Norths’ struggles open door for Pioneer Valley
PIONEER Valley all-rounder Tim Cridland was in a jovial mood on Sunday following his side’s big win over Brothers at Harrup Park.
Valley became the second team after Walkerston to finish the opening weekend of T20 action unbeaten and it had Cridland in high spirits.
“Make sure you include my run out of Declan Mulherin in there, he’ll love that,” Cridland joked after the 19-run win over Brothers.
“I had one stump to hit, threw it down and it was out by a country mile. That swung momentum in our favour.
“I’ve never hit the stumps in my life.”
Joking aside, Cridland was full of praise for the performance of his team at the weekend.
Valley sat out the opening night at Harrup Park and instead had to wait until Saturday to get its T20 campaign underway.
Clint McMillan (58 off 34) was the star of the show, and Mitch Doolan (2/17) claimed the key scalp of Sharks skipper Shaun Austin (32 off 39) as Valley rolled to a 19-run win.
“It was probably our best performance of the year as a team,” Cridland said.
Against Brothers on Sunday it was Cody Filewood who led the way in a low-scoring encounter on a deteriorating wicket.
Brothers bowled Pioneer Valley out for 114, but could manage just 95 in reply.
Only skipper Matthew Wicks (47) reached double figures for the Brethren.
“Lochi (Whitehead) bowled really well with his three-fa and Cody batted brilliantly,” Cridland said.
“It was an awesome team performance from the boys who all played really well.
“Except for myself, who went for 16 off my one over.”
Self-deprecation aside, Cridland said Pioneer Valley had “a new lease on life” after what was a frustrating start to its one-day campaign.
“With Norths having a slow start it really opens up for us to play finals, which is exciting,” he said.
“But it also shows just how even a comp it is.
“If a few small moments didn’t go our way (against Brothers) we could have easily lost. It will come down to winning those small moments against the big teams.
“We have some good firepower in our batting line-up and our fielding so far has been fantastic.
“Hopefully we can put ourselves in a good position (to play finals).”