MCW results prove disappointing





THE Traralgon District Cricket Association and Latrobe Valley District Cricket League were represented throughout Melbourne Country Week last week.

Evidently, both Traralgon and Latrobe Valley struggled, with only one win between them.

Funnily enough, that one win belonged to Traralgon, who defeated Latrobe Valley.

For Traralgon, things were off to a rocky start, when their Round 1 total of 9/191 was successfully chased by Bendigo District Cricket Association with nine overs to spare.

Mitchell Harris and Ryan Morley top-scored for Traralgon with 35 and 31 respectively, but the rest of the order let them down, as Tom Starkey was the only other to score more than 15 runs.

Things did come down to the wire during the chase, as Traralgon were beaten by one wicket, yet their run-rate was well off the pace.

Harris claimed a six-wicket haul during Bendigo’s innings, but it was Starkey who claimed the massive wicket of former Melbourne Renegade Brayden Stepien for 73.

It would have been a nervous ending, that’s for sure, but Traralgon were on the wrong end of the stick.

Traralgon then got their show on the road in Round 2, when they defeated Latrobe Valley.

James Pryde picked up four wickets as Traralgon halted Latrobe Valley to just 133 runs.

In return, Traralgon made the chase looks easy, losing just one wicket in the process.

Anthony Scott top-scored with 75 not out – an innings that included eight boundaries, whereas the only wicket to fall was Lee Stockdale for 21 runs.

Adam Jaensch completed the chase with Scott, doing so in the 22nd over.

In Round 3, Traralgon posted their best score of the tournament against Ballarat Cricket Association; 9/205(cc).

Keenan Hughes was close to a half-century with 46 not out, but ran out of overs to complete the milestone.

Unfortunately for Traralgon, their score was smashed out of the water swiftly, within 32 overs.

The opening three batsmen for Ballarat just about had things wrapped up, with scores of 84, 42 and 60 not out.

The remaining runs trickled over the line as Ballarat went on the win by six wickets.

Traralgon then lost their final game of the tournament to Sale-Maffra, as they were unable to chase the posted total of 279.

Zac Hurley was unstoppable for Sale-Maffra with 91 runs, but his wicket wasn’t as damning, as four more players scored over 25.

In the chase, Morley was able to score a half-century in relatively quick fashion, but once again Traralgon were off the pace.

They were bowled out for 201 with just under five overs left in their innings.

As a result of their four rounds, Traralgon finished fourth out of five in their group, not allowing them to progress to the final.

For the Latrobe Valley, things did not go to plan whatsoever.

In Round 1 they were dismantled by eight wickets by Mornington Peninsula Cricket Association.

Callum Grant was the highlight at the crease, scoring 42, but only another three batsmen would reach double-digits, two of those only managed 10 runs.

Latrobe Valley posted 150, which was chased in under 20 overs, thanks to Mornington Peninsula’s Kierran Voelkl (67 not out) and Aiden McKenna (48).

Grant was the only bowler to take a wicket for the innings.

As previously mentioned, Latrobe Valley were outdone by Traralgon in Round 2.

No one scored over 25 runs during the first innings, where Latrobe Valley posted 133, they were embarrassed in the second innings losing by nine wickets.

In Round 3, Bendigo set a total of 277 to chase, losing eight wickets in the process.

Trafalgar’s Jackson Noonan was the best of the Latrobe Valley bowlers with 3/60, nonetheless the total looked out of reach before the chase had started.

Averaging around 140 runs per innings, Latrobe Valley needed to double that to have any chance to upsetting Bendigo.

This wasn’t the case however, as they were bowled out for 143 with just over eight overs remaining.

Robert Wilkie and Alex Burcombe were shining lights for Latrobe Valley with 37 and 34 runs respectively.

In their final game of the tournament, things got worse, when they were bowled out for 34 against Leongatha District Cricket Association.

In an innings that lasted just over 23 overs, only one player managed double-digits – Josh Monacella with 11 runs.

Seven players scored ducks, two of those were of the golden variety.

Leongatha’s Joel Brann was the most fortunate of their bowling attack with 5/12 from his 10 overs.

In response, Leongatha completed the game in under nine overs, finishing the innings in just over half an hour.

Evidently, Latrobe Valley finished rock bottom of their group; the only team throughout the tournament to go winless.

Ferntree Gully District Cricket Association were the eventual tournament winners, defeating Mornington in the Grand Final.

As a result of their performances, Traralgon and Latrobe Valley weren’t able to hold off relegation, and will compete within Division 2 next time.

For Traralgon, it brings an end to their longest run in the provincial grade.