The Wangaratta and District Cricket Association’s junior co-ordinator has given high praise to Benalla’s youngsters competing in the Junior Country Week Carnival.
Seven Bushies are currently representing Benalla in country week, from under-13 to under-17 age groups.
James Arendt, Lucas Hales, Luke Dunne, Henry Sadaya, Adam Walsh, Jasper DeFazio and Jack Fullager started the tournament on Monday, and will play until the tournament’s end on Friday.
WDCA junior co-ordinator James Reilly said the association’s top junior sides are looking stronger than ever, thanks to the inclusion of seven Benalla Bushrangers across five age groups.
‘‘Between us (WDCA) and the Cricket Albury Wodonga association, we’re probably the strongest association in the country week competition, we have eight sides across five age groups,’’ Mr Reilly said.
‘‘Last year we were a bit thin in terms of teams fielded and we only managed to lift one shield last year.
‘‘So I have high hopes for the under-15s particularly this year, and also the under-14s.’’
Three games are also being played at the Benalla Gardens Oval, which Reilly commented was in tip-top shape.
‘‘Benalla’s contributed the Gardens Oval for three matches, which is appreciated, it’s just a magnificent asset for us, and it’s so well looked after by the Bushrangers,’’ he said.
On Monday, Hales’ Wangaratta Gold under-13s won its first match against CAW Victoria, DeFazio’s under-14s Wangaratta Blue won against CAW NSW, Fullager’s under-14 Wangaratta Gold beat Upper Hume, Dunne and Sadaya’s Wangaratta Gold lost against Wangaratta Blue in the under-15s, Arendt’s Wangaratta Gold under-16s lost to Upper Hume, and Walsh’s under-17 side was playing against Cricket Albury Wodonga at the time of publication.
The Gardens Oval will see action from the Country Week today as Hales’s Wangaratta Gold take on CAWC, and on Thursday as under-15s Wangaratta Blue against CAWC.