Northern Rivers’ unbeaten run in the Cricket Victoria State Championships has ended.
Playing Metropolitan West, the under-14s and under-16s struggled to replicate their form from the first two days.
The under-16s was a top of the table clash at Princes Park, with Rivers winning the toss and batting.
The boys struggled to build partnerships against a tight West attack and were bundled out for 162 after 46 overs.
Moama’s Todd Murphy top scored with 36, while Ethan Baxter (Central Park-St Brendan’s) was the only Cricket Shepparton talent to score runs, making six.
Shepparton United junior Harry Tonks did his best to get Rivers off on the right foot in defending the middling total, reducing West to 2-5 in only the third over on his way to figures of 2-16.
From there the metropolitan side took the game away with consecutive batsmen scoring more than 40 runs, and despite a late fiery spell from Baxter (3-25), cruised to 7-194 and an easy victory.
Rivers’ quest for a semi-final berth remains in their own hands, though, with a big win today against Barwon needed to secure their spot in the top two.
The under-14s also went down to Metropolitan West in a clash of two previously unbeaten sides.
After losing the toss and being sent in on Princes Park’s second oval, the Rivers boys could only manage 98 in 35.2 overs, their lowest total of the championship.
Central Park-St Brendan’s opener Mitchell Trevaskis second top scored with 12 as the rest of the Cricket Shepparton talent managed seven runs between them.
Patrick Cormican (Central Park-St Brendan’s) fought hard with the ball in an attempt to defend the small total, taking 3-14 from his six overs, but it was not enough, with West finishing its innings on 7-142.
Old Students product Connor Hangan and Shepparton United’s Ethan Warburton bowled well, but could not penetrate the batting order, finishing with 0-19 and 0-23 respectively from five overs each.
However, it is not all doom and gloom for the under-14s, as the top two sides in their Western Conference play each other in the final round today.
Northern Rivers take on Barwon in a must-win clash to keep their tournament alive.