A SUPERB 185 by Liam Gwynne set up Goulburn Murray's emphatic victory in Monday's start to the Bendigo Bank Bendigo Country Cricket Week campaign.
Gwynne opened the innings against Ferntree Gully at Bamawm and belted the ball to all parts of the ground.
Playing at Country Week for the first time, the Englishman faced 153 deliveries on a ground where he starred for Bamawm-Lockington this season.
Goulburn Murray set an imposing target of 6-273 in a match where Adam Ward passed the 40 mark.
Ferntree Gully was dismissed for 99 in the 30th over.
Jayden Bradbury was leading run-scorer on 40.
Best of the Goulburn Murray attack were Hamish Lewis, 4-8, and Dylan Cuttriss, 4-25 off six overs.
Goulburn Murray heads to Strathdale's Bell Oval on Tuesday to face Castlemaine.
The Castlemaine line-up scored a 41-run victory in its first-round clash with Gisborne.
Matt Kile bowled brilliantly for Castlemaine on the Magpies' turf at Bell Oval.
In 10 overs, Kile took 4-27 as Gisborne was held to 9-171.
Jamie Daff took 3-28 for Castlemaine.
An opening stand of 66 between John Howorth and Nathan Stubbings put Castlemaine in control.
Gisborne struck back to take 4-20, which included the wicket of Stubbings on 42.
A 91-run partnership between Clint Aldridge, 47, and Sean Smith, 43, ensured Castlemaine would start the week with a victory.
Closest contest on Monday was at Queen Elizabeth Oval where Murray Valley successfully chased Northern District's target of 164.
Murray Valley's Russell Stockdale captured 7-34 off 69 balls.
At 5-47 the Valley was in trouble.
Marc Baker led the fightback with a top score of 44.
Northern Districts hit back to need just one wicket and 24 runs in front.
The Valley's Tom Glover, 18 not out, and Liam Evans, 11 not out, hit the winning runs in the 50th and final over to seal a dramatic victory.
In division two, Emu Valley scored a 72-run win against Swan Hill at Bell Oval in Strathdale.
After deciding to bat, the Swans reached 183 in which Corey Daniels, 62 runs, was best against an attack where Daniel Chamberlain took 3-23.
The Valley was 2-16 in its chase before Alex Collins and Matt Dwyer teamed for a 93-run stand.
Collins was caught on 98, and Dwyer's innings ended on 76.
Their play ensured the Emus would win the battle of the birds.
Best of the Swan Hill attack were Patrick Noonan, 4-30, and Corey Daniels, 3-31.
Goulburn Murray Colts capped a winning double for the association when it won its division two match against Benalla at Windridge Oval in Rochester.
The Colts reached 9-204 and then dismissed Benalla for 172.
Best for Benalla were Travis King, 51, and Sam Hazell, 41.
Portland's Brian Marshall also reached the 90s.
The opening batsman hit 93 in Portland's score of 241 against Wimmera Mallee at Eaglehawk's Canterbury Park.
Scott Martin hit 40 runs for Portland.
Wimmera Mallee was dismissed for 145.
After a build-up rocked by fires, Grampians scored an emphatic win against Red Cliffs.
The decision to bowl proved to be a great call as Grampians dismissed Red Cliffs for 45 at Poyser Motors Oval in Huntly.
Opening batsman Craig Parker scored 27 runs, but wickets tumbled around him.
Grampians reached 8-182 against an attack led by Jason Hill, 3-65.
Bendigo Colts won a high-scoring battle with Northern District Colts at J.L. King Weeroona Oval.
White Hills young gun Brayden Stepien was in brilliant touch at the top of the order and many team-mates chipped in.
The Bendigo Colts scored 290.
Northern District Colts put up a great fight to reach 195.
Despite playing on home turf at Bagshot, Northern United was routed for 80 by Upper Loddon.
Kyle Patten was the leading run-scorer on 22.
Upper Loddon was put under all sorts of pressure as Marc Sherwell took 4-15 off 10 overs, four maiden.
The Upper Loddon line-up went on to reach 103.
Grassmere's Brett Tory hit an unbeaten 102 against Maryborough at Golden Square's MyJet Oval.
Grassmere was 4-71 when Tory walked to the wicket and he went on to play a significant knock in a 128-run victory.
The Borough was dismissed for 102 as Jason Alberts took 4-44 in a memorable start to the carnival.