NOT one team batted out the entire day in Round 12 of Cricket Latrobe Valley Premier A Grade at the weekend.

Depending on which team you support however, that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Scriptwriters had it easy in A Grade at the weekend.

Day 2 of Round 12 went relatively as predicted, as the season moved one week closer to finals.


Premier A Grade

GLENGARRY is on track to defeat Churchill.

The Magpies are 1/89 chasing 162 at Fred King Oval.

The home side fancied themselves bowling first, and were able to strike at semi-regular intervals.

Churchill showed a decent amount of fight, but perhaps frustrating, saw a number of players get out after doing the hard yards.

Left handed opener Matt Harvey got himself to 28 before falling lbw to Nathan Allen, while Ross Parker made 45 before he too was dismissed in the same fashion.

Allen also took the key wicket of John Keighran, who looked in ominous touch, making 44 off 53 balls.

Allen finished with figures of 4/45, while Cam Graham took 3/36 and Al Jenkin 2/39.

Glengarry made full use of the remaining overs, and knocked a good chunk out of the required total.

Despite an early scare, the Magpies will begin Day 2 with Nat Freitag and Sam Marks on 45 and 43 not out respectively.

An outright is still of importance to Glengarry in their quest to secure a home final, but they will be focussing on first innings points for now.


CAN Raiders do this?

The boys from Yinnar are just 66 runs away from a memorable win against Ex Students.

Taking to Terry Hunter Oval last Saturday, the visitors could hardly put a foot wrong, cleaning up the Sharks for 127.

With a seemingly mismatched bowling line-up of ageing veterans in Barney Webber and Mick Higgins, along with a beanpole kid in Harri McColl and a virtual unknown in Jeevan Varghese, taking on seasoned Student champions in Lee Stockdale, Jackson McMahon and Matt Dyke, the day appeared to go well against general expectations.

Webber wound back the clock, taking two top order wickets, and securing a run out late in the piece, while McColl nabbed 3/18.

Varghese also played his part, finishing with 2/14 off nine overs.

Ex Students captain James Pryde watched most of the carnage from the other end, making a stoic 50 off 150 balls opening the batting.

Raiders then faced 28 overs in their first innings, and ended the day at 3/61.

George Chesire made 27, and will be one of three dismissed batsmen hoping those coming in will be able to take Raiders past the winning post.

Standing in their way however is an Ex Students fielding unit, who are arguably the best in the business when it comes to defending low totals.

Stockdale has taken all three wickets, and one can be certain he won’t be giving Raiders any easy runs on Day 2.


MOE now has another bloke who can make tons.

Twin centuries highlighted the Lions’ day at Ted Summerton Reserve, as the home side racked up more than 300.

If Moe are making more than 300, there is a good chance Andrew Philip is raising the bat.

That is exactly what happened, as the freak notched yet another century, eventually falling for 149 off 224 balls.

In typical Philip fashion, he started in rather subdued fashion, and was seven off nearly 40 balls at one stage.

As the day went on however, the runs started to flow, and they came from the other end as well.

Benn Zomer, who joined Moe this season from Latrobe, had his day out, scoring his maiden century.

The left hander made 136, hitting 15 fours and one six in his 183-ball stay.

Zomer and Philip combined for a mammoth 287 run partnership for the fourth wicket, ending when Zomer was dismissed.

When Philip fell a short time later, the Lions declared with 334 on the board.

Moe ended Day 2 on a high, taking two wickets with them into the sheds.

The day couldn’t have gone much better for the Lions, who had a number of premiership reunions scheduled that night.

Sometimes things just fall into place.

Toongabbie is now starring down the barrel at 2/12, and at the risk of delving into clich├ęs, has ‘a lot of work to do’.

Nightwatchman Matt Barry does however have the chance to make a name for himself.

Only the best succeed as nightwatchman at Ted Summerton.


CATS must have Taylor Swift tickets.

CATS might wrap their game up against Mirboo North this Saturday with enough time to make it from South Gippsland to the MCG for the concert.

The visitors are already bowling again, having taken 11 Tiger wickets on Day 1.

Mirboo North was rolled for just 43 in its first innings, undone by some unrelenting bowling from Callum Stewart.

It is about that time of year Stewart starts to bowl flat out, and after taking 5/11 off 14 overs at the weekend, he appears to be hitting his peak.

Of Stewart’s wickets, four were unassisted, while his accuracy was further highlighted when Mirboo North captain Ben Heath shouldered arms to a ball that hit the very top of off stump.

