269. It needs 94 runs off 96 deliveries to claim victory.

Eldridge is 71 not out and McKinnon is 22 not out.

South West has endured a long day in the field in its provincial grade match against Geelong at Merv Hughes Oval in Footscray.

GCA is 7-290 off 55 overs - and has six remaining - after dismissing SWC for 125.

2.45PM: Geelong is cruising to victory in its Melbourne Country Week provincial grade clash against South West at Merv Hughes Oval in Footscray.

GCA is 3-109 off 24 overs, needing just 17 runs from the remaining 37 overs to take victory. Mortlake all-rounder Clinton Baker has all three wickets.

Warrnambool and District needs a big partnership to stabilise its innings in its division two match against Hamilton and District at Geelong Cricket Ground.

WDCA, needing 270 for victory, is 2-41 after eight overs. West Warrnambool's Karl Turner and Dennington's Dustin Drew are the batsmen out.

1.40PM: Warrnambool and District Cricket Association needs 270 for victory in its Melbourne Country Week opener against Hamilton and District at Geelong Cricket Ground.

HDCA finished its 50 overs at 7-269. It was on track for a score about 300 but WDCA staged an admirable fightback to take 5-86 in the final 16 overs.

1PM: South West Cricket has been dismissed for 125 in its Melbourne Country Week provincial grade opener against Geelong at Merv Hughes Oval in Footscray.

Terang skipper Ben Grinter top scored with 41 while Pomborneit's Steve Castle made 20 in what was an otherwise disappointing performance with the bat.

Geelong is 2-29 in reply, needing 97 for victory with eight wickets in hand.

Warrnambool and District Cricket Association is also battling in its division two opener against Hamilton and District at Geelong Cricket Ground.

HDCA was 4-222 a short time ago with less than 10 overs to go.

11.30AM: South West Cricket and Warrnambool and District Cricket Association are in trouble early on day one of Melbourne Country Week.

SWC has slumped to 4-54 after 20 overs in its provincial grade match against Geelong at Merv Hughes Oval in Footscray.

Pomborneit batsman Steve Castle (17*) and Terang skipper Ben Grinter (6*) have the task of launching a rearguard action after Simon Baker, Josh Barr, Travis Brown and Wil Pomorin all fell in single figures.

WDCA has allowed Hamilton and District to race to 1-135 off 23 overs in its division two match at Geelong Cricket Ground.

Russells Creek stalwart Ben Boyd has the sole wicket, that of HDCA batsman Hugh Douglas for 59. Douglas' opening partner Brendan Huf is closing in on a century.

EARLIER: South West Cricket has lost the toss and is batting in its Melbourne Country Week provincial grade clash against Geelong at Merv Hughes Oval in Footscray.

Mortlake's Josh Barr and Bookaar's Simon Baker will open the innings for SWC, which is aiming to improve on its 2-2 record from its inaugural top-grade campaign in 2013.

Warrnambool and District Cricket Association has also lost the toss and is bowling in its MCW division two match against Hamilton and District at Geelong Cricket Ground.

West Warrnambool's Tom Smith is the 12th man bowler while Merrivale's Josh Stapleton is the 12th man batsman.

The Standard will bring you updates throughout the day of the fortunes of the south-west hopefuls.

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