Melton Centrals looking to build

Melton Centrals batsman Ross Caldera. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 203266_01

Tara Murray

Melton Centrals has benefited from players looking to get out of the house and play some sport ahead of the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 4 season.

Like many clubs, the Centrals have had an influx of people returning to the sport after spending a large chunk of the year in lockdown.

Centrals captain Adam Hulett said they were putting in an extra team this season due to an increase of numbers.

“It’s good enough just to be out of the house, let alone playing cricket,” he said.

“The whole club is keen to be out there and we’ve even got a fifth side, which is credit to the club.

“It’s been a few years since we’ve had five teams.”

The top two sides will play in the VTCA and the other three in Gisborne and District Cricket Association.

Hulett said those joining the club were a mixture of new players and players looking to join the club for the first time.

He said there would be some additions to each side, making every team stronger.

Keeper-batsman Bradley Coulson, who played two games last season, has returned and will play the full season.

Lahiru Kumara has come across from Ferntree Gully Footballers Cricket Club and looks to be a good cricketer.

Hulett said a couple of returning players had brought some friends across too.

“There’s a good spread across the grades,” he said.

“We’re retained all the players from the top grade and we add a couple of players in and it will filter down through the grades.

“It adds depth and it will help create a bit more competition for those in the top grade to retain their spots.”

Centrals will be in division 4 for a second straight season. In their first season at that level, they finished seventh with four wins.

Hulett said they would like to make finals, but there a plenty of unknowns in a competition which will be one-day matches only this season.

“We don’t know too much about what other teams have with players,” he said.

“For all we know they have recruited well and developed more kids.

“Ideally the goal is to play finals.”

Centrals started their season on Saturday against Williamstown Congs.

It was a tough start to the season with a first up loss.

Congs made 165, with Hashan James taking three wickets for Centrals.

Centrals were bowled out for 137 with three overs remaining.

Ross Caldera top scored with 46.

In other results, Sunbury’s first game in division 4 was a good one with victory against St Andrews, Caroline Springs snuck home against Seabrook, Moonee Valley beat Aberfeldie Park and Maribyrnong Park St Marys had a big win after restricting Footscray United to 48.