Premier A Grade

NO results have been reached yet after Day 1 in Round 11 of Cricket Latrobe Valley Premier A.

That being said, a number of sides are in strong positions, and will be looking to achieve first innings points as quickly as possible this Saturday.

A couple of matches were played on Australia Day (Friday) last round, giving players the full weekend.


MORWELL pulled themselves out of the proverbial.

The Tigers were 5/38 against Moe, but managed to get themselves to 216 at Keegan Street.

Such a total appeared a long way off after Aaron Johnstone tore through the Morwell top order, taking four of the first five wicket to fall, which saw three disturb the timber.

The right armer ended with fine figures of 5/34 off 18 overs, and in added credit, there was no cheap tail end poles among the collection.

Needing someone to stabilise the innings, Morwell found runs down the order from veteran Brendan Brincat, who made a commanding 71 batting at number eight.

He combined with Tim Ford and Louis Johnson, who made valuable contributions of 40 and 29 respectively.

The partnership between Brincat and Johnson yielded 78 runs for the eighth wicket, in a further nod to the deep batting card Morwell have become known for in recent seasons.

To have someone like Brincat batting as low as eight must be a true luxury, given he would more than likely bat in at least the top five at most other clubs.

The Tigers ended Australia Day on a high, as they were able to take a wicket in the five overs before the end of play.

Moe will resume at 1/3 this Saturday.

Interestingly, the last time Australia Day fell on a Friday (2018), the Lions played Morwell away, just as they did last week. The two clubs have proposed making Australia Day an annual marquee game.

Players from both clubs also reached milestones on Day 1.

Blake Mills scored his 4000th club run for Morwell, while Rob Phoenix took his 250th A Grade wicket for Moe.


THIS Lee Stockdale bloke goes alright.

Ex Students are currently 8/117 against Glengarry – 63 of which have been scored by Stockdale.

On a day where only two Shark batsmen made double figures, Stockdale’s hand of 63 at Fred King Oval on Australia Day was worth every bit as much as any century he has ever made.

Stockdale was in early, coming to the crease at 2/5, and continued to see wickets fall around him.

He went through five partners, and departed himself with the score on 109.

Most of those partners fell victim to Cam Graham, who was miserly in his return of 5/38 of 22 overs, which included five maidens.

Graham, who hit the headlines last season with an insane ‘nine-fa’ in the Traralgon District Cricket Association, bowled most of the day alongside Al Jenkin.

The pair sent down 42 of the 57 overs, with some time lost due to rain (yet again).

One assumes Ex Students will bat on into Day 2, and try to at least get a total of 150 on the board.


CHURCHILL needs wickets more than they need an injury-free footy season.

The Cobras are about to lose on first innings, but can still make a game of it against Raiders.

Barring anything drastic, Raiders will get the six runs they need to take first innings points, and then look to build a lead at Andrews Park West.

The visitor’s have six wickets in hand, and with key batsmen Liam Maynard still to come.

Raiders knocked the Cobras over for just 93 last Saturday, doing so in 52 overs.

Three ducks didn’t make for great reading as far as Churchill were concerned, and had it not been for Steve Warr seeing off more than 100 balls to score 32 not out from first drop, the situation would have been even more diabolical.

Raiders hit consistently good areas, and saw wickets shared as a result between Harri McColl, Tom Robertson, George Cheshire and Mick Higgins, who each took two.

With 30 or so overs left in the day, Raiders went to stumps at 4/88.

Cheshire gave his side a positive start, making 34 opening the batting.

Despite this, the loss of four wickets might leave the door slightly ajar for the Cobras, who could perhaps snag a sneaky reverse outright if the deficit doesn’t creep along too far.

Raiders has Robertson and nightwatchman McColl at the crease, and with Maynard the last of the recognised batsmen, a number of possibilities remain open.

Warr already has three wickets, and if Churchill can be batting before tea, it may only need 25 overs from John Keighran to post a tricky fourth innings chase.

There is only one way Churchill can win, but will the Cobras dangle the outright carrot in front of Raiders at the risk of losing outright themselves?


GAME on at Toongabbie

The Rams need six wickets, CATS need 103 runs.

The home side was asked to have a hit last Saturday, and responded by making 182.

Skipper Keenan Hughes did most of the scoring, making a brilliant 82 off 80 balls.

His innings featured eight fours and four maximums, pulling the side out of all sorts of trouble at 4/41.

Hughes found a willing ally in Michael Dunn, who played a vital hand of 30 off 96 balls.

The pair put on 110 for the fifth wicket, taking the total past 150.

Hughes’ attacking knock meant only 56.5 overs were completed by the time Toongabbie were bowled out.

Captain Keenan then pretty much did it all with the ball, and could honestly single-handedly lead his side to victory here.

Taking the new ball, Hughes ended Day 1 with figures of 4/23 – taking all four wickets to fall.

Included in that lot was former first class cricketer Cal Stewart, and Harry Moore who got himself to 34 off 73 balls.

