A century from Berrigan captain Connor Thornton has helped his side to a nail-biting three run win over Barooga in Berrigan on Saturday.
In what was the first round of the Murray Valley Cricket Association’s Division One competition, Thornton smashed 17 ‘fours’ and one ‘six’ on his way to an unbeaten 122 runs.
With his side getting to a total of 188, he then played a crucial part at the end of the game, taking 2/38 from his seven overs to help the Saints hold on.
On a well prepared track, Berrigan’s captains, Thornton and Lachie Pyle won the toss and had no hesitation in batting.
The skippers opened the batting with Pyle (5) was caught behind off the bowling of Dave Stevens (1/33), leaving the home side at 1/19.
Andrew Parr joined Thornton in the middle and both batsman started to up the scoring rate for the Saints.
Thornton reached his 50, and began to find the gaps with ease.
Parr also upped the anti with the two scoring at 4.5 runs per over, however with the score on 113, Parr (35) was caught off the bowling of Graeme Rootsey (1/23).
Tom Whelan was the next batsman in for the Saints and knocked the ball into the gaps giving Thornton the strike.
Whelan stuck with Thornton until Sean Morey (1/19) had Whelan caught behind for 15 and Berrigan was now 3/157.
Brad Loats (4) was the next man in and stuck it out for the remaining four overs with the Saints finishing at 4/188.
With a good score on the board the Saints needed to get early Barooga wickets to really ramp the pressure on them.
Barooga’s opening pair of Richard McCaskill and Zach Nichols were tested by very good bowling from Whelan and Pyle.
However the two managed to get the score to 37, before Whelan had Nichols (7) caught at point after popping one up.
This started a run of wickets for the Saints, with Aaron Elzinga (1), McCaskill (25) and Morey (0) falling, with Whelan (3/64) and Pyle (2/20) doing the damage for the Saints and Barooga struggling at 4/40.
Hugh and Wes Sutton were the two next batsmen in for the Hawks and together both slowly started scoring well for Barooga, getting the score to 76 before Wes was caught off the bowling of Damien Taylor (1/28) for 21.
Haydn Brown was the new batsman in for the Hawks, but the partnership was broken five runs later with Hugh caught at point by a one handed dive from Riley Dempster off the bowling of Loats (1/30) for 21 and the score was 6/81 after 23 overs.
Anton Noble was the new man in for Barooga. He started strongly, hitting boundaries and taking plenty of singles, punishing the Saints bowlers at any opportunity.
Between Brown and Noble they got the Hawks back in the game and put all the pressure back on the Saints’ bowlers and fielders.
The two put on a 40 run partnership before Thornton (2/38) broke it claiming Brown for 18, caught behind, and the score was 7/121.
Graeme Rootsey was the next man in, quickly turning the strike over to Noble at every opportunity and together they put on a 44 run partnership.
Rootsey was then sent away, run out by Taylor for seven and the Hawks were 8/165, with four overs to go.
Stevens was the next man in and was quickly bowled two runs later for a duck by Thornton and the Hawks were 9/167.
Noble continued to bat well but after 40 overs the Saints prevailed, restricting Barooga to 185, with Noble finishing on 61 not out and Hamish Davidson on one.
Next week the Saints play Strathmerton at Strathmerton.
Division Two will start its season next week with Berrigan playing host to Cobram.