CENTRAL Gippsland Cricket Association has finished a creditable third in division three at Melbourne Country Week, but skipper Rhys Holdsworth reckons it should have done more.
After winning their first two matches the CGCA all-stars fell just shy in their following matches against Yarra Valley and Wangaratta, coming up 12 short in both run chases.
Missing a couple of key batsmen for the second half of the championship, including the aggressive James Blaser, proved a big blow for what Holdsworth believed was the best side in the division.
“I honestly think we were the best team, no-one made over 200 against us just our batting let us down,” Holdsworth said.
“I believe we were right up there, we were better than third that’s for sure.”
As the captain predicted ahead of the carnival, the CGCA bowling attack was impressive, in particular the spinners.
It was an outstanding week with the ball for Canadian all-rounder Riyaz Pathan (Morwell), who led the carnival’s bowling charts with 11 wickets at 5.55 including spells of 4/12 and 4/16 from 10 overs against Warragul and Wangaratta respectively.
The experienced Rob Phoenix was also exceptional with eight wickets at 8.38.
“Our spin bowling was exceptional, Rob Phoenix and Riyaz Pathan were awesome; they kept us in it every day.
“We fielded well… we just didn’t quite get enough runs which was a shame.
Pathan also chimed in with 67 runs but no-one really got going with the bat aside from Blaser, with team high 98 runs coming in just two knocks.
Holdsworth said promotion to division two was only a matter of time if the CGCA continued to produce squads of similar quality.
“We’ll move out of that division next year I reckon, pretty confident, and we took a fair bit of confidence out of it going into the GCL final (this weekend),” he said.
Yarra Valley won division three after beating Wangaratta in the final.
The CGCA will face Sale-Maffra in the Gippsland Cricket League final this Sunday at Glengarry.