A third round washout against eventual finalist Bendigo derailed Traralgon and District Cricket Association’s Melbourne Country Week provincial title aspirations last Wednesday.
After a win over Murray Valley and a loss to Geelong to open the carnival, Traralgon had a chance to usurp the undefeated Bendigo and keep its ambition of reaching the final alive before weather intervened.
The split points result meant Traralgon could not rise above Bendigo or Geelong to make Friday’s final but it didn’t stop the Tornados putting on a clinic against Sale-Maffra to finish in fourth overall.
Traralgon compiled 6/209 batting first against Sale-Maffra in Thursday’s fourth round, powered by 82 and 35 from openers Brad Wadlan and Jason Macfarlane respectively, before demolishing its GCL rival for 97.
Dave Embleton and Ross Whelpdale did the damage with three wickets apiece while Jordan Sandy snagged a miserly 2/4 from five overs.
TDCA player Brad Knowles said it was a solid week all-round from the squad but lamented Wednesday’s no result.
“It was a pretty good week on the whole, we had one disappointing afternoon, we were a little bit unlucky having a washout against Bendigo who ended up making the final,” Knowles said.
“Had we played and beaten Bendigo I think we would have made that final, so it was a little bit disappointing but that’s the way it goes.”
Macfarlane was rock steady throughout the week at the top of the order to finish 11th on the carnival’s batting charts with 101 runs at 33.67.
Spinners Whelpdale and Wadlan were the stars with the ball, with the former’s 10 wickets at 13.20 the third best haul by any bowler in the provincial division.
“I think they were all pretty good, pretty consistent performance… across the board,” Knowles said.
“Jason Macfarlane had a really consistent week opening the batting, Brad Wadlan and Ross Whelpdale with the ball were really good as well, the two spinners, but it was a pretty consistent team effort for the week.
“As we spoke about last year we’re definitely good enough and belong in provincial it’s about taking the next step now and beating sides like Geelong.”
Geelong ultimately won the provincial division, defeating Bendigo in the final on Friday.