Lions pull of incredible win at Ted Summerton

LIAM DURKIN

CRICKET

LVDCL PREMIER A

By LIAM DURKIN

DAY 2 saw close finishes across the board as games reached their climax in Latrobe District Cricket League Premier A.

Less than 20 runs decided two matches, while another very nearly saw a reverse-outright.

The results keep things interesting as finals approach, and with three games left in the regular season, the race to the premiership appears wide open.

Just last weekend, fifth beat second and last got within 15 runs of first.

Competitive cricket looks to be a hallmark of the LVDCL at the moment.

And if what we were sold is true – that is what the league was set-up for after all.

FAIR play Moe, that was a decent win.

The Lions resumed Day 2 needing seven wickets against CATS, but only had 61 runs to play with.

At the start of play, as CATS not out batsmen Tyler Brown and Josh Keyhoe walked to the middle of Ted Summerton Reserve, and with Cal Stewart to come, WinViz would have had CATS at least going at a 60 per cent chance of victory.

The scales would have tipped upwards of 70 when Keyhoe and Brown took the total to 3/69, just 54 runs shy of the target.

With the visitors firmly in the box seat, Moe spinner Callum Grant came to life, first picking up the wicket of Keyhoe, adding to his list of scalps from the first day.

Rob Phoenix, coming in for Day 2, followed up by taking the wicket of Brown for 44, to leave CATS precariously placed, still 37 runs behind.

Who else but Rob Phoenix to take the game-changing wicket.

The class of Stewart always threatened to be the difference, and after seeing off 58 deliveries and looking set to bat through to the end, he was undone by Grant, who broke through his defences.

After Stewart had taken seven wickets last week, Grant said ‘two can play at this game’, and he ripped the rest of the CATS order to pieces.

He took wickets in three consecutive overs, to leave CATS 9/95.

At that stage, they needed 28 to win.

The final pairing of Sam Gissara and Harry Cooper sent a few shivers through the Moe camp, after batting for close to 15 overs and putting on 13.

However, Grant could not be denied, and ended up matching Stewart’s seven-wicket effort from Day 1. Grant took the remaining four wickets and ended with figures of 7/37 off 29 overs.

Incredibly, CATS lost 7/39 and were bowled out for 108.

Grant did his championship points no harm, with five of his wickets unassisted.

Phoenix also deserves a mention for sending down 19 overs, 10 of which were maidens, and getting 1/22.

The ramifications from this game could be drastic for both sides. Moe went to the top of the ladder after winning, while the loss might well cost CATS a place in the finals.

In a competition so tight, finishing top-two is vital for three reasons:

Home semi-final;

Immunity if weather intervenes, and (the one that is often forgotten);

You go through to the granny if it is a tie.

For CATS, while the result was no doubt one they let slip, in fairness to them, their training has been heavily restricted due to issues with their ground, meaning they still haven’t ventured out for centre wicket practice at John Black Oval.

Taking absolutely nothing away from someone getting seven-fa, but in a game that saw five people either bowled or lbw to a spinner, you would say not being able to practice on turf would be a

justifiable reason why CATS may have struggled last Saturday.

Nonetheless, Moe, should now be confident they can win from any situation.

For as long as most people involved in local cricket have remembered, one of Moe’s greatest strengths is they never give up trying to win.

If the Moe team that plays at Ted Summerton during winter could do the same thing, they will surely be better off.

MORWELL snuck in by 15 runs against Latrobe.

A dramatic collapse saw the Sharks lose 6/18 after being 4/124 chasing 157.

Resuming at 0/21 at Peter Siddle Oval, the home side set about chewing away at the total.

Veteran Anthony Bloomfield and skipper Benn Zomer took the score to 1/61, before Zomer became one of two wickets for Mark Cukier after getting to 25.

The finger spinner followed up by trapping Steven Freshwater in front, creating an opportunity for the Tigers to run through the middle order.

Bloomfield was still in however, and shouldered most, if not all, the remaining run-scoring for Latrobe, as those around him did their best to hang around.

The old hands of Bloomfield and Mick Zomer added a handy 36 for the fifth wicket, with the latter seeing off 59 deliveries.

Conditions were clearly treacherous at Peter Siddle Oval. Bloomfield, an ordinarily attacking batsman who generally likes to hit spinners over the top, faced 210 balls in total and spent more than four hours at the crease.

A mix-up saw Zomer run out with Latrobe needing 33 to win.

As is often the case, run-outs lead to collapses, and that is precisely what happened.

Senior Latrobe players Tyron Gamage and Adam Duncan came in to bat with Bloomfield, and by that stage, it became a case of trying to get the set batsman on strike as much as possible.

The Sharks best laid plans fell apart however, as Gamage and Duncan were dismissed within seven runs of each other, which left Bloomfield to bat with the tail.

The match-winner for Morwell came from club legend Steve Bilic, who made sure his 200th wicket for Morwell was one to remember, dismissing Bloomfield for a match-high 80.

Bilic had taken the wicket of Gamage just moments before, which played a key part in the Tigers’ eventual win as Gamage is capable of connecting with a few.

When Bloomfield was dismissed, the score was 8/134, which allowed Morwell a clear path to victory as (in the greatest respect), Latrobe only had kids and guys just starting out in A Grade to come.

Young Shark Liam Duncan showed good application, seeing off 34 balls under pressure, but ball number 35 saw his stumps shattered by Blake Mills, who took the last two wickets to fall.

Mills ended the day with 3/11 off 12 overs, which included his 100th career wicket for the Tigers. He received good support from Cukier (2/35 off 21 with eight maidens) and Bilic (2/6 off seven).

In the washup, Latrobe was all out for 142.

Morwell took not only the win, but also the inaugural Vizard/Giddens Cup.

The cup has been inaugurated this season to honour families of Latrobe and Morwell Cricket Club’s, and their contributions to each.

For the record, at first grade level, the Tigers and Sharks have met on 81 occasions. Morwell has won 41 of those, Latrobe 34, and there has been six draws.

On a side note, like CATS, the Sharks have had plenty to contend with regarding their home ground – this match was the first played at Peter Siddle Oval all season.

RAIDERS gave their past players plenty of entertainment on Saturday.

A topsy-turvy contest eventually ended with Raiders winning on first innings, a somewhat anticlimactic way to finish given that was the result after Day 1.

Heading into Day 2, there was no shortage of hypotheticals facing the Yinnar Turf.

While the home side had already secured first innings points the previous week, there was one small problem – they were only 25 runs ahead with one wicket in hand.

Their opponents, Churchill, arrived knowing they would have to get the remaining wicket as quickly as possible, before setting a fourth innings total to possibly win reverse-outright.

Raiders added 13 runs to their Day 1 score, meaning the Cobras needed to firstly knock off 38 runs, and then give Raiders something to chase.

Churchill turned the game into a one-dayer, and declared at 6/217 after 42 overs.

The equations: Raiders had 180 to chase in around 45 overs if they wanted to walk away with maximum points.

Pushing hard to take six points and a reverse-outright win, the Cobras looked very much on track to achieve that when Raiders sunk to 5/46.

Steve Warr struck the key wickets of Mick Higgins and Alex Burcombe, while Kian Farmworth took three wickets to add to his five-fa in the first dig.

When Warr had Liam Maynard caught, Raiders were 6/68, and the visitors were on the cusp of completing a famous victory.

From there, Raiders stopped worrying about the outright, and focussed on making sure they kept their six points from the first innings win.

They did just that, closing at 6/94 after 44.3 overs.