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DEFENCE: Last season's NDCA A Grade premiers, Leitchville/Gunbower will open its 2017/18 season tomorrow with an away match against Nondies.

DEFENCE: Last season's NDCA A Grade premiers, Leitchville/Gunbower will open its 2017/18 season tomorrow with an away match against Nondies.

A SHOWDOWN between last season's Northern District Cricket Association premiers and semi-finalists will open the 2017/18 Northern District Cricket Association A Grade season.

Leitchville/Gunbower will open its title defence with a trip to Nondies, with the composite side looking to win a fifth title in the past seven seasons.

The composite side, which defeated Wandella in last season's grand final, goes into the season without Adam Decicco, who will play with Cobram this summer.

Decicco spent most of last season playing with Fitzroy Doncaster in Premier League action, but featured in six NDCA games, claiming 13 wickets.

Nondies will go into the match knowing it can challenge one of the competition's top sides, thanks to a 1-2 record in 2016/17.

In tomorrow's other match, Wandella will go into its game against Cohuna United as strong favourites.

The Bombers have won their past 11 matches against United since February 2014, when the teams shared the points thanks to inclement weather. 

However, an upset win would have United well placed to begin its campaign to return to the finals after missing out last season.

Opening rivalries

TWO local rivalries will open the 2017/18 NDCA B Grade season.

Cohuna United will host last season's grand finalists, Nondies at the Cohuna Recreation Reserve.

Nondies defeated their cross-oval rivals on the three occasions both sides met last season, with United last defeating Nondies in December 2011.

Meanwhile, a new rivalry will begin at Kerang tomorrow, with Kerang Fairley Town taking on Wandella's second B Grade side, Wandella Warriors.

Kerang Fairley Town publicly called out for new players two weeks ago following a number of pre-season losses, whilst the Warriors are the creation of an influx of players to Wandella's B Grade roster for season 2017/18.

In the final match of the round, defending premiers, Wandella will travel to Leitchville to take on last season's preliminary finalists, Leitchville/Gunbower in what will be the match of the round.

The composite team won two of its three matches against the Bombers last season, but lost to Nondies in the penultimate match of the season.

Juniors begin

THIS weekend also marks the start of the 2017/18 NDCA under 17s and under 14s seasons, with three matches to occur in each grade across seven rounds.

Nondies will field two teams in the under 17 competition, as they did in season 2016/17.

Nondies will host defending premiers, Barham/Koondrook, with Scriptors to travel to Kerang in a showdown with last season's grand finalists, Wandella. The encounter between Cohuna United and Leitchville/Gunbower rounds out the opening fortnight of the season.

In the under 14s, seven teams will battle it out for the title, with defending premiers, Leitchville/Gunbower to host Nondies.

Other round one matches see 2016/17 grand finalists, Barham/Koondrook travel to Kerang Fairley Town and Cohuna United host Wandella, with Boort-Yando having the bye.

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