Morwell starts season on high

Morwell has enjoyed a solid start to the season after defeating Yallourn North in its opening match of this year’s Central Gippsland Cricket Association first grade competition.

Coming off the bye, Morwell found itself in the field after Bombers captain Callum Polo won the toss and decided to bat.

After being all out for 33 in their first round clash against Jeeralang Boolarra, the pressure was on the new-look Yallourn North side to prove it was able to match it with one of the better bowling attacks of the competition.

It only intensified when opener William Lawrey Junior was dismissed for one off the bowling of Travis Pickering, bringing Polo to the crease.

The Bombers skipper partnered with Nick Gooden to see off the new ball and get the scoreboard moving, with the score reaching 51 before Gooden was bowled for 31 by Morwell skipper Rory Hare.

From there a mini-collapse ensued as Polo and Stephen Pearson were dismissed without another run being scored.

The scoreboard soon started moving again, with Jason Wiseman coming to the crease at 5/57.

Wiseman, who was last week’s hero with the ball, went on to post an unbeaten 57 as the Bombers finished their overs at 6/153.

Polo was full of praise for his batsmen for the way they had managed to recover from last week’s collapse.

“One-hundred-and-fifty’s a pretty good score with a slow ground and a little bit in the wicket. It was a really good team batting performance I thought,” he said.

He singled out the lower-order heroics of Wiseman for special praise.

“It was good bit of pinch hitting in the end, he played some unbelievable shots,” Polo said.

He said Gooden had once again stood up with the bat, after posting 20 last week.

Morwell’s openers enjoyed mixed fortunes when it was their time to bat, with Mark Cukier making his 300th game by posting 89.

Down the other end his opening partner Barney Webber did not have a start to the season to remember, bowled by Darren Wilkie for eight in his first innings back in CGCA cricket.

Webber’s dismissal brought Hare to the crease, who combined with Cukier for a 74-run partnership for the second wicket before being dismissed for 28.

This brought English import Jordan Campbell in, who put on a 59-run partnership with Cukier before the 300 game veteran was dismissed with the score on 149.

The Tigers soon overhauled the Bombers’ total, with Morwell finishing its overs 4/218.

Campbell finished the innings not out on 53.

Wilkie was the pick of the Yallourn North bowlers with 1/18 off his 10 overs.

Reigning premier Mirboo North is quickly positioning itself as the team to beat after posting a big win against Jeeralang Boolarra on Saturday.

Winning the toss, Mirboo North captain Shane Peters inserted the Panthers and was soon rewarded when Brandon Bradshaw took the wicket of Craig Blackberry to have the score at 1/9.

The wickets of Ossy Brennan (20) and Luke Heath (7) soon followed and it was up to Ben Heath (24) and Stanley Urbanic (16) to steady the ship.

The scoreboard kept moving as the Tigers managed to find regular wickets.

Jeeralang Boolarra finished its innings 9/119.

Dale Banks took 4/29 off 10 overs and Rob Phoenix claimed 3/16 off his allotment to be the standouts from a disciplined team bowling effort.

The Panthers must have thought they were in with a chance after dismissing Brendan Van Heurck, Cameron Le Page and Jesse Giardina early to have the score at 3/13.

But Brett Pedlow (66) and Phoenix (95) combined to put the Jeeralang Boolarra bowlers to the sword, adding 146 for the fourth wicket.

Phoenix and Joe Nichols both fell with the score on 159 to give Peters (75) his chance to take on the Panthers’ bowling.

The Tigers finished 8/282 to seal their spot at the top of the ladder.

Latrobe has notched up its first win of the season after defeating Trafalgar.

The Sharks won the toss and elected to field and soon had the Ships in trouble at 3/18.

The wickets kept tumbling for the new-look Trafalgar side which found itself at 8/50.

Captain Anthony Clarke-Bruce (23) and Christian Burgess (20) fought a rear guard action to try and salvage the innings, lifting the Ships to 98 before they were all out in the 41st over.

Matthew Brewer and Tyron Gamage were the standout bowlers with 3/13 off seven overs and 3/12 off 6.2 overs, respectively.

In response, Latrobe posted 6/124 off its 45 overs, with opener Benn Zomer the top-scorer with 30.

Justin Vajler posted 27.

David Bremner Junior was the star with the ball, taking 3/16 off his 10.

Moe had the bye.