Morwell takes the minor premiership into finals

File photograph





BATTLES with different meanings featured in the last round of Latrobe Valley District Cricket League Premier A.

At one end, the fight for the minor premiership was on; and at the other – the fight to avoid relegation.

MORWELL claimed top spot after disposing Churchill with relative ease.

The Tigers wasted no time chasing the 181 it needed for victory, racing across the line in 36 overs on Day 2.

The win saw Morwell dethrone the Cobras in first place on the ladder, and at the perfect time, as they now get first choice of venue for the semi final.

Resuming Day 2 at 1/28, the Tigers got going after an early loss left them 2/36.

Blair Clymo and Mark Cukier built a steady partnership, putting on 75 for the third wicket.

Perhaps fittingly, given it was 12 months since Shane Warne’s death, Clymo, who started his career as a leg-spinner, batted for part of his innings in a wide-brimmed hat.

Clymo walked off Keegan Street with 37 next to his name, paving the way for Brendan Mason to come in and do what he does best – score at a rate of knots.

Mason did just that, hitting two sixes and five fours to remain unbeaten on 41 off 31 balls once the game was won.

Cukier played a steady hand, hitting 11 fours and a six during his 74 not out.

Cukier dabbed like it was 2017 again, gliding a large percentage of his runs down the gully.

Having past the required total, Morwell found little point batting on, so the match was brought to an early end.

Churchill’s Steve Warr had some success with the ball, taking 2/39 off 16.1 overs, which included eight maidens.

RAIDERS won as predicted, but made something of a meal of what looked to be a straightforward run chase.

Heading into Day 2 needing only 37 to win with nine wickets in hand against Moe at Ted Summerton, Raiders lost four more wickets on their way to victory.

What’s more, it took them 23 overs to do so.

The visitors middle order crumbled, only returning single figure scores, showing a scoreboard that read 5/99.

After what the Lions were able to do against CATS (defending exactly the same total) there may have been some in the Moe camp entertaining thoughts of a repeat performance.

Raiders skipper Liam Maynard however made sure no such thing would happen, seeing his side over the line with an unbeaten 26.

Royce Colgrave bowled well for Moe, taking 2/11 off nine overs with four maidens for good measure.

SORRY Latrobe, ya playing on hard decks next season.

The Sharks lost the relegation battle to CATS, and as such, will drop down to A Grade in 2023/24.

While the scoreboard says Latrobe lost by 110 runs, one could argue they actually lost by 15 overs.

Had the Sharks survived a further 15 overs at John Black Oval, they would have forced a draw, which would have been enough to avoid relegation.

As it was however, CATS took the win it needed, and avoided the ignominy of going from premier to wooden spooner.

Latrobe signalled its intentions of blocking out the day early in the piece, and the efforts of all batsman demonstrated a clear focus on minimising risk by eliminating shot play.

Ronnie Chokununga faced 126 balls for his 32. An innings of irony considering 28 of those runs came in boundaries.

Steven Freshwater saw off 87 balls for 23, and Anu Meenaksi 54 for 18.

Meenakshi and co faced a hostile Cal Stewart, who was by all reports ‘running in from the fence’.

The paceman ended with figures of 5/32 off 23 overs, yet it was young spinner Harry Cooper who provided just as many challenges.

Cooper, who bowls left handed and throws right handed, took 4/34 off 22 overs, with nine maidens thrown in.

His efforts ripped the Sharks middle order apart, as his four scalps were between numbers four and eight.

Latrobe sank to 7/89, from which time all they could do was hope the remaining batsman could hang on.

Veteran Adam Duncan and young gun Jacob Bloomfield did well, with the latter seeing off 31 balls, and the latter 71.

However, Duncan’s 72nd ball proved his undoing, and his dismissal secured the 10th and final wicket for CATS.

Latrobe has wasted no time getting ready for next season, and is already advertising for a senior coach.