A YOUTHFUL side from Exhall and Wixford CC produced a fine display and gave a very strong Australian touring side from Geelong College a good game.

While the hosts lost the 40 over clash by 57 runs, they had played their part in an entertaining game.

Geelong play in the Australian Public Schools Premier League and have a rich cricketing heritage, with former Test captain Lindsay Hassett being an ex-pupil, along with former Australian test players Paul Sheehan, Ian Redpath and Jack Iverson.

Exhall’s Australian skipper Josh Smith won the toss and put the opposition in to bat on what was a drying wicket, in the hope that the conditions might become more batting-friendly as the afternoon wore.

They made a breakthrough when Stephen Rickett pulled off a smart catch to dismiss an opener.

But the the aggressive Leonardo Jegatheesan (45) and Boyd (77) guided the visitors to 232-8.

Exhall struggled to get among the runs in reply.

Captain Smith looked in good nick and hit 11 runs in his first over, but after surviving three lbw calls, he was caught by Boyd.

Matthew Anson and George Carsley could not build on enterprising starts, while under-15s player Gabriel Thornton played with plenty of verve.

At 30-4, Exhall were struggling but Jon Byrd and Harry Huckerby slowly steadied the ship.

Byrd smashed his way to 90 off 80 balls, including 12 fours and four sixes.

Despite a 120-run partnership, Exhall still required 90 from the last ten overs and Byrd’s excellent innings came to an end when he attempted another big shot but lost his stumps.

In the end, the hosts made 175-9.

Gareth Gilby, the head of Geelong’s Cricket Programme, then made a number of presentations to mark the match.