Two dayers taking cricketers into Christmas break

File photograph





CAULFIELD Racecourse enjoyed a sudden uptake in viewership on Saturday.

With all matches in Cricket Latrobe Valley cancelled on Friday night due to wet weather, players were suddenly left with ample free time.

Rain literally fell for the entire Saturday, leaving Round 6 to finish in true anticlimax following intermittent showers the week before.

Such an outcome was disappointing, as most Premier A matches were interestingly poised heading into the second day.

CATS were 1/51 chasing 158 against Morwell at Keegan Street, while Churchill had Ex Students 7/171 on Terry Hunter Oval.

Glengarry had a score not too dissimilar to the Sharks, and were 6/178 taking on Raiders at Fred King Oval.

The match up at Mirboo North was virtually a non-event, as only 17 overs were completed. Moe was 1/40 after losing around three hours’ worth of play on Day 1.

Toongabbie perhaps picked the best week to have a two-week break, and didn’t miss much at all due to their bye.

The Rams are back in action this Saturday, and are hosting Ex Students.

There is one more round left in Premier A before the Christmas break, which will be played as a two dayer. A Grade will be played as one day games.

Toongabbie will be faced with arguably their biggest challenge for the season, which could be made slightly more difficult due to their two-week layoff.

That being said, their opponents haven’t played much cricket in the last fortnight either, which could tip the scales more to making this an even-money game.

Up-and-coming left arm orthodox Matt Barry has got some game time under his belt, playing in the most recent GCL match, and he could be called upon to bowl bulk overs for Toongabbie.

The Rams will need to pry open a formidable batting order of James Pryde, Lee Stockdale, Jackson McMahon and Rick Battista, or else they could be in for a long day.


CATS and Churchill meet in what looks to be a good contest on paper.

Both sides have potential match winners with plenty of experience, as well as a sprinkling of more than handy role players.

CATS’ confidence will be up following a promising performance against Morwell, and the likes of Cal Stewart and Jamie Coachrane will be eager to lead the way with bat or ball respectively.

Cobra heart and soul Ryan Harvey looks to have made a strong recovery from injury, and has taken some key wickets already this campaign.

The left armer has Moe gun Andrew Philip and Ex Students captain James Pryde in his back pocket, and could be eyeing off a few in the CATS line-up.


THE two Tigers will battle it out in South Gippy.

Mirboo North is home for the third game and sixth week in a row, and can expect a fierce contest when Morwell travels up the hill.

While admittedly the season has been stop-start, Morwell will be keen to address some issues with the bat, having yet to score more than 160 in a two day game.

Taking on Mirboo North appears a good opportunity to do so, at a venue that generally offers reward for those that get themselves in.

Morwell bats virtually all the way down to number 11, but there could be calls for someone to (in a good way) ‘get selfish’ and help the team by posting a sizeable score themselves.

New recruit Cyrus Shafi could be the man to do it, having got a couple of starts so far in 2023/24.

Mirboo North has been beset with a changing team so far this season, which may be reflected in its results so far – one win by two wickets in a one day game.

The home side has made 150-totals in both its two day games, and will more than likely need someone like a Ben Heath to at least get a half century to give them a realistic chance.


THERE could be plenty of runs between Glengarry and Moe.

The Lions journey to Fred King Oval to take on the Magpies, both carrying what are expected to be fairly stacked batting cards.

Bizarrely, while both sides have already won a game outright this season, the form guide might be thrown out completely as neither has really played much cricket in recent weeks.

Moe hardly played at all last round, while Glengarry has not played a full two-day game since the start of November.

The Magpies had a bye in Round 5 over two weeks, before rain took away most of Round 6 over the two weeks just gone.

With this in mind, the true class of players from their respective teams might be on full display this weekend.

The Magpies found runs in their 56 over stint a fortnight ago from Nat Freitag who made an unbeaten 94 against Raiders. Moe will look to skipper Noah Kane, Riley Baldi and Benn Zomer to provide with the stick.


RAIDERS are done for the 2023 component of the season, and have a bye this round.

The team from Yinnar gets very much an extended holiday, with a two-day bye adding to the three week break coming up for Christmas, as well as last week’s washout.

Raiders players now have the difficult choice of either going to Moe races on Friday, rolling into Traralgon Cup on Sunday, or spending time with loved ones and tending to their gardens.

Due to space restrictions, the A Grade preview could not fit. Check online for this story. Apologies.