GEELONG Cricket Association had a top start in its quest for three consecutive Country Week titles.The defending champions won the toss and sent Bendigo in to bat in their Round 1 clash at Altona on Monday, restricting the challengers to 7/167 from their 50 overs.
In reply, Geelong passed Bendigo's total for the loss of three wickets then cruised to 7/218 with Chris Bambury leading the charge with 76 not out.
Half-centuries from Mike Jones and Jayden Allison helped Sale-Maffra to a first-round victory over Leongatha, while Mornington Peninsula and provincial division debutants South West District also posted day one wins.
In division two, Ferntree Gully, Hamilton, Bairnsdale and Warrnambool won their Round 1 matches, while Gisborne, Mornington Peninsula and Campaspe/Kyabram were victors in division three. Cricket Albury-Wodonga and Warragul kick-started their Country Week campaigns with wins in division four.
Warrnambool wicketkeeper-batsman Cameron Williams, 20, provided the day one highlight, posting a century against Traralgon.
The Country Week carnival continues until Friday.