Zimbabwean Test cricketer Tinashe Panyangara is currently unbeaten on eight, and the Rams will feel they need to see the back of him before he has a chance to get set again.


MIRBOO NORTH had the bye.


A Grade

MATCHES did not reach any great heights in Round 11 of Cricket Latrobe Valley A Grade.

A couple of hugely one-sided games featured on Day 2, while another petered out in anticlimactic fashion.


NOW this is the Gormandale most people remember.

The Tigers crushed Traralgon West last Saturday, making nearly 400 runs across their two innings at Stoddart Oval.

Heading into Day 2 needing four wickets and with a 112 run lead, Gormandale was able to wrap up first innings points relatively quickly.

The Eagles added just 21 runs to their overnight total, as Yohan Soyza and Nick Scammell did the damage.

Soyza finished with remarkable figures of 7/17 off 15.3 overs, with nine maidens nonetheless, while Scammell picked up two from his three overs.

Gormandale went the tonk in their second dig, and declared at 9/179 off 45 overs.

Traralgon West may have been entertaining thoughts of a reverse outright after the Tigers slipped to 4/14, but a determined 55 not out from vice captain Dylan Freitag ensured such a fate was avoided.

Tyler Reynolds made 28, as did Nat Campbell, whose return to the side has been identified as a key reason Gormandale has not lost a game since Christmas.

The Tigers took the punt at bowling Traralgon West out in 30 overs, and would have been feeling very confident after seeing the scoreboard read 3/30.

However, time was always going to be a factor, and in the end, the Eagles finished at 3/60.
Josh Monacella was able to see out the day and made 29 not out.

With just two wins since October, the Eagles will be desperate to string some victories together before finals approach.

Runs to Monacella in the second innings should do his confidence some good, in what has no doubt been a taxing few months.

The wicket-keeper is currently juggling captaining Traralgon West and (ironically given the weekend’s opponent), is also into his first season as senior coach of Gormandale Football-Netball Club.

One would hope so much responsibility on a young lad in his early 20s isn’t too much of a burden.


ROVERS batted out whatever overs they could against Imperials.

Heavy downpours last Thursday left the Duncan Cameron square saturated, and as players arrived for Day 2 last Friday, it appeared a long shot any cricket would be played.

Rovers players and officials helped soak up as much water as they could, as rain held off in time for there to be a start.

Play appeared impossible when the Express paid a visit on Friday afternoon around 1pm.

The wicket was so damp, if you were to bowl a tennis ball it would have just about made an indent on the surface.

Umpires declared one more shower would be enough to call the game off, however, that shower never came, and Rovers continued their second innings.

The home side had already won on first innings, but the game remained alive as their lead was only 38 with nine wickets in hand.

Imperials made full use of conditions, and had Rovers 4/22.

The wicket clearly made batting difficult, as even a player the calibre of Ewan Williams found it near impossible to hit off the square. The Rovers skipper fell spooning a catch to mid on after the ball appeared to stick in the surface.

Lachlan Patterson took the pitch out of the equation, making 48 off 65 balls from number seven, with his knock including two sixes.

In the end, 53.3 overs were bowled, before Rovers were bowled out for 124.

Joel Randall took 4/38 and Todd Mann 3/32 for Imperials.

With no chance of any other result, the match finished as it had started on Day 2, with the home side taking first innings points.


WHEN you’re going through hell – keep going, don’t stop.

That could be about the best advice for Latrobe at the moment.

The Sharks were pummelled by Centrals, losing outright and by a big margin at Apex Park.

Entering Day 2, the result was basically a foregone conclusion, with the visitor’s 8/35 in their first innings chasing 165.

Latrobe added 20 runs to their first innings total. Skipper Steven Freshwater was admirable, remaining not out on 28, as he saw wicket after wicket fall around him.

The last three Shark batsmen all registered ducks, to go with a total of six for the innings.
Centrals veteran Marc Fenech wound back the clock, and took insane figures of 7/15 off 20.4 overs.

The Lions had no hesitation sending Latrobe back in, and had maximum points in the bag inside 40 overs.

Four more ducks came from the Sharks, although Steve Hanning was able to pump three sixes in his 39-ball 30 at first drop.

His effort though was the only one of note, as Latrobe was skittled for virtually the same amount as they were first up.

The Sharks managed 59 in their second innings, which combined with their first innings effort, left them 51 runs short of even making Centrals bat again.

In perhaps a cruel twist, former Latrobe players Tyron Gamage and Dr Hiran Rajapakse took six wickets between them.

Rajapakse snared 3/4 and Gamage 3/12, while skipper Tye Hourigan took 2/23.

The win keeps Centrals on track to secure a home final, while for Latrobe, they will be looking to ride the rest of the campaign out as best they can.

Given their current plight, the Sharks probably already have one eye turned to next season.

While the situation looks dire, Latrobe may have an advantage not many other clubs have.

Has the time come for them to reach out to Peter Siddle and say “hey mate, the club needs you, can you come back home and coach?”

Siddle turns 40 this year and is surely nearing the end of his first class career.


WILLOW GROVE had the bye.