Ships set sail on title defence

TRAFALGAR begins its Central Gippsland cricket title defence in the second round after a bye last week, and comes up against a Bombers outfit still feeling the sting of missing maximum points against an inexperienced Moe side.

Ships skipper Rhys Holdsworth as always is the key man for the visitors with the bat and many interested onlookers will be keen to see how returning star Todd Mann fares with the ball, with his pace and aggression capable of carving through batting lineups.

Yallourn North will look to Aidan Vesty to blunt this at the top of the order, with Patrick Spiteri, Evan Sheekey and Tyler Brown all capable of scoring runs on what is normally a batsman-friendly surface.

THE Tigers missed out on the points in round one after being foiled by a massive tail-end partnership, and will know the Panthers offer a similar threat.

Lower-order big hitter Dermott Leys punished several second grade outfits last season from positions five to seven, scoring more than 700 runs.

However, Jeeralang-Boolarra revealed a top-order weakness last round and if Morwell can pry out early wickets the Tigers will be on the way to keeping their opponents to a low score.

Stan Urbanic, Ryan Wilk and Craig Blackberry are all capable of scoring heavily for the visitors and will need to do so in order to take the pressure off teammates.

The loss of Brandon McDonald has hurt Morwell’s bowling attack but Davin Charleston, Tim Dowe, Mark Cukier, Jackson Beani and Rory Hare are able to take 10 wickets for a gettable score.

MIRBOO North pummeled Jeeralang-Boolarra in round one and will be eyeing a repeat against Moe, however the Tigers will need to be wary they do not slip up against the youngest team in the league.

Andrew Philip is the key bat and if one of Liam Smit, Ben Williams, Rob Phoenix and Josh Taylor can pick him up cheaply the game is there for the taking.

The Lions are a youthful team who play without fear, giving players like Joel Mitchell, Noah Kane, Riley Baldi, Kane O’Connell, Nathan Lee and Ayden Kelly the freedom to play their own game and find their feet at this level.

The Lion cubs will spring a few surprises this season against any team that dares to underestimate them.

Latrobe has the bye.