Top four locked and loaded




THE penultimate round of the Traralgon District Cricket Association season locked in the top four teams to play finals in 2022/23.

With no possibility of the top four clubs moving in ladder position after next round, it means all of the seasons finalists will have an eye on their semi-finals, and will use this coming weekend as a chance to tune up for that.

Still, this past weekend has seen some big performances and had some crucial results for the winners.

MATCH of the round between Yarram District and Glengarry lived up to the hype.

Glengarry travelled to Yarram for the first time in A Grade.

The Pelicans won the toss and batted first, with Anthony Scott and Jack Moore opening up.

Scott was the first wicket to fall with the score on 20, as the hard-hitting superstar was removed for just four, but this brought the in-form Daniel O’Keefe to the crease, who put on 40 with Moore for the second wicket before Moore was dismissed on 24.

O’Keefe showed his class as he went on to top-score for the home team with 57, but a middle order collapse had the home team in trouble at 6/140.

Jeremy Babb tried all he could batting at eight, making a fast 32 from 27 balls, but the tail didn’t wag for Yarram, and the home team was bowled out in the last over of the innings for 187.

Glengarry used six bowlers for the day and every bowler claimed a wicket, with Brandon Mayberry being the best, walking away with 4/25.

The Magpies started strong in their run chase, putting on 50 for the first wicket to give themselves a great platform for victory.

However, when Kelly Griffiths got Al Jenkin out for 33 and then Nat Freitag for a second ball duck, Yarram were back in the hunt.

Frank Marks was still at the crease though and when he was joined by older brother Sam, the two put on 41 before Sam was out to the bowling of Babb.

Nathan Allen then made a good 31 as the score continued to grow until the 46th over where Glengarry moved past the Yarram total, taking out the win and guaranteeing the minor premiership.

A well-measured Frank Marks was the difference in the match, as the opening batsman faced 114 balls for his 69 not out in what is a very good sign for Glengarry as they move into finals.

As mentioned, Glengarry are locked into top spot and will face Toongabbie in the semi-final in a fortnight’s time.

No doubt they will be aiming to use their match-up against bottom placed Gormandale this weekend as a chance to get things right before finals, and maybe get some game time into a couple of players who haven’t had much time in the middle. Yarram District will face Imperials this weekend, in a match that will have Daniel O’Keefe (494 runs) going up against Ryan Morley (499 runs) for the TDCA A Grade batting aggregate award for season 22/23.

TOONGABBIE took on Gormandale at the home of cricket, Stoddart Oval.

The Rams entered the match knowing that a win would lock them into the finals with a round to go.

Gormandale won the toss and batted first, confident they could apply pressure to Toongabbie by posting a good score on their home ground.

Keenan Hughes had other ideas though as the big quick had Gormandale in all sorts, bowling Chris Lehner for a duck and Matt Hibbs for one, while also dismissing Tyler Reynolds caught and bowled for two to have Gormandale 3/7 in quick time. The fightback came in the form of Campbell Peavey, who contributed largely to a 71 fourth wicket partnership of 71.

Once a wicket fell a few more fell in quick time, and the Tigers went from 3/78 to 7/90 with the dangerous Peavey out for a well-made 43 from 83 balls. James Jacobsen added 15 batting at number eight to take the score up to 122.

Toongabbie set the tone early and didn’t allow Gormandale to score freely at all.

Hughes starred, taking the incredible figures of 5/9 from his 10 overs, while Ben Fleming and the evergreen Tom Shippen both claimed two wickets each.

It was an all familiar tale for the Tigers as they would need early wickets to have any sort of shot at winning.

This came as Tim Dunn was bowled with the score on three. The Tigers created chances but let them slip, dropping three catches in the space of five overs which allowed Toongabbie to relax and go on to form partnerships which would eventually win the game.

An amazing direct hit run out of James Chalmers from Tyler Reynolds had some feathers ruffled but this brought Kevin ‘Pockets’ Stoddart to the crease, who made 28 not out to guide his team home.

Yohan Soyza was the best bowler for Gormandale, claiming 2/18 while Adam Brady took two wickets himself, finishing with 2/38.

Toongabbie now face Rovers this week as Keenan Hughes (31 wickets) will shoot it out with Simon Duff (30 wickets) to see who takes out the A Grade bowling aggregate for the season, while Gormandale face the challenge of a focused Glengarry for their last match of the season.

ROVERS had the chance to stay in touch with the top four.

They needed to knock over second-placed Ex Students, but it was a disaster for the home team right from word go.

Rovers were 3/44 at one stage, but a Lee Stockdale masterclass stopped any chances of Rovers from posting a decent score, as he snicked off Dougal Williams for a duck, had Ewan Williams stumped for a duck and then had Lachlan Patterson out caught for a duck, ripping the heart out of Rovers and being the main reason why they could only muster up 83 from 35 overs.

Stockdale finished with the superb figures of 6/18 from 10 overs, while Daniel Churchill claimed 3/18.

Ex Students made short work of the run chase, losing only two wickets in the process, as the returning Rick Battista top-scored with 28 not out from 32 balls.

The Sharks would have wanted a decent hit after playing Gormandale the previous week, and Rovers last week ahead of the bye in the final round, but still, they will use the week off to freshen up as their next match will be a semi-final against Yarram District.

It will be all about individual accolades now for Rovers, who have Dougal Williams sitting third in the batting for the league and Simon Duff second for the bowling aggregate with one round to go.

IMPERIALS had the bye.

B Grade

GORMANDALE recorded their first win for the season in the B Grade against second-placed Toongabbie.

In what was the biggest upset of the season, Gormandale, playing with only 10 players, smashed 5/220 thanks mainly to Brendan Peavey who made 85 opening the batting for the Tigers.

Toongabbie lost wickets early but Michael Dunn continued his fantastic form with a well-made 81, but the Tigers were able to close out the game, dismissing Toongabbie for 206 which has now stopped any chances of Toongabbie finishing top of the ladder this season.

Yarram District lost to a Glengarry team who have come from the clouds to now find themselves sitting fourth on the ladder.

Andrew Dunkley made 50 not out for the Pelicans as they finished on 135, with Andrew Winter claiming 4/28 to be the best performed bowler for the home team.

It was a tense run chase but Glengarry got there in the end, with Chris Dunn top-scoring with 37.

Ex Students smashed last year’s premier, Rovers, by 187 runs at Terry Hunter Oval.

The Sharks amassed 9/267 from their 45 overs, as Kade Duncan made a well-made 45 not out to be the home team’s best.

A young Rovers team were out of their depth in the chase, knocked over for 80 as six bowlers took wickets for Ex Students.

The win solidifies top spot on the B Grade ladder for the Sharks.

C Grade

GLENGARRY won a good game of C Grade over Rovers, chasing down Rovers’ 191 with an over to spare.

Rovers opening batsman Darren Brain top-scored with 77, while Ash Hodson made a good 64 not out for Glengarry to secure the win and lock the Magpies into third on the ladder with one match to go.

In a tense match, Toongabbie ruined Imperials chances of playing finals this season, dismissing them for 112 thanks to a Mark Cooper five wicket haul.

Toongabbie was in trouble early as Imperials quick Joel Randall claimed 3/19 to have the Rams 6/53, but Aaron Wood and Rowan Farley save the team home with a 61-run partnership.

In what is predicted to be a Grand Final preview, Ex Students had a good win over Yarram District.

The Sharks knocked up 4/227 and then rolled the Pelicans for 172, winning the game by 55 runs and securing the minor premiership as well.