By Kate Withers
PREMIER A GRADE
All round seven fixtures in the LVDCL will be played as one-dayers this weekend after rain lashed the region and washed out play across the board on Saturday.
Morwell and Moe were scheduled to meet for the 200th time in organised competition but were rained out for the second time this year.
Barring a third unlucky strike, the Tigers will head into Saturday’s revised clash with their tails in the air after becoming the first side to hand CATS a defeat in season 2018/19 a fortnight ago.
In second spot on the top tier ladder, the Tigers relinquished top spot to Churchill after the Cobras put in a blinder and claimed full points against MTY Raiders in round six.
Lions captain Andrew Philip has led the pack as the side’s leading run-scorer, but Lewis Harper has been a key part of Morwell’s line-up.
Harper has 110 runs and eight wickets in the last three rounds alone and has found support from Mark Cukier (165 runs) and Blake Mills (140 runs).
Captain Robert Webber – with 11 wickets to date – will be key in dismantling the Lions’ top order early this weekend given his side will have less time to do damage than it would have in a two-dayer.
Morwell and Moe will play on Saturday at Morwell Recreation Reserve from 11.30am.
Churchill v CATS
The top-of-the-table Cobras are in ominous form and will be hard to contain for CATS this weekend.
Churchill claimed the first two-day outright win of the season against MTY Raiders in round six and have thrived under the lead of captain John Keighran.
Keighran is streets ahead at the top of the league batting aggregate board with 292 runs to date – 87 ahead of Yinnar’s Chris Stanlake in second.
The wicket of Keighran will be key if CATS are to push for their first two-day win of the year.
Ben Kearns (99 runs) and Matt Harvey (93) have provided some support and will need to step up and prove their staying power in the somewhat unlikely event a cheap Keighran loss.
The Cobras also boast the most dominant bowler in the competition, Ross Whelpdale, who has taken all before him with 17 wickets, six ahead of Morwell’s Robert Webber.
CATS’ Aamir Raza took five wickets against Morwell in round six, and Ben Julin and Matt McGrath are also in good form and will be tasked with ensuring Keighran isn’t allowed to make a big score.
Churchill and CATS will play on Saturday at George Cain Oval from 11.30am.
Mirboo North v MTY Raiders
MTY Raiders will be out to bounce back after a disastrous round six outing when they face Mirboo North on the road this weekend.
The Tigers notched their first win of the 2018/19 season against Moe at in their round six fixture thanks to a stunning captain’s knock of 127 not out from Rob Phoenix.
Phoenix – with 165 runs to date – has stood a lone solider for Mirboo North this season and will need assistance from top-enders Callum Polo and James Grande if the side is to make a score.
Raiders’ fate was sealed early on in round six after a first innings to forget where eight players only managed single-digit scores.
Yinnar were victorious when they hosted Mirboo North in round one and put on 4/126 from 20 overs to win by 24 runs.
Mirboo North and MTY Raiders will play on Saturday at Mirboo North Recreation Reserve from 11.30am.