Bendigo Country Week action is in full swing and two leagues from the region are in the running for division one success.
Goulburn Murray and the Murray Valley went head-to-head in round one of the tournament on Monday, with a Liam Evans half-century proving the difference between the two associations.
Evans’ 71 at the top of the order for Murray, combined with scores of 41 to Zeniffe Fowler and 42 not out (from 53 deliveries) to Ash Quinn propelled the side to 7-228 from its 50 overs.
After a 52-run opening stand between Jordan Garrett (33) and Anthony McMahon (18), GMC lost wickets at regular intervals to fall 16 runs short of Murray’s total, despite Brayden McGregor (41) and Alister McCann (36) fighting hard down the order.
The victory gave Murray enough momentum to remain undefeated through the first three matches of the week.
Evans was again making runs for fun on Tuesday, slashing an unbeaten 119 against Northern Districts to help chase down its total of 174.
Fowler (54 not out) and Riley Gow (76) also engineered significant knocks in the big win.
Gow did the heavy lifting yesterday with 84 out of a total of 203 against Castlemaine District.
The score was by far enough to taste success as Evans (5-41) and Quinn (3-5) ripped through the opposition.
Evans has eight wickets in three matches and has had support from Jesse Trower (six at 14.83), Quinn (five at 11.2) and Kane Goldsworthy (four at 8.5).
As for GMC, the first-round loss was just a blip on the radar.
Cameron Sharp (4-42) and Sam Kershaw (75) did the damage against Castlemaine in a five-wicket win, while Michael Hill (121) got going in style against Emu Valley yesterday.
Murray takes on Gisborne today in an attempt to secure its spot for tomorrow’s final, while GMC will be looking for a big win against Northern Districts to book a rematch with its neighbour in the decider.