Pelicans sample a victory

Leading the way: Ryan Morley scored 38 during Imperials’ loss to Yarram & District in TDCA A Grade action on Saturday. file photograph


BEAUTIFUL conditions in the lead up to Round 11 would have had most thinking it would be a chance for batsmen to fill their boots at the weekend, but it wasn’t to be as low scores were the common theme across the round as results went as predicted.
Imperials v Yarram & District
THE match that had the most at stake was the Imperials vs Yarram & District game due to both clubs needing to win to give themselves a finals chance.
Imperials skipper Ryan Morley won the toss and batted on a fairly dead wicket with bowlers needing to work hard to extract anything from it while batsmen had to work equally hard to grind out runs.
The new ball came on nicely for Morley though as he opened the batting and made a good 38 before Daniel O’Keefe dismissed him.
Morley was the only Imperials batsman in the top six to crack double figures and with the score on 6/86 the Pelicans were eyeing off an easy bonus point, but enter Joel Randall, the left-handed enigma who’s unconventional batting style and shots are incredibly hard to plan for.
Randall took it up to Yarram’s bowlers making 32 in the process.
This important score was crucial for Imperials chances as it took the score up to 114 before the team was finally dismissed in the 48th over for 136 with the tail wagging a little bit.
Yarram shared the wickets, but the best was by far Kelly Griffiths who claimed 3/27 from his 10 overs in a very good opening spell.
It would be a tricky score to chase for Yarram and coming up against the two highest wicket takers for the season in Ross Williams and Brad Sizeland the game was far from over at the innings break.
Brett Pedlow back in the side provided a solid batsman at one end while the other batsman were able to play shots at the other end.
Pedlow was stoic as he held the innings together for the Pelicans as he carried the bat until the score reached 7/126 when he was finally dismissed for a well made 57.
Another 20 runs would have put a heap of pressure on Yarram but with Ant Scott batting at eight, he made sure to get his team home and remain not out when the game was won in the 45th over.
Joel Randall was the best of the Imperials bowlers with 2/16 from his 10 overs which included five maidens while Sizeland was the other multiple wickettaker claiming 2/34.
This result now brings Yarram to within a point of fourth keeping their finals aspirations alive while Imperials only have two matches left in the season and would need to win both (vs Gormandale and Ex Students) to slip into the top four.
Ex Students v Toongabbie
EX Students flexed their muscles in a spirited game at the Traralgon Recreation Reserve. Toongabbie won the toss and batted first but were in all sorts of trouble early as Michael and Tim Dunn were out in consecutive balls in the first over of the day to Jimmy Pryde.
Zak Russell was able to withstand the onslaught for a little bit, but as wickets fell around him he was eventually out for 15 with the score on 5/55.
Captain Keenan Hughes tried fighting fire with fire as he hit four fours on his way to 24 from 22 balls but it wasn’t nearly enough as the Rams were knocked over in the 30th over for just 88.
Pryde’s opening spell set the tone of Toongabbie’s innings as the star spinner took 4/21 in his 10 overs as he then handed it over to Michael Warne to clean up the tail as Warne took the last four wickets of the innings for a miserly three runs in just 3.5 overs.
If the Rams were going to have any sort of chance they needed their star quick to do the damage early and do the damage he did.
Hughes was breathing fire as he steamed in against Ex Students’ potent top order.
First he dismissed Matt Dyke for five, then he knocked over in form superstar Lee Stockdale for 10 just before sending Jimmy Pryde’s bails flying for a duck as Ex Students found themselves reeling at 3/19.
But, as he always seems to do when the Sharks backs are to the wall, Rick Battista played a dogged innings as he stopped the Rams momentum before lifting the scoring rate to finish the game off strong in just the 20th over finishing on 44 not out from 43 balls which included seven boundaries and a six.
Matt Robertson was the other not out batsman on 23 when the game finished with Ex Students notching up a dominant win over a likely finals contender.
The Sharks now sit firmly atop of the ladder while Toongabbie remain in third position.
