Churchill Cobras show their class





LOW scores featured prominently in Round 10 of the Latrobe Valley District Cricket League.

Whether or not good bowling met bad batting may depend on who you ask, but as far as scoreboards were concerned, only two out of 12 innings spread across six games saw more than 200 posted.

With this round completed, teams will now head into the last match before Christmas, eager to take some winning form into the break.

Just one more game until two dayers start. (Multiple love heart emojis).

CHURCHILL showed they are still a force to be reckoned with.

The Cobras brushed aside premiership fancies Morwell by 84 runs.

Playing at George Cain Oval, the home side decided to have a hit after the coin toss fell in their favour.

Ben Kearns showed little signs of rust, scoring a patient 54 off 107 balls.

His only boundary was a six, in what was only his eighth A Grade match in three seasons.

Runs also came from a familiar face in John Keighran, who scored a brisk 59 off 65 balls, sending two balls over the fence in the process.

Nick Duncan played a busy hand, with his 43 going at better than a run-a-ball.

After 50 overs, Churchill compiled a strong total of 6/204.

Morwell bowled five bowlers out. Included in the Tigers line-up was Lachlan Patterson, who was able to suit up in the yellow and black due to a bye with his aligned club Rovers in the Traralgon District Cricket Association.

Things got off to a disastrous start with the bat for Morwell, as the number of wickets became higher than the total number of runs.

Coming in at 2/1, Blair Clymo did his best to pull the Tigers out of the proverbial, and got the score to 48 batting with skipper Jordan Campbell.

Campbell’s dismissal however triggered a major middle order collapse, as Morwell lost 4/40.

Clymo’s 48 (two sixes) was by far the best effort in a Tiger total that was eventually rattled for 120.

King Keighran finished with four wickets, receiving good support from partner-in-crime Steve Warr, who took the key wickets of Campbell and Clymo.

IT was like The Blues Brothers at Ted Summerton Reserve on Saturday – Moe got the band back together.

For the first time in more than a decade, Rob Phoenix joined premiership teammates Andrew Philip, Sean Spiteri and Pat Spiteri all in the same Moe team.

The Lions of today returned to the winners list, and fittingly, used the same formula that served them so well when Phoenix was in charge: Time at the crease + wickets in hand = runs = win.

Bowling first against Raiders, wickets fell at semi-regular intervals. The visitors were well-served by skipper Liam Maynard, who led from the front with 59, while Englishman George Chesire made 38 opening the batting.

Chesire’s innings came to an end after a direct hit run out from Riley Baldi.

The comebacks didn’t just end at Phoenix for Moe, as Riley was joined by twin brother Trent in the side.

Trent, who will soon have his name on the honour board upstairs at Ted Summerton Reserve, traded the footy boots for spikes to play what are becoming very rare cricket appearances in recent years.

The Lions did very well to keep Raiders to 173 on a ground and wicket that has become a virtual graveyard for bowlers.

Phoenix showed how valuable experience is, taking 4/10, while Robert Blunt grabbed 3/34, made all the more meritorious by the fact those three were all top order bats, including key Raiders bat Mick Higgins for a first baller.

Moe took a cautious approach in response. After losing Riley Baldi early, Noah Kane and Philip knuckled down.

Captain Kane made 35, while Philip batted through to finish unbeaten on 72.

Philip finished the game in style, sending the winning runs over the clubrooms in the penultimate over.

Chesire was the most successful Raiders bowler, returning very tidy figures of 3/21 off 10 with three maidens.

Harry McColl provided something, getting 2/31.

Philip 72 not out and Phoenix four-fa.

Not much has changed at all.

CATS held on in a thriller against Latrobe.

Only on a sporting field could a battle between a cat and a shark happen, and in this particular battle, it was the Cats of Callignee and Traralgon South who prevailed.

Batting first at McGregor Reserve, Yallourn North, CATS scratched out a score of 120.

The middle order did their best to give the batting side some hope, with Tyler Brown scoring 36.

Nathan Harrap and Josh Keyhoe also chipped in with efforts of 23 and 21 respectively, and in the context of the conditions and game, could well have been worth twice as many.

In case you didn’t know already, Tyron Gamage can bowl a cricket ball.

