Phoenix rises against Moe



MIRBOO North defeated reigning premier Moe on Saturday in a strong start to its challenge for the Central Gippsland Cricket Association flag.

Moe captain Andrew Philip won the toss and chose to bat but his youthful and inexperienced Lions were soon under heavy pressure from the Tigers’ attack.

Moe struggled to bat in partnerships with Philip (28) getting the only real start of the innings as his teammates were tormented by two former clubmen in Peter Grima and big off season signing Rob Phoenix.

The small total of 107 was never going to be enough in the face of Mirboo North’s power-packed batting lineup which ran down the target for the loss of just four wickets.

Brett Pedlow did the bulk of the work with 47 while Matt Snell, Shane Peters and Jed Alexander all contributed valuable runs to put an early dent in Moe’s title defence.

The Lions’ bowlers struggled to build pressure; Jayden Mathison was tidy but lacking penetration and other bowlers leaked runs.

Aaron Walshe claimed 2/26 while Luke Mulqueen, Philip and Matt O’Toole each took one wicket.

Thorpdale v Trafalgar

THORPDALE endured a tough introduction to the first grade competition away to Trafalgar, dismissed for 140 in 42 overs.

Trafalgar captain Rhys Holdsworth was the destroyer with 7/24 in 10 overs after Thorpdale ably negotiated the new ball.

Neither of Thorpdale’s South African recruits were available for the match, which left the away team thin on batting options.

Harvey Poole (29), Harley O’Connell (24) and captain Boyd Bailey (22) made starts but the side crumbled after Holdsworth brought himself in to the attack.

Thorpdale’s total of 140 was defendable, and it began brightly with the wicket of Hugh Cheatley for a duck.

Holdsworth came to the crease and backed up his bowling heroics with 81 not out, and with the help of opener Aiden George (59 not out) reached the target one wicket down.

Latrobe v Yallourn North

LATROBE had an absolute shocker against Yallourn North with only three batsmen making it to double figures.

Returning skipper Anthony Bloomfield chose to bat first but rued his decision immediately, caught for a duck in the second over of the match.

Things did not get any better for the Sharks as they fell to 6/23, and a short time later 8/38, before Jamie Brierley’s 29 not out guided the side beyond its lowest ever team total.

With some help from Patrick Farrant (15) Latrobe moved the score up to a disappointing 72.

New boy Rowan Kelly was the pick of the bowlers with 3/20 while Glenn Sheekey and Luke and Ryan Nelson took two wickets each.

True to form the game almost went down to the wire when Yallourn North slumped to 5/23, and then 8/65, before Sheekey and Lucas Fry edged over the line.

Brendan Evans, Ash Halkett and Farrant all took three wickets for the Sharks but they never had enough runs to bowl at.

Second grade

ST Vincents bowled well to restrict Yallourn North to 111 before limping across the line eight wickets down.

Yallourn North struggled to pace itself with Nathan Donnet’s 29 and Brendan Ronney’s 27 not out propping up a low total.

In reply the Saints started poorly before Duane Oldham (27) and Zayne Dowdell (39) guided them close to the target and enabled them to come out just on top.

A first round bye in first grade meant Morwell had 11 senior class cricketers to choose from in its match against Mirboo North.

With at least five players likely to be playing first grade next week it was no surprise to see Morwell romp home by a huge margin.

Mirboo North was dismissed for 95 with only Jesse Buxton (25) and Dave Woodall (42) offering any resistance.

Shane Gniel and Mark Cukier both nabbed 2/9, Rob Semmler picked up 2/27 and Blake Mills was the surprise star with 3/18.

Morwell steadily batted the Tigers out of the match with Cukier (35) and Brendan Brincat (37) setting the platform before Rob Semmler and Marty Giddens both posted unbeaten half centuries.

Latrobe’s hopes of defending its hard-won premiership suffered with an away defeat to Jeeralang-Boolarra.

In a low-scoring match, not helped by thick grass and a slow outfield, the Panthers batted patiently before mounting a late charge to post 5/132.

Ryan Wilk (33) and Stan Urbanic (30) were the main contributors.

Glen Steele was the Sharks’ only real bright spot with the ball, taking 4/30.

In reply Latrobe collapsed to 8/43 with only some tail-end resistance stretching the final total to 65 all out.

Only two of the Sharks’ bats made it to double figures.

Tim Laaks was the destroyer with 5/24 from his nine overs, ably supported by Stan Urbanic who kept it tight to finish with 4/11.

Thorpdale was dismissed for just 28 in 16.3 overs against Trafalgar.

In reply Trafalgar very nearly made a meal of the run chase falling to 4/13 before Mark Wynne steadied the Ships with 37 as his team finished at 8/59.

Matt Powell and Ian Pinkerton took some positives for Thorpdale with three wickets apiece.