Rovers v Glengarry
GLENGARRY had a similar game to Ex Students as they had a dominant win over Rovers at Duncan Cameron Park.
Rovers were without captain Dougal Williams who would leave a huge hole in the top order as he is in tremendous form at the moment.
Rovers won the toss and batted hoping that for at least once their openers could get a good start but again trouble struck early and Rovers lost a clump of wickets, quickly finding themselves on 4/22.
Simon Duff (21) tried his hardest and the tail wagged a bit as well with number nine Kayleb Pearce making 11 and number 10 Brandon Hamilton top scoring with 22.
Every bowler for Glengarry took a wicket which has been the theme for the Magpies this season.
It’s no surprise Nat Freitag was the standout claiming 2/9 from 7.2 overs as Al Jenkin (2/16) and Max Merton (2/18) were the other multiple wickettakers.
Rovers were going to need early wickets but they just haven’t come for the boys in blue this season.
Stand-in captain Ewan Williams needed to roll the dice and give their best performed bowler for the season Simon Duff the new ball to try and spin up a storm, but it was too late once Duff was brought on as Glengarry lost their only wicket with the score on 58.
Opening bat Jenkin was then joined by Glengarry skipper Freitag and the two went about quickly getting the game over and done with as Freitag remained not out on 25 while Jenkin was clearly man of the match making a hard-hitting 70 not out from just 71 balls which included 10 boundaries and a six.
This dominant win keeps Glengarry within a stones throw of top spot while Rovers now go into a bye next week.
Rovers will finish the season off against Yarram and Toongabbie which are two winnable games for the young team, but results will need to go their way next week for them to be in the hunt of a finals berth.
GORMANDALE had the bye.
Finals hopes of Imps are on the line
IMPERIALS have nothing to lose this weekend, with only two games left in their regular season, they have to win this game, and then somehow knock-off Ex Students to reach the finals series.
Gormandale have everything to lose as they are only five points ahead of Yarram on the ladder, hanging on to fourth spot.
The Tigers are well rested following a bye last round, while Imperials lost to Yarram by three wickets, thanks to the quality bowling of Joel Randall and Brad Sizeland, both taking two
Ross Williams continues to impress and is currently leading the TDCA wickets with 18, while teammate Sizeland is close behind on 15.
One to watch: Ross Williams and Joel Randall took six wickets between them last time to bowl Gormandale out for 111.
Prediction: Imperials have nothing to lose, and will want to ruin finals hopes for Gormandale. Imperials with the home ground advantage will get over the line.
Glengarry v Toongabbie
GLENGARRY, coming off a nine-wicket thrashing over Rovers last round, will be feeling confident going into Round 12.
This will be a battle for second spot on the ladder, which could prove crucial when finals time rolls around.
But after Toongabbie went down to Ex Students last week, losing by seven wickets, they will sure be hurting and will want redemption.
Glengarry fight until they end, as they bat very deep, and have plenty of fast and medium fast bowlers that can hit a spot in the likes of Cam Graham, Nat Freitag and Max Merton.
This will be a battle of the best and should prove to be a good game and matchup.
One to watch: Nat Freitag, the best at Glengarry with both bat and ball, is sure to put on a show.
Prediction: Glengarry will get over the line and hold their second spot on the ladder.
Ex Students v Yarram & District
BOTH Ex Students and Yarram and coming off wins from last round, so will be confident heading into this clash.
Yarram need this win, and the bonus point if they want to get into the top four.
But there is no doubt Ex Students are going to make it hell and will give them no opportunity
to score runs.
However, captain Lee Stockdale, loves to hit the ball in the air for his first 20 runs, giving the
opposition plenty of close chances.
They just have to ensure that they make it count and hold their catches.
Yarram’s Ant Scott currently sits third in the batting with 299 runs for the season, and an
average of just over 40.
He will be looking to stand up to the spin attack of Ex Students and tear them apart with his aggressive batting style.
One to watch: Ant Scott against Ex Students’ spinners will be a good match up and could see sparks flying.
Prediction: Ex Students will want to keep their top position on the ladder, and will not give up until they win.
ROVERS have the bye