Historic moment in TDCA

Doing the honours: Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester tosses the coin for the historic moment at Yarram Recreation Reserve. Pictured o the new turf wicket is Yarram District Cricket Club captain Anthony Scott and Imperials Cricket Club captain Ryan Morley, along with umpires Neil Meredith and Darren Farley. photo: the bridge

Staff Writers



CRICKET returned in the Traralgon District Cricket Association at the weekend after a longer than usual festive break.

The unpredictable weather this season continued to affect cricket, although this time instead of rain and cold weather having an impact, it was instead 36 degree heat which had every player sweltering in the January sun.

IT wasn’t only a return to the 2022/23 cricket season for the Yarram & District Cricket Club, but instead a welcome to a new chapter of cricket in South Gippsland as the Yarram Recreation Reserve showcased its brand new turf bench last weekend.

The wicket itself is what curator dreams are made of, with the old synthetic wicket having been replaced by a huge turf bench, maintained by an incredibly enthusiastic team of locals who are aiming to make this ground the best in all of Gippsland.

The lucky team to take on Yarram District in its inaugural A Grade home fixture in the Traralgon District Cricket Association was Imperials, who hadn’t played for a month due to having a bye on the last round before Christmas.

Federal Member for Gippsland, Darren Chester, had the honour of tossing the coin in front of an excited crowd.

Imperials captain Ryan Morley called correctly and had no hesitation batting first on what looked to be a magnificent wicket.

As the anticipation of a big days’ play built, it was Anthony Scott who got things underway for the home team, and with his fourth ball of the opening opener he snicked off Ryan Morley to put the pressure on Imps from the very first over.

Things then only got worse for the visitors as Scott Aitken made a second ball duck to have Imps 2/2.

Tom Starkey fought hard alongside Dilshan Thillekarathna as they grinded out a 30-run partnership, but Yarram’s pressure continued and Imperials lost wickets without making many runs at all.

Eventually, Imperials was bowled out in the 40th over for 85, with young gun Ashan Keppitipola making a good 18, while the tail could only play for time as the Pelicans gave nothing away with the ball.

Scott was superb as he lead his attack beautifully, bowling seven overs for only five runs while claiming three wickets.

Yarram then did what Yarram do, and in true Pelican style, they came out swinging, aiming to get the game over and done with quickly.

Jack Moore (45 not out from 42 balls) and Dylan Rash (38 from 34 balls) ensured Imperials were never in the hunt as they quickly passed the target in the 14th over. Rash fell when the score was 82.

Yes, it was an emphatic victory for the home team, but in the grand scheme of things it was more than just another match, it was the start of something great for Yarram District Cricket Club and the TDCA.

ROVERS made a statement against Toongabbie.

The boys from Duncan Cameron declared ‘don’t count us out just yet’, as they took it up to the finals fancy and beat them soundly.

Batting first, disaster struck for Rovers early as Justin Little, who was returning from a knee injury, had to retire hurt due to reinjuring his knee. It’s such a shame as this young man has already shown he has plenty of talent so far in these early stages of his career, and to be continually hampered by knee issues is disappointing for himself, his club and the TDCA, who all hope he recovers soon.

The Rams took early wickets but Rovers’ captain Dougal Williams stood tall and as wickets fell around him, he continued to tough it out on his way to 64 from 122 balls, finally being dismissed with the score on 140.

Simon Duff (21 not out) and Jack Lynch (18 from 21) took the score up to 179, which in the heat would prove a big challenge for Toongabbie.

The Rams were missing Jason Veneman and James Chalmers, so the likes of Rob Wheildon and Kev Stoddart would need to do most of the heavy lifting.

It was tough going though and the young Rovers team kept the heat on Toongabbie, who at one stage was 3/60 and in with a chance. That was until Olly ‘The Illustrated Man’ Mason took two wickets in an over and Toongabbie went from 3/60 to 6/63 and the result became just a formality.

Lynch was good, taking 2/9, as was Duff who claimed 2/13, but it was Dougal’s day, as he took 2/4 to go with his potentially season-defining 64 in a man-of-the-match display.

THE last game of the round was held at Stoddart Oval where an undermanned Gormandale squared off against the all-conquering Glengarry Cricket Club.

Nat Freitag won the toss and sensing his team could knock over Gormandale quickly, he chose to bowl first on what could only be described as an interesting looking wicket.

The Tigers lost early wickets and were on the brink of breaking until two young guns in the form of Campbell Peavey and Hayden Richards fought back, putting on 50 for the fifth wicket, which had the Magpies a little hot under the collar at times due to the brashness of some of the stroke play the young batsmen were attempting.

Eventually, Peavey was dismissed for 36 and Richards 23 as Gormandale was bowled out in the 45th over for 127.

In a team full of star bowlers, it was a young bowler who had only bowled nine overs for the season up until this match who was the main destroyer, as Brandon Mayberry claimed 4/20 from his nine overs while Al Jenkin took three himself.

Gormandale would need quick wickets to have a chance but didn’t take a wicket until the game was almost over.

Frank Marks was the dismissed for 18, caught and bowled by Tyler Reynolds while some tremendous gamesmanship and genuine spin craft helped to remove an in-form Jenkin who finished with 71, dismissed by under-rated spinner James Jacobsen.

Glengarry passed Gormandale’s score in just 22 overs and continue to be undefeated in season 2022/23.

IMPERIALS made a genuine claim as a contender for the B Grade premiership defeating Yarram District by seven wickets.

The Pelicans, batted first, made 149, with Peter Griffiths top-scoring on 42 while Johnathon Downs claimed 4/12.

In reply, Imperials passed Yarram’s total in the 28th over as Josh Jennings smashed an unbeaten 77 from just 55 balls.

Toongabbie dismantled reigning B Grade premier Rovers by 124 runs, with Matt Hazelman making a good 59, while in the other B Grade fixture, last season’s grand finalists, Gormandale, were belted by Glengarry.

THE TDCA is playing a round of make-up games this Sunday in A Grade.

Looking good: The new turf wicket at Yarram Recreation Reserve. photograph supplied