The Latrobe speed demon took 4/13 off 6.5 overs, with three maidens included in the lot.

Gamage got the Sharks away to a flyer, disturbing the timber of Jamie Cochrane and Sam Gissara within the first five overs.

Shark skipper Benn Zomer was just as productive, taking 3/24 off his 10.

Despite doing a good job in the first half, Latrobe had a tricky total to chase down – and they do say never judge a game until both teams have batted.

CATS did as their opponents had done with the ball, only this time, with the added intensity that comes with defending a total.

Brad Foster removed key Latrobe playmakers Ronnie Chokununga and Zomer cheaply, leaving Steven Freshwater to pick up the pieces.

The man known as ‘Freshy’ batted an incredible 128 balls for 29, as wickets kept tumbling around him.

Following Foster, Josh Moore and Cochrane got in on the act, snaring two wickets each.

At 6/92, it was well and truly game on, but two run outs among the last four wickets led to CATS pinching victory by seven runs.

THEY are always close games between Trafalgar and Traralgon West.

The Ships won the most recent close game between the two sides, overcoming what has been something of a bogey team for them in recent seasons.

Saturday’s two wicket win was in keeping with margins from the last three times the Ships and Eagles have met.

In those games, the margins had been: Trafalgar win by 22 runs, and Traralgon West win by one wicket (twice in succession).

Batting first at Jack Canavan, the home side was restricted to 148, of which Rami Zafar made 42 and captain Rob Wilkie 41.

Wilkie’s counterpart Aydan Connolly took three wickets, and then looked to be steering the Ships over the line, before being run out by an unbelievable direct hit from Zafar at mid on – throwing down the stumps at the strikers end mind you, to see Connolly well short of his ground after getting to 31.

Before that, Rhys Holdsworth played an attacking hand of 37 off 40 balls, with 24 of those runs coming in boundaries.

Speaking of boundaries, opening bat Aiden George struck two huge sixes, one of which ended with something that would have honestly been a one-in-a-million chance of happening.

After seeing that the ball was sailing over the long off boundary, a spectator got out of their car to take the catch. The catch was taken, and the spectator was none other than Paul George – the batsman’s dad.

Following Connolly’s dismissal, the Ships needed 34 to win with six wickets in hand.

Trafalgar lost a few poles on the run home, with the equation coming down to the visitors needing 13 runs and the home side needing two wickets.

The man who lost his 100th A Grade game the week before, made sure game number 101 was a bit better, steering the Ships past the victory target.

Tim Fitch was the pick of the bowlers for the Eagles, with the scorebook saying he took 2/13 off 10 overs.

There is just no explaining cricket sometimes – you go from losing off the last ball of the game one week to hitting the winning runs the next.

CENTRALS won their fourth game in a row.

The Lions overcame a spirited Jeeralang-Boolarra by five wickets at Racecourse Turf.

Deciding to bat first, the Panthers managed 134, headlined by Nila Thillekarathna scoring 64.

Rob Webber was the best bowler for Centrals, taking 3/23, while Tye Hourigan nabbed 2/27.

The Lions were cruising in reply, getting to 66 before losing their first wicket.

Jeeeralang-Boolarra enjoyed some fortune, taking the next three wickets for three runs, before Centrals tip-toed to the required total.

Hasitha Hewawasam took 2/17 for the Panthers, while Matt McGrath was a noticeable inclusion on the team sheet, playing his first match for the season.

After four consecutive wins, Centrals will be smiling more than Mariah Carey at Christmas when she cashes her royalties.

MIRBOO NORTH was too strong for Willow Grove.

The Tigers batted first at Willow Grove, and closed at 7/233.

Leading lights with the bat were Brett Pedlow, who scored 74, Zach Hollis (60) and Jed Alexander (44).

Pete Grima was economical against his old side, taking 1/25 off 10, the wicket being that of Mirboo North premiership teammate Alexander.

Liam Cumiskey also chipped in, claiming figures of 2/24, as did Darcy Walsh with 3/53.

The Wolves battled hard with the bat, with five players getting to double figures in a team total of 128.

Alexander cleaned up, taking 4/25, along with Max Woodall (2/32) and Dale Banks (2/35), securing a bonus point for the visitors.