CATS get the cream of Under 16 premiership

Good times: CATS celebrates after winning the LVDCL Under 16 premiership. Photographs Liam Durkin





CATS completed a strong season of Under 16 cricket in the Latrobe Valley District Cricket League, winning the competition premiership on Sunday.

After finishing the regular season on top of the ladder, CATS proved they were indeed the best team all season, accounting for Trafalgar in the decider by a comfortable margin of 57 runs.

The Ships decided to bowl first upon winning the toss on Mirboo North Turf, a decision they would come to regret.

Trafalgar had CATS 2/26, before a handy 35-run partnership for the third wicket between Jesse Stevenson and Ben Hagley gave CATS the upper hand.

Stevenson departed for a stoic 21 off 70 balls, while Hagley batted through until there was eight overs left in the 40-over-a-side game.

He finished with 25 off 65 balls, working in tandem with Lachlan Pass, who made the same amount of runs, but with a ‘red ink’ next to his name.

At compulsory close, CATS had 8/111 on the board.

Louis Hennessy took three wickets for Trafalgar, but it was Henry Allsop (son of Yarragon legend John ‘Mantis’ Allsop) who returned the most noteworthy figures, taking 2/11 off eight overs with three maidens.

The Ships were steady in their reply, yet some very tight bowling from Hagley and Stevenson with the new ball meant the pressure gauge that was Trafalgar’s run rate eventually exploded.

Hagley ended up going for just nine runs off his six overs, and Stevenson took 3/7 off his six.

The change bowlers were equally effective. Brody Stevenson and Evan Pass were introduced before drinks, and had immediate effect, each taking a wicket.

At the halfway mark, the Ships were facing an equation that required them to go at four-an-over; a task that became insurmountable.

From 2/38, Trafalgar soon found itself 5/48.

If signs weren’t pointing to a CATS flag then, they soon were, as the Ships lost 4/0 to sink even further in arrears.

With the inscription now firmly on the trophy, Jonathan Cullen had the distinction of taking the winning wicket.

Trafalgar was bowled out for 54, of which, Allsop made 26.

James Guy sent down a destructive spell, snaring 4/7 off six overs with four maidens, taking the wicket that ignited Trafalgar’s dramatic collapse.

CATS players were greeted by supporters and parents post-game, making their way down the hill at Mirboo North to be with them out on the ground.

The host club put on a tremendous show, with the excellent wicket and afternoon tea complemented by warm cricket weather.

Amazingly, a number of CATS players on the day were still eligible for Under 10s, answering the call to play after a school camp left the team short.

Talk about mixing with the big boys. Imagine seeing Grade 4s at school playing with the Year 10s at recess.

Umpires Dean Treloar and Tony Flinn awarded player-of-the-match honours to Lachlan Pass.

League awards were also handed out at the presentation.

CATS’ Josh Bellingham won the batting and bowling average, while teammate Ben Hagley won the batting aggregate.

Like the 2003 Brownlow, there was three winners of the Graeme Freshwater Medal for the league best and fairest.

Steven Freshwater presented the medals on behalf of his dad to Hagley and Latrobe’s Jacob Bloomfield, while Centrals’ Tarkyn Shankland was absent.

Top shelf: League award winners Josh Bellingham, Ben Hagley and Jacob Bloomfield.