Round 3 to hopefully go ahead

Leaders: Willow Grove playing-coach Todd Mann and A Grade co-captain Darcy Walsh will hope to get on the park this weekend after the first two rounds of Cricket Latrobe Valley were washed out. Photograph: Liam Durkin





THIRD time lucky hopefully.

Cricket was again washed out last Saturday in Cricket Latrobe Valley.

Persistent rain over Thursday and Friday again put pressure on clubs, so much so the majority of grounds were left unplayable.

Turf wickets again had no chance of getting up, while the league reported just three venues across its entire near-20 club organisation could have seen games go ahead.

As such, the decision was made to abandon play on Friday night.

The situation means the new Cricket Latrobe Valley league is now two rounds in and still yet to see matches played.

Milder weather on Saturday would have been welcome relief for clubs, and the forecast is looking more promising over the next few days, although there are still showers predicted by the end of the week.

Conditions had improved to the extent that Centrals Cricket Club was able to prepare a wicket for the senior Gippsland Cricket League match on Sunday.

Somewhat ironically, Cricket Latrobe Valley has played representative cricket before any club games.

Club matches will hopefully go ahead this weekend for Round 3.

As expected, games from the first two rounds have been entered as ‘abandoned’ on PlayHQ, meaning they more than likely won’t be rescheduled due to how tight the fixture already is.

A rematch of last season’s Traralgon District Cricket Association Grand Final highlights Round 3 in Premier A Grade, as Ex Students host Glengarry.

At the other end of the spectrum, a game carrying some intrigue will see Mirboo North make the trip to play CATS in Traralgon South.

The Tigers gained promotion to Premier A after winning the Latrobe Valley District Cricket League A Grade flag last season, while CATS narrowly avoided the opposite fate, surviving relegation in the final round of the regular season.

Granted teams can change markedly season-to-season, whether or not there is much of gap between a side coming up and a side that nearly went down means this match will be looked upon with interest.

In other games, Toongabbie and Raiders will meet for the first time since Raiders left the TDCA to join LVDCL in 2018. The Rams at home will surely provide good opposition, but equally, Raiders will be up to the challenge, having made the LVDCL Premier A Grand Final a little more than six months ago.

Morwell makes the trip to Churchill, in what could see some friendly fire as ex-teammates come up against each other. Brendan Mason and Ross Whelpdale both played in the first ever LVDCL Premier A flag for Churchill, before moving to Morwell and adding to the collection last season.

Moe has the bye, and will bring the whites out when it plays its first game in the new competition, as two-day matches start next weekend.

In A Grade action, Centrals and Imperials will also play against each other for the first time since the initial TDCA split, taking on each other at Apex Park.

Gormandale and Rovers meet at Stoddart Oval in what looms as an even-money contest.

The Tigers have added some new and returning players to the line-up this season, while the cricket public is still waiting for Rovers to have the breakthrough season predicted in the last couple of years of the TDCA.

As fate would have it, Tyron Bramwell’s first game in a new league could be against his old club if he suits up for Gormandale this weekend.

Willow Grove will honestly fancy their chances against Latrobe.

A one-dayer at home against a side decimated by departures in the offseason could give the Wolves enough reason to believe they can come away with a win.

Traralgon West has the bye, and suddenly has a plethora of options to fill in the time created by no cricket.