Local cricketers claim national title

By Andrew Johnston

Goulburn Murray cricketers Cody Thompson and Kobyn James are national champions.

Victoria Country claimed the honours in the final of the under-15 national cricket championships, with Bamawm-Lockington United's Thompson and Echuca's James members of a historic first championship for the side.

Country defeated Queensland by 11 runs in the final at Ballarat on February 27, with Thompson taking 2-20.

James was proud of the side's efforts.

“It was a massive challenge just to get to the final,” he said.

“But getting over the line was incredible. We came up against a fantastic side in Queensland - they hadn't lost up to that point - and we knew we'd have to play our best cricket to win.

“To be a part of the first championship is special, something we will always be a part of.”

Thompson bowled 30 overs for the tournament, claiming four wickets at an average of 28.5.

James started the competition off in brilliant form with the bat, scoring 37 runs against NSW Magenta en route to 81 runs for the tournament.

While the side went on to make history, they came dangerously close to missing the final altogether.

In order to finish on top of their group, the side needed Victoria Metro and Western Australia to both lose matches and needed to win within 38 overs to claim a bonus point.

Set 212 to win, Country hit the winning runs on the final ball of 37th over to force its way into the final.

Though the team members were excited with the outcome, James said there was an immediate feeling the job was not done.

“We were definitely excited,” he said.

“But as soon as we got off the ground we started thinking about the final. We had a great opportunity to do something no one had done before, so we were immediately planning for the final.”