TDCA warms up for finals




THE Traralgon District Cricket Association regular season came to a close on Saturday.

A highly anticipated finals series is set to grip Traralgon this coming weekend.

The top four was already set going into the final round, but it was still crucial for the teams set to play finals to get a good hit-out and try to build some momentum into the next weekend.

TOONGABBIE struggled to get up for the fight against a frustratingly good Rovers team.

Rovers were frustratingly good because they saved their best game of the season for the final round when finals were out of reach.

It’s a shame, as the young Rovers team is chock full of talent but have let themselves down by letting games slip which cost them a finals berth in the end.

Batting first at Roger Ries Oval after being sent in, Rovers didn’t lose a wicket until 63 was on the board thanks to opening batsmen Tyler Pearce (41) and Simon Duff (32).

Liam Little continued setting the strong platform for a large score with a well-made 35, which then set up Ewan Williams to make a good 42 from 58 balls, taking the score up to 200.

The visitors finished up 7/219.

Olly Mason whacked a quick 17 from 12 balls. The home team had no answers for the plucky Rovers outfit who didn’t allow any bowlers to get more than two wickets. Rams veteran Tom Shippen was the best, claiming 2/19 from his eight overs.

The Rams never got out of second gear in the run chase, and could only manage a couple partnerships of over 20.

Rovers continued to take wickets at regular intervals as seven bowlers were used and they all took a wicket, including wicket keeper Tyler Pearce.

Toongabbie ended up all out in the 32nd over for just 112, 107 runs short.

Rovers will be pleased with such an emphatic win for their final game of the season, but will be left with a bitter taste in their mouth knowing this may have been a season that got away.

Toongabbie will now need to regroup as they prepare to take on a strong Glengarry team in the semi-final. If they don’t, they’re in trouble of a big loss this coming weekend.

GORMANDALE headed to Fred King Oval in a David vs Goliath battle.

Gormandale went into the match sitting on the bottom of the ladder, while the Magpies were unable to be knocked off the top.

The Tigers batted first and built a 50-run opening partnership, but quickly went from 0/50 to 4/69 and were looking down the barrel of another lowly score.

Some missed opportunities helped the Tigers, in particular Matt Hibbs who went on to make 37 after being dropped four times, while recently re-signed Yohan Soyza batted beautifully to fall just short of a 50, remaining 48 not out at the close of the innings as Gormandale finished 7/155.

The Tigers threw a mixed bag at Glengarry in the early overs of the Magpies’ innings, but managed to have the home team 2/22 with Brandon Mayberry and Al Jenkin back in the sheds.

Dropping Nat Freitag on 20 took the wind out of the Tigers sails, and from then on Glengarry were able to dictate terms.

Cam Graham returned from injury with a well-made 46 not out, but Freitag gained some much needed time in the middle and smashed 71 not out to guide his team home in under 30 overs.

Glengarry will be confident going into the semi-final against Toongabbie, as some of their big names are hitting some good form at the moment.

Gormandale will be relieved the season is over as it has been one to forget, but still some green shoots are there for the future and the Tigers are working hard already on next season.

IMPERIALS travelled to Yarram in the hope to go a bit better than last time they made the trip there when they got rolled for a score of 80.

The home team won the toss and batted first but were in trouble early at 2/17 due to some good fast bowling from Englishman Tom Starkey.

Ant Scott wasn’t having any trouble though as he plundered 57 from 68 balls to top score for the day.

A mini-collapse happened through the middle order but some rear-guard action from Jack Moore and Griffin Underwood took the Pelicans total up to 167.

Starkey was superb for Imperials, claiming 4/26 from just 6.1 overs as he gave his team a big chance to secure a win in their final game of the season.

A good start had Imps in the box seat with Ryan Morley and Dom Thompson putting on 54 before Morley was dismissed.

The rot then set in as Imperials lost their next nine wickets for 58 runs, as an unlikely win was ripped away from them thanks to the bowling efforts of Brayden Askew who claimed 5/16, while Jack Collins took three wickets himself.

Imperials ended up all out for 122, 45 runs short of what could have been a good win, but as the visitors found out, when Yarram get on a roll – they are hard to stop.

Still, Imperials showed plenty of fight all season and have lots of upside going into 2023/24.

If Starkey comes back they will have genuine match-winners with himself and Ryan Morley, while the young players around the club like Dom Thompson, Hunter Dunstan and Ryan Bosch have showed signs of being future stars.

Yarram District now head into a semi-final against Ex Students in what will be a brilliant game to watch and no doubt the Pelicans will go into the game full of confidence.

The Sharks head into the finals fresh off a bye.

B Grade

YARRAM District shattered Imperials’ chances of a finals berth, beating them by 51 runs at Catterick Crescent.

Batting first, the Pelicans made 7/180 thanks to a Peter Griffiths’ 53.

Imperials seemed to be in a hurry with the bat, and although Jordan Anderson took it up to the Pelican bowlers with a hard hitting 68, the highly regarded Imperials were dismissed for 122 as Josh Jennings was the only other batter to make double figures.

Trent Crawford was the best bowler for Yarram, taking 3/15, but Griffiths was the difference, taking three wickets himself in a top all-round effort.

GLENGARRY won a thriller over Gormandale winning by two wickets at Stoddart Oval.

Gormandale batted first, making 140 as Gavin Swan top scored with 44.

Paul Henry who took 5/26 with the ball then went about opening the batting and made 86 not out to win the game for his team and cement a spot in the finals.

This should have all other finalists worried as Glengarry are storming towards the Grand Final.

TOONGABBIE made short work of Rovers, making 5/217 with Adam Hood the standout smashing 72 from 66 balls.

Rovers didn’t get close as they were knocked over for 139.

Matt Whitechurch claimed 3/33 for Toongabbie which now has the Rams playing in a home final this coming weekend.

C Grade

Toongabbie 127 (S Veneman 63, B Wall 22, T Dwyer 4/35) lost to Glengarry 5/130 (S Saju 77*, J Wall 2/45; Yarram District 7/241 (A Smith 3/39) defeated Imperials 75 (D Morris 27); Ex Students 6/316 (D Millington 93, D Pryde 58*, P Hennessy 37, H Martin 2/34) defeated Rovers 129 (A Donoghue 53, A Van Zuyden 39, D McGregor 4/28, L Richards 3/28).


Saturday, March 11

A Grade

Glengarry vs Toongabbie (at Fred King Oval)

Ex Students vs Yarram District (Terry Hunter Oval)

B Grade

Toongabbie vs Yarram District (Roger Ries Oval)

Ex Students vs Glengarry (Stoddart Oval)

C Grade

Ex Students vs Rovers (Old Trafford)

Yarram District vs Glengarry (Tarraville)