OVENS Valley United opened their Wangaratta and District Cricket Association season with victory for the second straight year after a thrilling final over win against Greta.
Greta had the two highest run scorers in the match, but the depth of Ovens Valley helped secure a one-wicket win at McNamara Reserve on Saturday.
Alex Nicholson (46) and Andrew Squires (35) led the Blues to a solid 6/148 off 40 overs but contributions from English recruit Connor Hammond (31), Michael Newton (31), Tom Chettleburgh (24), Josh Newton (14) and Scott McNamara (13) got the Tigers over the line.
Winning the toss and electing to field Ovens Valley made an early breakthrough with James Neary (1/20) claiming the wicket of Lachlan Hadden when the score was 16.
But Nicholson and Nick Pell took their side to 60 before a double strike from stand-in skipper Josh Newton (2/23) left Greta reeling at 3/60.
Nicholson and Squires steadied the Blues’ ship with a 43-run partnership before the latter fell victim to Michael Newton (1/32) after the score ticked into triple figures.