Bendigo Country Week glory for MVCA

By Tyler Maher

Murray Valley Cricket Association covered itself in division one Bendigo Country Week glory yesterday at Queen Elizabeth Oval.

Adam De Cicco and his charges put in a comprehensive performance against Gisborne District Cricket Association to snare success for the second time in three seasons.

Murray has battled for supremacy in each of the past four top tier deciders in the representative competition, facing local rival Goulburn Murray Cricket in the first three but only defeating it in 2018.

Last year's loss especially served to drive De Cicco's group, providing the nucleus for the 130-run win against Gisborne.

“I think last year really did hurt us,” De Cicco said.

“We had beaten them pretty comfortably in the first game of the week and then lost to them in the final.

“We wanted to make sure of it this year.”

Although Murray was not matched against GMC in the final this time around, the will to put in a superior team showing remained.

Individual efforts from Wian Van Zyl - who clubbed 17 boundaries during a knock of 125 from 105 deliveries - and Sam Dorsey (5-31) were the highlights of yesterday's action, but every player who De Cicco sent to either the batting or bowling crease delivered for their team.

It left Gisborne with barely a sniff of victory for the entire clash and gave Murray plenty of cause for celebration.

“I think it really was a whole team effort throughout the whole week,” De Cicco said.

“(Van Zyl) did his thing that he always does, he wasn't having a great week but it all came together in the final.”

Andrew Hogan (48), Riley Gow (33 from 19) and Brad Todd (30) were among the strong supporting cast to Van Zyl's innings - during which he sent six balls sailing over the rope - while De Cicco (2-33), Saranjit Kalsi (1-26), James Tierney (1-31) and Hogan (1-33) all snared wickets alongside Dorsey.

Like GMC, Murray will not be tackling Melbourne Country Week this season, but instead fielded a Colts squad in division two at the Bendigo tournament - an initiative De Cicco applauded.

“I think it was a great thing for the league to do,” he said.

“The boys learned a lot from the week and it will be good for them and good for the league moving forward.

“They were here supporting us as well so it was great to have them around.”