Pies swooping to outright

File photograph






SCORES at opposite ends of the scale highlighted Premier A action in Cricket Latrobe Valley at the weekend.

Round 4 saw the first of two day matches in the new league, as players settled in for the long haul.


CLASS is permanent.

Lee Stockdale showed every bit of the class that saw him dominate Traralgon District cricket for more than a decade, scoring an unbeaten 153 for Ex Students against Moe.

The former Victoria Country captain made the ultimate first impression, batting most of the innings as the Sharks declared with 253 on the board.

While a player the calibre of Stockdale batting on Ted Summerton Reserve was probably always a recipe for runs, the fact the next highest score was 26 underpinned just how grand an innings it was.

“Any danger boys?”

Stockdale found himself in the middle after Ex Students lost two early wickets courtesy of some polite bowling by Clinton Taylor, before putting on a couple of partnerships with skipper Jimmy Pryde and Mitch Harris.

In a week where Stockdale’s brother Michael was appointed senior coach of Woodside District Football-Netball Club, his ton added to a big few days for the family.

It is worth noting Stockdale crafted out a proper innings, with his 153 coming off 232 balls.

Further to that, Moe didn’t bowl terribly either after electing to do so at the toss. Most of their bowlers went at threes in what could have been seen as simple, good two day cricket where both sides enjoyed periods of momentum.

Left arm orthodox Callum Grant put in a 29-over shift and finished with 3/70 with seven maidens, while Taylor took 2/33.

The Sharks decided to have a crack at Moe before stumps, challenging the Lions to see out three overs.

Ex Students got the wicket they desired, and will go into Day 2 with a bit of a head start.

While it is said the period just before stumps is the worst time to bat, that argument could be challenged when you consider the time of day most, if not all, people bat at training.

With 253 to get, the Lions will now turn to their top order to negotiate the pace of Harris and bowling machine-like accuracy of Adam Brady, who has bolstered the Sharks’ stocks further after joining from Gormandale.

The Lions’ campaign has been dealt a blow with the absence of gun left hand bat Joel Mitchell, although they still have players such as Riley Baldi, Benn Zomer, Rob Phoenix and of course, Andrew Philip able to chip away significantly into the 250 required.

During Moe’s eight-in-a-row premiership dynasty in Central Gippsland, there was always talk of how the Lions would fare against a side like Ex Students.

Admittedly both sides have changed since then (some 10-12 years ago), although two of the best players from either team haven’t in Philip and Stockdale.

A degree of interest therefore will greet local pundits on Day 2 to possibly see if there is in fact any gap between the two.


MIRBOO NORTH will be doing a rain dance this week.

The Tigers have already lost on first innings against Glengarry, who are currently 79 runs ahead with seven wickets in the shed.

Taking to Fred King Oval, the visitor’s were shot out for just 75 in little more than 50 overs.

Nathan Allen and Cam Graham did the damage for Glengarry, taking six wickets between them.

Max Merton chipped in with 2/7 off seven overs, as the procession of wickets continued.

Mirboo North captain Ben Heath did his best with 23, while Brett Pedlow came in at seven and saw off some critical time, making 23 off 75 balls, as did Dale Banks who survived more than 10 overs worth.

The total was never likely to be enough, and the Magpies secured first innings points without losing a wicket.

Frank Marks scored 41 off 53 balls, and Al Jenkin struck at over 100 in his 35 of 34.

Mirboo North had some joy, dismissing Nat Freitag for a first ball duck thanks to golden arm Max Woodall. The youngster has taken two of the biggest wickets in the competition in consecutive weeks, knocking over Cal Stewart from CATS the week before.

The dismissal of Freitag meant Mirboo North avoided the possibility of chasing even more leather, and no doubt some players wearing yellow and black were thinking words to the effect of ‘thank God for that’ when he walked off.

There was little reprieve however, as Sam Marks came in and went to stumps unbeaten on 51, along with Graham who will continue his innings on 23.

Woodall took two wickets, disturbing the timber on both occasions.

Glengarry will likely aim to bat for a session on Day 2 and look to get a lead of 200 before going for an outright.


MORWELL has victory in sight.

The Tigers need just three wickets to beat Raiders on first innings.

Although Morwell made just 134 batting first at Yinnar, conditions were clearly tricky as 17 wickets fell in the day.

The visitor’s decision to have a hit saw Cyrus Shari top score with 52, while veteran Mark Cukier took the pitch out of the equation, stroking five fours in his 41-ball 32.

Morwell only faced 42.3 overs, 18 of which were delivered by Raiders new ball pair Harry McColl and Boyd Bailey who took three wickets each.

