Action-packed TDCA

Tick tock: Time is running out for Rovers to make finals in the TDCA. Photo: Tom Hayes






A RIDICULOUS weekend of cricket took place in the Traralgon District Cricket Association last Saturday and Sunday.


Matches originally scheduled for Round 15 were played on Saturday, while Sunday was used as a catch-up for Round 11.


Results from these back-to-back matches may have big ramifications for many clubs pushing for premiership success.




GLENGARRY got a fright from a young Rovers team who are trying all they can to shake up the top four.


The Magpies won the toss and sent Rovers in knowing that their two quickest bowlers in Cam Graham and Nat Freitag were unavailable.


The Magpies started well and had Rovers 2/8, but Rovers skipper Dougal Williams steadied the ship, taking the score to over 100 before being dismissed for 50.


Lachlan Patterson then chimed in with a run-a-ball 45 to get the tally up to a defendable 174.


To say games between these two clubs in recent history have been fiery is an understatement, and this match was no exception.


Some blurry lines of sportsmanship were toed as mankad warnings were issued throughout the Rovers innings, which were then reciprocated during Glengarry’s and some ‘Rovers banter’ also fired the Glengarry batsmen up, which seemed to work as Rovers had the premiership favourite 6/79 and in desperate trouble at one point.


Enter Ben Marks, who has regularly been the dependable lower order batsman to dig Glengarry out of a hole (although he hasn’t had to do it for some time).


Through a mixture of unique stroke play, hard running and a whole lot of grit and determination, he took the score to 125 with Lachlan Clark, and then finished off the game partnered by Max Merton, who made a run-a-ball 21 himself.


Rovers bowled well and applied the pressure, but when Ben Marks digs in he’s hard to remove, and unfortunately for Rovers this may be the match that not only got away but costs them a finals spot.


EX STUDENTS travelled to Roger Ries Oval after an extended Christmas break, although the successful Vic Country captain Lee Stockdale wasn’t playing after taking out the Australian Country Cricket Championships in Canberra.


Missing Stockdale certainly makes things difficult, but the Sharks would have been very happy to have Jackson McMahon back in the line-up and confident they could still walk away with the win.


Matt Barry had other ideas though as the young spinner was given the task of opening the bowling for Toongabbie, and with the score on three, he had already bowled both Matt Dyke and James Pryde.


Once Toongabbie smell blood in the water they are lethal, and they went about dismantling Ex Students as the Sharks were skittled for 89 in 37 overs.


Barry made the most impact to finish with figures of 3/15, while Keenan Hughes claimed 3/14 himself.


Granted 89 seems like a very easy score to chase, but against a team like Ex Students who never give up in any situation, it was going to be tough.


Toongabbie would have been thinking if only they didn’t bowl 20 wides to add to the opposition score, but still, the Rams went out with a positive mindset and it worked for them, as they didn’t lose a wicket until the score was on 40.


It was slow going, but Toongabbie were able to creep ever closer until old heads Tom Shippen and Jason Veneman got the team home five down.


Andrew Matthews did all he could taking three wickets, but Toongabbie got the win, although may have celebrated too much, taking their focus off Sunday’s match.


GORMANDALE went into the match against Imperials winless and down on confidence.


When Imperials captain, Ryan Morley, won the toss, he decided to send the Tigers in.


When Gormandale was 1/137 though, Imperials were scratching their heads wondering what just happened, especially when Morley had gone off the ground due to injury.


Imps clawed their way back to then have Gormandale 4/143, which could have been a lot worse for the batting team had Imperials held their catches, but Gormandale were able to cash in and take the score up to 7/212 from 50 overs.


Matt Hibbs was best for the Tigers, making 63, followed by Chris Lehner who fell two runs short of his half-century, while extras had another good day as the Imperial bowlers bowled 30 wides between them.


With Morley unable to bat until number seven due to being off the field injured, Tom Starkey opened the batting with Dom Thompson. Starkey could only survive two balls as Gormandale, who seem to be the only team who still field someone at gully in the TDCA, put their most athletic fielder in the position and with cat-like reflexes snared a magnificent catch that rolled up his arm and lodged in his armpit.


