By LIAM DURKIN
CHURCHILL and Morwell remain the only undefeated teams after four rounds of the Latrobe Valley and District Cricket League.
The Cobras and Tigers each banked another lot of points from their games to maintain their promising starts to the season.
CHURCHILL was sent in by CATS at John Black Oval.
The home side snagged a wicket early, but from there the Cobras were able to string a few partnerships together and eventually closed at 8-211.
Wicket-keeper Ryan Wilk made 27 opening the batting, while Steve Warr was thrown to first drop and responded with a gritty 35.
Brendan Mason and John Keighran were again among the runs for Churchill, scoring 46 and 29 respectively.
Some fireworks down the order from Ryan Harvey, who made 25 from 24 balls, helped the cause.
Wickets were shared in the CATS camp. Callum Stewart took 3-45, Rory Hare 2-16 on return and Ben Julin 2-57.
CATS got off to a decent start in reply, with Josh Keyhoe and Jamie Cochrane putting on 47 for the opening wicket.
Keyhoe was the first to depart, making 25 from just 19 balls, which brought Tinashe Panyangara to the crease.
The Zimbabwean teed off, and hit three sixes and two fours in his knock of 54 from 48 balls.
Unfortunately from a CATS perspective, wickets fell around him, and when Panyangara was dismissed, the score was on 5-123.
From there, CATS lost their last five wickets for 31 runs and were rolled for 154.
Warr led the way with the ball, taking 3-25 from 10 overs with five maidens.
Matt Harvey also proved effective, nabbing 3-38.
MORWELL wasn’t deterred after being sent in on a seaming wicket at Peter Siddle Oval.
The Tigers scratched out a tricky 9-118 total against Latrobe, which in the context of the conditions was worth a lot more.
Blair Clymo and Brendan Brincat each scored 23 for Morwell as Anthony Bloomfield took 3-17 for Latrobe.
Benn Zomer (2-22) and Navin Gomez (2-26) also claimed multiple wickets for the Sharks.
The Tigers then returned serve and showed how two could play at the same game, running through the Sharks to bowl them out for 67.
Only two Latrobe batsmen in Zomer (17) and Jamie Brierley (11) reached double-figures as Brincat (4-16) and Lachlan Day (4-20) ran riot.
RAIDERS proved too strong for Mirboo North.
The travelling Raiders team compiled 5-205 after being asked to have a hit by the Tigers.
Captain Liam Maynard top scored on 82, and received support from Ken Hutchinson, who proved aged in no barrier, making 29 at the top of the order.
Luke Corry finished with 2-39 for Mirboo North.
The Tigers never really got going with the bat, and were dismissed for 104 in the 37th over.
Only Joel Piasente with an unbeaten 27 offered much resistance.
Every Raiders bowler walked off the ground with some poles.
Young quick Harry McColl found his rhythm and took 4-32, Madura Perera snared 2-20, Maynard grabbed 2-20 and Jeevan Varghese got 2-29.
MOE again made good use of a new strip batting first at Ted Summerton Reserve, this time against Traralgon West.
The Lions closed at 8-228, highlighted by Andrew Philip scoring 59, Joel Mitchell 54 and Ash Savige 36.
Leading wicket-takers for the Eagles were Salman Rasool who took 3-40 and Adam Thow with 2-44.
Traralgon West didn’t get close to chasing the total, and in the end were content not to get bowled out.
The Eagles got within two balls of achieving this, but a final total of 114 runs in 49.4 overs told a sorry tale.
Robert Blunt had the ball talking for Moe, and ended with the tremendous figures of 3-7 off 10 overs with seven maidens nonetheless.
Mitchell also chipped in with three scalps, and Savige took 2-27.
TRAFALGAR defied everything one generally expects to see of a team that wins a cricket match by five wickets with a bonus point.
Not for the first time, the Ships played in a game that seemed to make no sense upon reflection, as they grassed five absolute dollies in the field and yet still bowled Centrals out for 73 at Yallourn North.
Sporting new playing tops, the Ships took wickets and put down chances at regular intervals.
Daniel Heathcote was denied a hat-trick in bizarre circumstances after taking the key wicket of Centrals big hitter Rob Webber.
Heathcote followed up by grabbing the edge of Sam Gray’s bat, only for the catch to go down, before the very next ball plugged just short of the wicket-keeper from a top edge.
The Ships did have some luck in the field, particularly with the run out of Wayne Henry coming after his bat got stuck in the turf.
Jackson Noonan took 3-13 for Trafalgar, to go with a rebound catch off his chest.
Wanting to get the chase over and done with, the Ships lost a few wickets on the run home, but got there in relatively straightforward fashion.
Two players with the same first name but with different spelling in Aydan Connolly and Aiden George saw the Ships across the line by making 26 and 22.
JEERALANG-BOOLARRA had the bye.
THIS WEEK will see Morwell welcome Moe, Centrals will play Churchill, Mirboo North travel to Traralgon West, Raiders host Trafalgar and Jeeralang-Boolarra and CATS meet at Peter Siddle Oval.
Latrobe has the bye.