Luke Thornton bowled the most overs (12.3) and returned figures of 2/33.

With plenty of overs left in the day, Morwell bowlers then went in with a ‘now it’s our turn’ approach, and ran through the Raiders top order at will.

Opening bat George Cheshire watched on from the other end as two ducks featured in the top four, and two further single figure scores were recorded in the top six.

Cheshire made 35, but he was forced to soak up 110 balls to ileviate some of the damage.

Tim Ford and Ross Whelpdale game very little away, and could both be eyeing off a five wicket haul this week. Ford has 3/24 and Whelpdale 3/19

Raiders still need 64 to win, and while there is a chance they could edge their way over the line, the advantage looks to be well and truly with Morwell.



A 229-ball epic from Steve Warr saw Churchill bat all day against Toongabbie.

The Cobras ended the day at 7/250 after 89 overs at Andrews Park.

In what was possibly the most Churchill-looking scorecard of all time, Warr’s 70 at first drop combined with Ric Velardi making 38 off 104 balls and Ross Parker 30 off 76.

The trio did their job, allowing John Keighran to do his at the other. The Churchill spearhead smashed 77 off 67 balls, with six fours and one six.

A late flurry of wickets gave the Rams some joy, but they could still be in the field for another 10 overs this Saturday if Keighran decides to bat on.

Toongabbie captain Keenan Hughes sent down 26 overs and took 3/65, while Tom Shippen nabbed 2/40.


CATS had the bye.



COLOURED clothes remained in Cricket Latrobe Valley A Grade.

While the Premier A sides got into the longer format, those in A Grade are played an extra week with white balls.


CRICKET is a funny game.

While many people were wondering if Latrobe would even win a game this season, it has taken the Sharks just two rounds to do so.

Coming off the back of a thumping loss to Willow Grove, few would have predicted Latrobe would beat Centrals at the weekend.

The Sharks fancied something in the surface at Peter Siddle Oval and decided to bowl first.

The home side struck at semi-regular intervals to dismiss the Lions for 158, with Steve Hanning (3/35), Josh Wus (3/42) and Anthony Bloomfield (2/14) leading the way.

Ben Doble, in game number 350 for Centrals, top-scored with 26, while Mark Rawson made 25 off 39 balls.

Doble became just the second person after Rod Bird to reach 350 games for Centrals.

Sensing victory, the Sharks didn’t take many risks in the chase, using up nearly all the allocated 50 overs to win by five wickets.

Bloomfield played a stoic hand of 65, and skipper Steve Freshwater showed plenty of character, making 36 off 80 balls.

Rob Webber ended the day with two wickets.


TRARALGON WEST started its campaign with a win.

The Eagles returned from the bye and two washouts to defeat Gormandale by 48 runs.

Batting first at Jack Canavan Oval, the home side was in a world of hurt early, as the top four contributed just 20 runs between them.

Somewhat ironically, it was the man who will be coaching Gormandale in football next season who took this game of cricket away from them.

Josh Monacella made 34 batting at five for Traralgon West, working alongside Tim Fitch and Hayden Kimpton. Fitch made 42, while Kimpton, sliding down a few spots to number seven, remained unbeaten on 43.

Their efforts helped the Eagles to 7/170 off their allotted 50 overs. Gormandale captain Dylan Freitag finished with 3/17 and Yohan Soyza took 2/9 off 10 miserly overs, which included five maidens.

The Gormandale innings started brightly enough, with Tyron Bramwell making 25, but things unravelled not long after.

A couple of starts to Campbell Peavey and Dylan Keyhoe showed what might have been, but in the finish, the Tigers could only muster up 122.

Spinners Ben Fleming (3/13) and Adam Thow (2/16) paved the way for victory to the west (technically east) side of Jack Canavan.


IMPERIALS put in a second consecutive disappointing performance.

Taking to Cattrick Crescent, the home side again couldn’t get going with the bat, closing with just 125 on the board against Rovers.

Anu Meenakshi top-scored with 26, in a sorry scorecard that saw most of the top order get to double figures before getting out against the run of play.

Every bowler for Rovers took a wicket. Simon Duff claimed 2/11 and Oliver Hannam 2/16.

Rovers then got the runs and the bonus point for chasing the total inside 30 overs.

The visitor’s provided some nervy moments, getting the bonus point with one ball to spare.

Liam Little played a mighty 71 not out from 104 balls to see Rovers home.

Dom Thompson and Dilshan Thilakarathne took two wickets each for Imperials.


WILLOW GROVE had the bye.