Pelicans book their ticket to finals in the TDCA

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




VICTORIAN weather was on show again last weekend, as the Traralgon District Cricket Association went from sweltering in 36 degree heat the Saturday before, to pulling out the jumpers and vests as the temperature didn’t get over 17.

The wet weather caused one match in A Grade, one match in B Grade and two matches in C Grade to be abandoned without a ball being bowled, but that still left five matches to be played across the round which was a great result from the league’s hard- working curators.

PLAY didn’t get underway at Catterick Crescent between Imperials and Ex Students until well into the afternoon.

When showers finally cleared it left enough time for a twenty20 to be played.

The wicket had been under cover for quite a time, but confident in his knowledge of his home deck, Ryan Morley won the toss and batted first.

Being a T20, Imperials were hoping to start well while the field was up, but the Sharks pressure was on them from ball one, and the home team was unable to score a boundary until the fifth over which actually came from a wide.

Morley was dismissed the over before which left Tom Starkey to shoulder the burden of being the mainstay. Although wickets seemed to fall around him regularly, he constructed a fine 41 before being given out plumb in front from Lee Stockdale.

Morley (14) and Starkey were the only batsmen to get to double figures, and although the home team battled hard, the Ex Students pressure was just too much as only five boundaries were scored off the bat throughout the Imperials innings.

Ex Students as a unit bowled extremely well, with only one bowler (who bowled multiple overs) going at over five-an-over which in a T20 is extraordinary.

Andrew Matthews collected the best figures, which was helped by the last over of Imperials innings where he claimed 3/3 and had a run out in the over as well.

Michael Bentley was the other multiple wicket taker, while Stockdale, Pryde and Harris all claimed one.

Ex Students didn’t want to leave the game to chance and wanted it over and done with before any more rain came through.

Captain Pryde opened with Stockdale and hard-hitting Adam Jaensch, and the pair got the score to 32 after just four overs.

The bowling duo of Scott Aitken and Dilshan Thillekarathna were able to stop the flow of runs a little, but the score continued to climb due to Ex Students intent and good running between wickets.

When Joel Randall was brought on in the eighth over the score was 0/51, but once he completed it, Jaensch had taken it up to 70. Randall fought back to claim two wickets late, but the game was all but over as Stockdale and Jaensch were dismissed for scores of 43.

A good win and a bonus point has Ex Students on the hunt for top spot, and although Glengarry are still six points clear, there is still enough time for the Sharks to reach the top of the ladder.

For Imperials, the toll of playing 18 straight months of cricket might be catching up to Ryan Morley, as he has only made 35 runs in four hits since Christmas.

With Toongabbie and Glengarry coming up, he will enjoy the extra pace on the ball and hopefully find that early season form which had him smashing the ball hard and taking on all bowlers.

ROVERS made the trip to Yarram and although the weather wasn’t great over the hill, this match enjoyed the most play in regards to available overs.

Rovers batted first and were able to get scoring, but a rain delay stopped play and the 42 overs they had scheduled at the start of the match was reduced back to 36.

The delay didn’t stop Ewan Williams who made a good score of 77, which helped his team get to a total of 7/180 adjusted due to Duckworth Lewis.

Yarram’s bowlers are still getting use to the new wicket, but Daniel O’Keefe is loving the new deck as he hits the wicket hard and presents the seam consistently ,which helped him claim four wickets in the innings.

Jeremy Babb was the other wicket taker for the Pelicans, claiming 3/30 in another good display of spin bowling.

Knowing the total required, the Pelicans would have been confident, but things didn’t start well with Dylan Rash and Anthony Scott both making ducks.

This meant Daniel O’Keefe got to work and went about making a good 50, while Nick Milne and Griffin Underwood helped things along as well.

It was the same old story for Rovers, who let themselves down by dropping catches, but they were still in the game right up until the end of the day. Jeremy Babb got the home team over the line with a good 19 not out to have Yarram claim the points eight wickets down.

A win would have had Rovers in the top four, but now they will have to ensure they beat Gormandale this week to stay in touch with a finals spot, while Yarram have cemented a finals berth. It’s just up to them now whether or not they can claim a home final.

UNFORTUNATELY for the Ries/Timmins Cup, the match between Glengarry and Toongabbie was washed out before a ball was bowled.

The washout helps the Rams a little as they have now moved one point further ahead of Rovers, who sit in fifth position on the ladder, but for Glengarry, they will want to get out on the park and not let Ex Students sneak up on them in the final rounds of the regular season.

B Grade

THINGS are heating up in the lower grades of the TDCA, even if the weather is cold.

Yarram District have passed Ex Students and now sit top of the ladder after defeating Rovers at Duncan Cameron Park on Saturday.

Rovers batted first and never really got going, as they quickly lost wickets in a rain affected first innings.

The halt in play meant the Rovers’ overs were reduced to 30, and although the young team fought hard they could still only manage 8/96 at compulsory closure.

Jesse Carney was a shining light, with the youngster making 31 from 33 balls, while another young bat, Oliver Grant, fought hard for his 13 from 32 balls.

The Pelicans then went about chasing down the total as quickly as possible, and were able to do so in 20 overs.

Michael Lush was the best performer of the day, as he finished 51 not out opening the batting, which proved to be the difference in the match.

Again, this was a crucial win for Yarram District, who now sit top of the B Grade ladder by just one point, while last year’s premier, Rovers, have a strong focus on junior development at the moment in B Grade and are starting to get some reward for it with the youngsters taking their opportunities.

Out at Roger Ries Oval, rain also caused issues at the start of the match but a result was still able to be achieved which Glengarry would have been incredibly happy with.

The home team batted first, buoyed by the fact that James Chalmers was lining up in the team for the first time this season.

To the Rams delight he had immediate impact and made a very nice 48 not out, opting for the red ink instead of raising the bat. The in-form Michael Dunn was the other significant contributor with 44, and although the ground was wet the wicket was in good condition and Toongabbie finished their 24 overs 5/120.

The shorter format certainly suited the Glengarry boys though, and Chris Dunn (27), Andrew Winter (28) and Brandon Francis (39) were able to chase down Toongabbies total in the 23rd over.

Brady Hood was the only multiple wicket taker for the match, claiming 2/20, and did his best to get Toongabbie the win, but Glengarry was too strong and now sit six points behind the Rams on the B Grade ladder in fifth.

C Grade

ONLY one match was able to be played in C Grade, but it had huge ramifications for the teams just outside the top four, as it left Imperials within reaching distance.

Imperials batted first and managed to bat out their total overs which gave them a chance.

The Glengarry bowlers worked hard and were rewarded as Wayne Hutchieson and Ashleigh Hodson both walked away with three wicket hauls.

With 110 to chase, Glengarry would have been confident, but when Ash Hodson was dismissed the visitors were in with a chance.

Daniel Morris and Justin Shankland did all they could with the ball, but a match-winning knock of 62 from Shinu Saju meant the home side walked away victors, chasing down Imperials’ total for the loss of seven wickets.

With Toongabbie (sixth) and Rovers (fifth) sharing the points with top of the table Ex Students and Yarram District, it now means Imperials are just half a game clear in fourth spot, and a win from either club behind them on the ladder in the next few weeks could see a big shift in the top four.