Yarram District make the most of home wicket

STAFF WRITERS

CRICKET

TDCA

A HUGE week of cricket was completed at the weekend, with Saturday making the last day of a long week for the 19 players who represented the Traralgon District Cricket Association at Country Week in Melbourne.

Still, there was games to be won back at club land, as finals spots and home finals continue to be on the line every round.

IT was billed as the most even match-up for the round, as third-placed Yarram District hosted Toongabbie for the first time at the Yarram Recreation Reserve.

The Rams looked undermanned as they made their way over the hill. Rob Wheildon and Kev Stoddart were not in the line-up which meant the Rams top two run scorers for the season were not in the team.

The home side finally won a toss at home and took full advantage of batting first on what is fast becoming known as the best batting wicket in the TDCA.

It was hard work from the get go as Toongabbie just couldn’t make inroads into the Pelicans top order.

When the score was on 126 Matt Barry was able to strike twice and take Yarram District from 1/126 to 3/126 and try to build some momentum with the ball, but the Pelicans batsmen were able to combat anything the Rams threw at them. With some luck due to drop catches, the Pelicans were able to cash in and bring the total to 4/254 at compulsory closure of play.

Anthony Scott opening the batting made a measured 69, and Griffin Underwood got a good 25 not out, but the innings was defined by an in-form Daniel O’Keefe, who after arriving at the crease in the 10th over batted brilliantly, making 119 from 130 balls which included 11 boundaries and four big sixes.

O’Keefe was dismissed on the last ball of the Yarram District innings, and if he had not been dismissed on that ball doing the team thing, he would currently be leading the TDCA A Grade batting average. Still, he gets to claim the third TDCA A Grade hundred for the season, and be the first Yarram District cricketer to score a hundred on their turf wicket.

With their two highest run scorers not playing, it was always going to be a challenge for the Rams, and they were completely outclassed as Kelly Griffiths knocked over the top order, taking 3/19.

O’Keefe did the damage through the middle, claiming 3/24, and Underwood finished the Rams off taking 4/15 himself.

Jim Chalmers and Tom Shippen were the best batsmen for the away team, making 26 and 21 respectively, but the home side made sure it secured the bonus point as the Rams came up 131 runs short.

Yarram are now locked into third on the ladder and will most likely face Ex Students in the semi-final unless something crazy happens over the next two rounds.

Toongabbie meanwhile, only needs to beat bottom-placed Gormandale next week to guarantee finals this season.

GLENGARRY was back in action after a bye and a washout, which meant the A Grade team hadn’t played for two weeks.

They were taking on Imperials at Catterick Crescent, which will be the venue for the A Grade Grand Final this season, so any use of the wicket leading up to the finals was going to be crucial for the Magpies’ premiership aspirations.

Batting first, Glengarry was in a bit of trouble early as Frank Marks, Nat Freitag and Al Jenkin were all back in the sheds, but Sam Marks and Nathan Allen were able to steady the ship as the two put on 124 for the fourth wicket, before Sam Marks was dismissed for a well-made 53.

When Allen was dismissed 20 runs later just three runs short of his half-century, the score was on 171. Then thanks to some Ben Marks and Lachlan Clark lower order hitting, the visitors were able to complete their 50 overs with the score at 7/210.

Without Cam Graham to take the new ball, Ryan Morley settled in pretty well and got his team off to a good start, making 42 before being dismissed by Max Merton.

Morley’s wicket meant that Dilshan Thhillekarathna took the responsibility as the mainstay batsman, and would have had Glengarry a little worried before being run out for 46.

Imperials continued to fight through Scott Aitken who got 35 himself, but in the end they just ran out of time.

Imperials batted their allotted overs to finish 7/185 as Max Merton was the best bowler for Glengarry, claiming two wickets.

Imperials showed good signs, only losing by 25 runs to the top team, which is a great effort for a young side and it certainly gives them something to build on into next season. Glengarry will have been grateful to blow a bit of rust off and get themselves ready for this Saturday, where they take on Yarram District at the Yarram Recreation Reserve.

SOME tired players took the field for Ex Students last weekend.

The Sharks had 10 players filter in-and-out of the Country Week team throughout the week leading up to this match against Gormandale.

The Tigers were without captain Adam Brady, which left a big hole to fill, but if there was ever going to be a chance to upset Ex Students, it was certainly after a tough Country Week campaign.

Gormandale won the toss and chose to bat on a very hard Terry Hunter Oval wicket.

The Tigers applied themselves to show enough of their capabilities, but still lost wickets regularly, which halted any momentum getting built throughout the innings.

Matt Hibbs top-scored for the visiting team with 35, and Yohan Soyza made a good 29 not out, but three late wickets in the 41st over meant any chance of getting to a score of 160-plus was over as Andy Matthews finished the Tigers off claiming 5/24 from 7.4 overs with all of his wickets bowled.

With an eye on next season, 18-year-old Campbell Peavey was given the new ball, and up the other end, 17-year-old left armer Ethan Jarvis got the responsibility of getting the Tigers off to a good start to have any chance of a miracle upset.

The young bowlers got some good experience and Peavey was able to find some rhythm, running in with a strong breeze behind him as he shortened up a couple of the Ex Students batsmen, getting two wickets in the process.

At 2/15, Gormandale had a sniff, but as quick as the wickets fell the game was taken away by Mitch Harris (39) and an in-form Jackson McMahon, who ended the innings 63 not out.

It was a comprehensive victory for Ex Students, who not only claimed the win but a bonus point for their efforts, which has them edging ever closer to Glengarry on top of the ladder.

It was obvious Gormandale were outmatched, but again some positive signs are there with some of the younger players at the club starting to show their potential.

Gormandale will have all eyes on them this week against Toongabbie, because if they upset the Rams, a final round showdown for fourth position on the ladder will await the following week between Toongabbie and Rovers.

B Grade:

TOONGABBIE had a good win over Yarram District, jumping the Pelicans on the ladder in the process to now sit second on the B Grade ladder.

The Pelicans batted first, making 8/190 from their full allotment of overs.

Peter Griffiths top-scored on 65.

Toongabbie started a little sluggish, but Michael Dunn (60 not out) and Kev Stoddart (73 not out) were just far too good as the home team passed Yarram’s score three down in 35 overs.

Imperials were premiership favourites three weeks ago, but have since lost to Toongabbie and now fifth-placed Glengarry, who now sit three points behind Imperials on the ladder.

Glengarry dominated this match, making 5/208 in the innings thanks mainly to Paul Henry who carried his bat for 102 not out.

Mick McNulty top-scored for Imperials, as they were dismissed for 121 in 33.2 overs thanks to James Porter who claimed 3/19 and Jay Francis who claimed 3/34.

Ex Students have continued their winning ways over Gormandale, although if the home team didn’t drop so many catches the game may have been different.

Ex Students batted first, making 168, with Michael Warne top-scoring on 30.

Nathan Heard (3/19) and Cooper White (3/51) were the Tigers best bowlers.

Ex Students then applied the pressure to Gormandale with the ball, as the home team were all out for 98.

Joel Thomson continued his fantastic form with the ball, claiming 3/10 from five overs.

C Grade:

GLENGARRY was well beaten by Yarram District, who found contributions with the bat from Andrew Dunkley. The father of the AFL star made 57.

In other games, Rovers defeated Toongabbie, while Ex Students were too strong for Imperials.