Rams, Students in thrilling ends

Freak: Andrew Philip surpassed 10,000 first grade runs during the Lions' outright win against Churchill in Round 5 of Cricket Latrobe Valley. File photograph





IF last Saturday was any indication, the decision to combine the Latrobe Valley District Cricket League and Traralgon District Cricket Association was surely justified.

Ultra-competitive games between clubs from the two former associations played out in Round 5, as two Premier A games were decided by less than 12 runs on first innings.

EX STUDENTS scraped in to defeat Morwell.

As good sides do, the Sharks found a way to win, but only just after narrowly defending their first innings total of 128 at Terry Hunter Oval.

Taking to their home deck on Day 1, the Sharks compiled a mediocre score of 128, helped mostly by Rick Battista again playing the insurance policy role, making an unbeaten 72 from number seven.

His innings was the only one of substance for Ex Students, as only two other players made double figures.

Morwell only needed four bowlers, three of whom took wickets.

Tim Ford, Brendan Brincat and Ross Whelpdale all combined to take three scalps between them.

Morwell knocked 98 runs off the total by stumps on Day 1, and resumed last Saturday needing 33 to win, but with just two wickets in hand.

Whelpdale and Brincant resumed their innings, looking to add to their heroics with the ball.

Unfortunately for them, they ran into a man more accurate than a bowling machine in Adam Brady, who ended up being the hero for his new side.

Brady finished with figures of 3/21 off 13.4 overs, as Morwell was bowled out for 116 – just 12 agonising runs short of victory.

Ex Students maintained enough pressure in the field, thanks not only to Brady, but also leg spinner Michael Warne (3/2) and pace bowler Mitch Harris (2/30).

With plenty of time left in the day, the home side batted for 50 or so overs to try and set up an outright.

Matt Dyke made 47 at the top, while Jackson McMahon scored a busy 42 off 57 balls and Lee Stockdale got himself to 25 off 39.

Spinners did the damage in the second dig for Morwell, with Whelpdale adding four to his total and Mark Cukier taking 3/37.

The Sharks declared at 7/165, giving themselves the best part of 30 overs to try and bowl Morwell out.

The Tigers however were resolute, and only lost three wickets in their second innings.

Sam Mooney struck five fours in his 55-ball 37, and was joined by Brendan Mason who hit six in his 45-ball 33 batting first drop.

Ex Students captain Jimmy Pryde ended the day with figures of 2/38.

HOW is there not a statue of Shippo as you enter Toongabbie?

Toongabbie legend Tom Shippen saw his team to victory on Saturday, playing a key role in a nerve-killing five run win.

Shippen, who by all reports wasn’t meant to be bowling this season, sent down 22 overs on the Mirboo North Turf, returning figures of 4/36, with eight maidens nonetheless.

His effort helped the Rams sneak home against the Tigers, defending a par score of 160.

Shippen started off by taking a wicket before stumps on Day 1, although Mirboo North started Day 2 seemingly in the driver’s seat with the scoreboard reading 1/60.

Toongabbie’s innings was nothing to write home about, with only Sean Pickles and Shppen making much of an impression with scores of 43 and 35 respectively.

The Tigers lost key man Matt Snell, who was bowled by Keenan Hughes for 58, adding just eight runs to his Day 1 score.

This wicket paved the way for the Rams to strike at semi-regular intervals, although it was really only Hughes and Shippen who did most of the bowling.

The pair ended up sending down 51 of the eventual 63.3 overs for the innings.

The dismissal of Snell left Mirboo North 3/85, and before too long, they were 7/115.

Some resistance from Hayden Barnes (53 off 41) was broken when he tried to cut one too close to his body and was caught by wicket-keeper Pickles off Hughes, before some good fortune for Toongabbie saw Dale Banks slap a waist high full toss straight to square leg.

It then came down to the last wicket pair of Will Larey and Anton Thomas needing nine to win.

The pair got three runs away, but Sean Ryan managed to entice an edge from Lawrey that was gratefully accepted by Pickles, sending the Rams into absolute jubilation.

Ryan took the last two wickets to end with 2/10, backing up the efforts of Shippen and

Hughes, who took 4/81 off his huge 29 over stint.

Toongabbie had to bat 10 meaningless overs to see out the day, and finished 0/31.

MOE made their first every victory against Churchill a memorable one.

By some anomaly, the Lions had never beaten the Cobras in their time as Latrobe Valley league-based clubs before last Saturday, and went on to win their maiden victory over Churchill by an innings.

While most outrights are fairly straightforward, this one was not without some nervy moments, as well as one statistic you would surely never associate a Moe outright win with.

Bowling first on Day 1, the Lions ran through the Churchill line-up at Andrews Park West, knocking the home team over for just 72.

Left arm orthodox Callum Grant highlighted proceedings, taking 4/9 which included a hat-trick.

The Scotsman took wickets seven to nine across two overs, seeing the back of Ashton Ceeney, Bailey Flanigan and John Keighran.

Keighran top-scored with 27, although perhaps even he encapsulated how difficult scoring was as it took him 74 balls to reach that mark.