That set the tone for the innings, and although some fight was shown from Dilshan Thillekarathna who made 42, it was all Gormandale, who went on to knock over Imperials in the 37th over for 109.


Adam Brady was the best bowler of the day claiming 4/23, while Yohan Soyza claimed the brilliant figures of 3/6 from his six overs.




ANOTHER beautiful day presented itself, and with the results of Saturday’s matches fresh in every players mind, it was a case of readjusting for some teams, while others would hope to carry momentum into this day.


FRESH from the bye the day before, Yarram District welcomed Ex Students to the Yarram Recreation Reserve for the first time.


Ex Students liked the look of the wicket so much they decided to bat first, but again for the second time in weekend, found themselves in early trouble at 2/35.


This time, Matt Dyke was still in and James Pryde was yet to bat, but the pressure brought by Yarram’s bowlers was certainly giving the batsmen problems.


With the score on 6/109, Ex Students would have been thinking about a score of 150+ until Ant Scott came back on to bowl and ripped through the lower order as Ex Students lost their last four wickets for zero runs.


A fired-up Scott, who is bowling quick and aggressive at the moment, claimed 5/24 for his troubles, as Ex Students were dismissed for 117.


Yarram District are a confident team who play very aggressive cricket and never die wondering, but when the Sharks started to circle and had the home team in massive trouble at 5/27, the Pelicans had to regroup and tick the scoreboard over a little slower than they usually do.


For the second time in two days, the Ex Students bowlers applied the pressure and on Sunday were able to take regular wickets.


The game continued to get tighter and tighter, and when Griffin Underwood was dismissed for 13 with the score 8/100 it was anyone’s guess as to who would win.


The cool and experienced head of Jeremy Babb got the home team over the line though with a well compiled 27 under immense pressure, which meant his team jumped Ex Students into second spot and potentially into a position to host a home final this season.


TOONGABBIE were flying after knocking over Ex Students the day before, and after seeing Gormandale make over 200 the day before had no hesitation in batting first.


Rob Wheildon only got one but Tim Dunn and Gerard Mcilroy made up for it both making 47 and 52 respectively. Imperials tightened up their extras, as Toongabbie crept to a score of 9/193 at the closure of their innings.


The feeling clubs have with Imperials this season is ‘knock over Ryan Morley and the game is over’, so when Toongabbie removed the TDCA leading run scorer for his second duck in three innings, it looked as if the match was going to be over quickly, but what was to come next was certainly not in the Toongabbie script.


Imperials continued to fight and their batsmen worked hard as Starkey made 22, Scott Aitken 19, Thillekarathna 30 and Josh Jennings 25, which had the score at 7/120.


A rain delay from an incredible storm then posed an issue for both teams, but the storm passed and a revised target was then set with Toongabbie still on top.


Needing quick runs to win the match, 17-year-old Ashan Keppitipola smashed a quick 32 which included four fours and a six to reach the revised total and secure a thrilling victory for the Imperials Cricket Club.


A win in this match would have guaranteed a finals berth for the Rams, who would be devastated, especially after what they were able to do the day before.


For Imperials, the win should show them that batting depth is crucial and to continue to give responsibility to younger players and not just rely on the older ones.


ROVERS were looking to make amends for their dropped game against Glengarry the day before, and had a great opportunity with the visiting Gormandale.


The Tigers batted first but just didn’t adjust to batting on what could only be described as a difficult wicket compared to the Catterick Crescent wicket they played on the day before.


Rovers bowled well but fielded terribly, dropping lots of catches. It didn’t matter in the end as Gormandale batted poorly and were eventually all out for 106 in just 34 overs.


The Tigers had a crack and made Rovers earn the win, but it was a case of too little too late as Simon Duff batted well for 37 to be the difference in the match.


Rovers are still in with a shot of playing finals this season, but need plenty to go their way.


Maybe the Glengarry game will come back to haunt them, but with Imperials, Yarram District and Gormandale all in the next three weeks, a couple of wins might have them breathing down the necks of Toongabbie.


Amazingly, across the past weekend, six out of the seven A Grade teams in the TDCA won a game, which is quite a unique circumstance and shows what one day cricket can do.