Goulburn Murray Cricket completed a comprehensive clean sweep of the Northern Rivers Shield on Sunday.
The association engineered unblemished campaigns in the under-16 and under-14 competitions to dominate the respective tournaments and claim dual crowns over Murray Valley Cricket Association teams.
In the older division decider, spectators at Moama Recreation Reserve were treated to a nail-biting contest that came down to the final delivery.
After winning the toss and batting first, Goulburn Murray compiled a strong total of 9-170 from its 45 overs.
Angus Martin’s knock of 47 from 39 deliveries led the way for the eventual victors, proving a decisive dig as others around him failed to go on with starts.
Aaron Harding (3-19) was the pick of the bowlers for Murray Valley, which struggled to get going when it took to the batting crease, stumbling to 4-16.
Shannon Young (20) found a way to blunt Goulburn Murray’s bowling attack for a few overs, but when he and Matthew Price (0) departed with the scoreboard reading 6-44, all looked to be lost.
But Izac Artavilla (60 retired not out) and Lachlan Hyde (44 not out) refused to give up, keeping the contest alive and helping their side to 7-168 — just two runs short of parity.
The under-14 grand final was a much more one-sided affair.
Goulburn Murray batters Kobyn James (40 retired not out) and Austin Reinehr (27) led their side to a total of 5-162 from 40 overs at Cooma Recreation Reserve.
Samuel Boyd (17), Hugh Hyde (15), Bailey Smith (12) and Charlie Hillier (11) battled hard for Murray Valley during the chase, but a stirring Declan Pearse spell of 3-9 from four overs helped Goulburn Murray secure the 57-run triumph.
Goulburn Murray also dominated the statistical ladders for the shield, which began in November before culminating on Sunday.
In the batting ranks, Charlie Ryan (120 runs at an average of 30), Ethan Palmer-Ludeman (116 at 38.67) and Martin (105 at 35) stood on the podium at the under-16 level, while James (151 at 151), Reinehr (78 at 26) and Mackenzie Cowley (75 at 25) did the same in the under-14s.
For the bowlers, Martin (19 wickets at 2.58) was joined by teammate Matthew Hindson (eight at 5.38) at the top of the under-16 table — followed by Murray Valley’s Daniel Simpson (six at 6.33) — while Errol Burns (eight at 7.5) and Pearse (four at 8.75) were split by Seymour District Cricket Association’s Cooper Mason (four at 6.75) in the younger division.