The Lions enjoyed a dream start, seeing Churchill slip to 3/3 thanks to some terrific new-ball bowling from left armer Royce Colgrave.

Colgrave took 2/14 working in tandem with the two Roberts, Blunt and Phoenix, who snared 2/7 and 2/16 respectively.

Moe had ample time to bat on Day 1, and finished 60 runs ahead, although with no wickets in hand.

Playing-coach Andrew Philip led the way with 71, an innings which featured six fours and two sixes.

Moe’s greatest batsman, arguably greatest player, notched up an incredible milestone during his innings, reaching 10,000 A Grade runs.

His seventh run took him to the magical figure, and atop the list as the Lions highest run scorer in their history.

Philip’s incredible record now stands at 23 first grade centuries, along with 55 half-tons.

While one often finds looking at statistics of many local players usually considered ‘greats of a club’ actually only make 200-300 runs a season for 20 years, Philip has consistently made at least 500 runs a season for well over a decade.

Churchill bowlers were able to bowl around Philip, with Chris Williams adding the Moe spearhead to his haul of 4/4 off five overs.

Keighran added 3/45 and Steve Warr took 2/18 to see out the day.

Entering Day 2, the Cobras first assignment was to go past the deficit.

They succeeded in that regard, although only by 63 runs.

With Keighran unavailable, no players were really able to convert, in what could be an alarming sign for Churchill being so reliant on one player making runs.

Grant made it seven wickets for the match with second innings figures of 3/36, while Phoenix took 2/19 and Clinton Taylor a gentlemanly 2/22.

Phoenix went to 250 senior wickets for Moe in the process.

Needing 64 in 20-odd overs to win outright, the unthinkable happened as Philip was dismissed for a golden duck, lbw to left arm quick Ryan Harvey.

To any youngster that might be disheartened with their cricket, just think, it can literally happen to anyone.

Those with an appreciation for cricket from the black and white era might recall the story of a young Bradman coming up against Bill O’Reilly in bush cricket in the Cootamundra area (Bradman’s birthplace) before both went on to have distinguished international careers. Bradman made 200 one week and was dismissed by O’Reilly first ball the next.

Fortunately for Moe, Riley Baldi was able to see things through with an unbeaten 31 off 39 balls.

Harvey and Williams had success with figures of 2/11 and 2/28 respectively.

CATS had little trouble accounting for Raiders.

Batting first at Traralgon South, the visitors only managed 115, and took an eternity to do so – 71.4 overs.

Mick Higgins made 44, easily the most by anyone on the card, with the next highest score 13.

Leading lights with the ball for CATS were Cal Stewart, who took insane figures of 4/17 off 24 overs, and Sam Gissara (3/28 off 12).

CATS skipper Jamie Cochrane set a positive tone opening the batting on Day 2, making 28, leading the way for Harry Moore to come in later and score a quickfire 40 off 35 balls.

CATS lost eight wickets on the day, but cruised past the required total, ending with the score on 160.

George Cheshire was Raiders’ best bowler, taking 3/7, while Harri McColl took 3/41.

GLENGARRY had the bye.

ROUND 6 fixture

(Venue is first listed team): Morwell vs CATS, Raiders vs Glengarry, Mirboo North vs Moe, Ex Students vs Churchill, Toongabbie – bye.




TRARALGON WEST put an indifferent week behind them to post a decent score on Day 1 of Round 6 in Cricket Latrobe Valley A Grade.

Coming off a reverse outright loss to Willow Grove, the Eagles closed at 8/257 against Centrals at the weekend.

Welcoming the Lions for the short trip across Gilmour Street, the home side decided to bat first upon winning the toss.

Vice captain Ben Edebohls saw off 127 rocks and made a solid 48 opening the batting, paving the way for superstar Rami Zafar to come in at number four.

Zafar controlled tempo for most of the afternoon, departing for 79 from 111 balls in what was both a good knock and disappointing end as a ton would have been truly deserved.

Salman Rasool came in down the order and finished unbeaten on 42.

Traralgon West has the option of batting on for another 10 overs, and may well do so for the sake of getting another handy 20-30 runs.

Having been on the opposite end of the same situation in the semi-final last season, the Eagles may already have a lesson in exactly what not to do if they do decide to bat into Day 2.

Centrals bowlers toiled well, and most returned good figures all things considered.

Corey Pollard nabbed 3/63, while new recruit Dr Hiran Rajapakse took 2/54 with his off breaks.

WILLOW GROVE is starring an outright loss in the face.

The Wolves came crashing back down to earth at the weekend, and are already batting second against Rovers.

Rovers made 230 with the stick at Duncan Cameron Reserve on Day 1, and then astonishingly, skittled Willow Grove for just 26.

Lachlan Patterson ran riot, taking five wickets for the home side, who wrapped up first innings points super quick.

Rovers had no hesitation sending Willow Grove back in, who are now 0/16, still a massive 188

runs shy of making Rovers even bat again.

Amazingly, Wolves international recruit Luke Payton scored 18 of his sides 26 runs in the first innings.

IMPERIALS are in a strong position against Gormandale.

Imperials declared with 149 on the board, and have the Tigers 1/37 at Catterick Crescent.

LATROBE has the bye.