TRAFALGAR came up short by a single digit margin for the second week running, this time against Mirboo North in round three of central Gippsland cricket.
Following on from its one run loss last week, the Ships were done in by just seven runs on the rebound.
Tigers skipper Shane Peters won the toss and chose to bat first, with Jesse Giardina (69) playing an excellent innings from first drop.
Peters, Adam Mates and Ben Williams all got starts but it was Giardina who controlled the innings, setting up an impressive score of 6/204.
Jackson Noonan nabbed 3/40 to be Trafalgar’s best with the ball but the rest of the attack struggled for fluency.
James Blaser (31) got the Ships off to a good start but his dismissal at 3/48 left the hosts in a spot of bother.
Under 14 star Blair Clymo played a knock beyond his years with 31 while Jackson Noonan did his best to lift the run rate with 32.
When it came down to the last couple of overs, tailenders Daniel Heathcote, Liam White and Liam Durkin scrambled frantically to get the runs, with White run out in the process.
Rob Phoenix (4/45) was expensive but picked up key wickets to dent the chase as Trafalgar came out second best, while Mirboo North put itself five points clear at the top of the ladder.
Trafalgar now has two tight losses from consecutive matches and must win this weekend against Moe to stay within striking distance of the ladder leader.
LATROBE were humbled by Yallourn North as the host was bundled out for 86 chasing 8/145.
Yallourn North lost Glen Sheekey early but Aidan Vesty and Callum Polo revived the innings, and when Patrick Spiteri (41) added to the total the Bombers were on the way to a big score.
Chris Johnson (1/16 off 10) was restrictive, while Tyron Gamage (2/22) and Brendan Evans (2/41) secured wickets.
The Sharks’ reply started badly at 2/6 in the second over, as the incisive Brandon Bailey (3/15, with five maidens) put the hosts under the pump.
Latrobe was facing a tough examination by the accurate and nagging seam bowling of the visitors, and they crumbled under the pressure.
Sixteen year-olds Will Kennedy (18) and Benn Zomer (12) were the best efforts, the latter on his A grade debut, as Latrobe folded 59 runs short of victory.
It could have been much worse as at one stage they had been 6/34.
A recall for the experienced Anthony Bloomfield did nothing to fix the hosts’ top order woes, after a stellar tail-end partnership papered over the cracks in round one.
The Sharks’ middle order will be hoping to bounce back against Jeeralang-Boolarra.
MORWELL chased down Moe’s testing target of 9/161 with relative ease at Racecourse Turf.
Lions captain Andrew Philip won the toss and batted first, with Ayden Kelly an early loss.
A 55-run stand between the skipper and young gun Joel Mitchell (41) steadied the ship, with Mitchell displaying confidence and maturity.
Nathan Lee (32), Kayne O’Connell (22) and Philip (30) made starts but all four batsmen formed part of Tim Dowe’s haul of 5/27, limiting the Lions’ total.
Morwell chased down the target without much fuss as Rory Hare (31) and Craig Giddens (43*) steered the pursuit.
Jagbir Singh picked up 2/33 to be the Lions’ best bowler, while Lachlan Francis snared the wicket of Brendan Brincat on A grade debut as the Lion cubs continue to find their feet at the top level.
Morwell won by five wickets and closed on 7/190.