The Cricket Shepparton season began on Saturday, with Tatura claiming one win from four matches.
All sides will take plenty of hope out of the clashes though, with each losing grade finding a silver-lining among defeat.
● Tatura’s Haisman Shield campaign did not get off to the ideal start, but the young side will learn quickly from the seven-wicket loss to Numurkah.
The Blues were asked to bowl first on Howley Oval, and proceeded to constrict the home side with 167 dot balls.
Tatura coach Tim Kelly top-scored for his side with 51, while Matt Cornwall dug in well at the top of the order during an 80-minute stint at the crease to manage 28 from 57 deliveries, but no other player was able to engineer a start throughout the innings of 126 all out.
‘‘Corny was really good against the fast bowlers and will take a lot of confidence out of that, but he probably got tied down a bit against the spinners,’’ Kelly said.
English import Tom Dinnis was the pick of the bowlers for the home side, taking 2-26 and battling well against the class of the opposition, but the Blues were able to reel the low total in within 25 overs.
‘‘Tom bowled really good areas and had a great contest between him and Downie and Grandell,’’ Kelly said.
‘‘But it was good to play against Numurkah and find out what we need to improve on early, rather than get found out later in the year.
‘‘We learnt a lot from (Dylan) Grandell and (Shaun) Downie and how they went about it, they batted really well and any half-chance that they got they hit to the boundary.’’
● It was a completely different story for Tatura’s Clyde Young Shield B-grade warriors.
Louis Worm (3-25) and Paul Mahoney (2-10) led the way during a great team bowling effort to bowl Shepparton United out for 129 at Kyabram Recreation Reserve.
In fact, only 94 runs came from the opposition’s willow, with 35 extras the only mark against Tatura for the entire match.
Despite a small wobble in the chase at 3-50, Heath Fidock (35 not out) and Tom Vibert (24) were able to see the side home with the loss of only five wickets.
● Tatura returned to Jim McGregor Shield C-grade action on Saturday, a great achievement in itself.
The match did not go the way of the home side, but there were plenty of positive signs.
Young pace bowler Bailey Archer came on at the death in the first innings of the match and bowled with brilliant cricket smarts to entice false shots from his Mooroopna targets, taking 3-21 from five overs.
The Cats eventually made 6-209 in their 40 overs, and when co-captain Daniel Miller came out to bat and smashed two fours and a six in no time the chase looked likely.
But an impatient line-up tried to follow in his footsteps, managing only 75 runs as Mooroopna recorded a comfortable victory.
● Tatura’s SJ Perry Shield D-grade team travelled to Invergordon for its first game of the year, making 98 after being sent in to bat.
Josh Stephens was the mainstay of the innings with 44 not out.
The home side chased the total down in 17 overs with eight wickets in hand, but opening bowler Matthew James (1-27) and rising star Tyler Morritt (1-0) both managed to take wickets.