Sale-Maffra’s strong Melbourne Country Week

Sale-Maffra captain Dylan Bolton has led his side to the Melbourne Country Week semi-final. Photo: Liam Durkin

Liam Durkin

SALE-MAFFRA has enjoyed a strong Melbourne Country Week.

The Sharks senior men’s side qualified for the semi-final, which took place on Thursday.

There, they took on traditional cricket powerhouse Geelong. The result was not known at time of print.

Sale-Maffra’s week started with a commanding victory over Mornington-Peninsula.

Playing Peninsula on their home ground in Frankston, the Sharks were able to knock over their opponents for 164.

Wickets were shared among the group, with skipper Dylan Bolton taking 3/17, and Stratford pair Bohdi Walker and Jack Rietschel taking five wickets between them.

Sale-Maffra had no trouble chasing the total, and gave their percentage a boost in the process, winning by 10 wickets.

The Sharks ran down the score in less than 30 overs, thanks Cormac Hasssett and Kev Renecke making 68 and 73 respectively.

Both kept the scoreboard ticking over, and found the boundary often.

The usually subdued Hassett hit three sixes, while Renecke blasted seven fours and a six in his 87-ball stay.

Tuesday’s game returned a much closer result.

Battling oppressive heat, the Sharks eventually got the result they desired, although not after a few nervous moments.

Chasing 185 in Kew, it took the second-last pair of Ben Jones and Bolton to see the side over the line.

Jones top-scored with 40 batting at number seven, but stayed calm until the end.

Walker made a handy 26 beforehand, as Sale-Maffra won with 17 balls to spare.

Wickets were again shared earlier in the day.

Honours went to Steve Spoljaric (3/28), Bolton (3/35), Rietschel (2/11 off 10 over, with four maidens) and Jack Tatterson (2/29).

Tatterson made history the following day, reaching the incredible milestone of 100 representative matches.

To play 100 games for the SMCA is no easy feat, considering there is only a handful of games each season.

Tatterson has been among the modern greats of the league, highlighted by his recent induction in Collegians Team of 50 Years.

The now-Stratford player picked up a wicket in his milestone match, as the Sharks defeated Bendigo District in Brunswick.

Sale-Maffra put up a solid score of 9/245, headlined by Jones scoring 82.

Walker was again in the runs, this time making a boundary-laden 41 off 40 balls.

The left hander hit five fours during his time at the crease.

Bolton kept the runs coming all the way down at number nine, slapping 40 off just 31 balls.

Another strong bowling effort saw Sale-Maffra emerge victorious, as Bendigo failed to ever really get going, and were bundled out for 148.

A total of six bowlers took wickets for the Sharks, including young gun Hayden Wrigglesworth on debut.

Walker took 4/28 and Isaac Love 2/23 with his off breaks.

Sale-Maffra is competing at Provincial level – the highest on offer at Country Week.