Stewart received support from Josh Moore, who took 3/24, and partner-in-crime Tinashe Panyangara, who claimed 3/8.

CATS went the tonk in their first innings, and whacked 147 from 40.4 overs.

Josh Bellingham made 50 off 47 balls, while Harry Moore scored 46 at the top.

Mirboo North did have some reason to smile, with Darien Matthews bowling excellently, taking 6/39 off 16.4 overs.

Young gun Max Woodall was again in the wickets as well, taking 4/25.

There was still 16 overs left in the day when CATS were dismissed, meaning Mirboo North had to pad up again.

The Tigers are now in a much better position at 1/44, but still 60 runs shy of making CATS bat again.

Zac Hollis will resume Day 2 on 28 not out.


MORWELL had the bye.


A Grade

IMPERIALS outrighted Latrobe.

Having established a lead of 162 at Catterick Crescent, the home side made the unsurprising move of declaring as soon as play started.

With a full day to survive, the Sharks did a reasonable job, but were eventually knocked over for 155 in 67 overs.

The total meant they were still short of making Imperials bat again, giving them 10 points for the outright.

The Sharks rejigged their batting order for the second innings, and found runs from Mark Lawrence opening up.

Lawrence made 43, while Jesse Wilson got himself to 40 batting at seven.

Both faced their fair share of deliveries from Todd Mann, who ended with a five wicket haul.
Mann took 5/32 off 22 overs, meaning his economy rate was just 1.45.

He received good support from Dilshan Thilakarathne (2/22) and fellow opener Dominic Thompson (2/30).

Mann’s five wickets added to the six he took in the first dig, making for a very productive game.

The pace bowler is moving closer to recording 40 wickets in a season, generally considered the mark of a truly stellar campaign.

However, addressing the elephant in the room – the Cricket Latrobe Valley board might have a complex case in the making.

Mann is a good chance of winning the league best and fairest, but has played at two clubs this season, after parting ways with Willow Grove at Christmas.

Given the Wolves are in the same division as Imps, it begs the question: Can you really have a league best and fairest winner from two clubs?


ROVERS just had too many runs for Traralgon West.

Chasing 278 at Jack Canavan proved imposing, although frustratingly for the Eagles, enough players got starts to bite into the total a bit more.

The home side was 3/81 before things quickly fell apart.

As cricket is replete with annoying truisms, the ‘run outs cause collapses’ one rang true for Traralgon West after Rob Wilkie was caught short of his ground.

Jack Lynch was the man responsible for nailing the throw, and his work saw the Eagles lose their next two wickets for just 18 runs, and last four for just 20.

The work of Hayden Kimpton up top, striking at an uncharacteristic 46.29 in his 25, and Rami Zafar (29 off 44 balls) in the middle was ultimately undone, as Traralgon West was bundled out for 140 in 65.2 overs.

As good sides do, Rovers shared the love with the ball.

Stefan Sbaglia took 4/34, Lynch 2/13 and veteran Simon Duff 2/45 off 23 economical overs.


GORMANDALE had reason to smile and laugh.

The Tigers won outright in very bizarre circumstances, needing to bat a second time to score the grand total of one run.

Cricket just never fails to throw up anomalies.

Coming into Day 2 needing 16 to win, Gormandale declared at 9/187.

Dylan Freitag added a few runs to his overnight score, making 42, while the other not out batsmen Dylan Keyhoe batted through to make a half-century.

Ryan Giles took two wickets on Day 2, while Dylan van der Stoep added another to the one he took last week.

Trailing by 62 runs, the Wolves made that exact total in their second innings.

Luke Payton again did most of the scoring for Willow Grove, whacking 35 off 30 balls.

Unfortunately batting woes again beset the Wolves, as four players were knocked over for globes – two first ball.

Gormandale used four bowlers, who all took wickets.

Campbell Peavey grabbed 4/7, Freitag 2/11, Nathan Heard 2/15 and Nat Campbell 2/27.

As was bound to happen, Fretaig was dismissed in the second innings when the Tigers needed one run to win.

The dismissal only delayed the inevitable, as the winning run came up.

With finals well out of the question for Willow Grove, the Wolves look to be on the hunt for consolation in the lower grades.

A Grade quality players David Bremner, Pete Grima and Nathan Weatherhead played B Grade at the weekend, with the latter taking 7/16.


CENTRALS had the bye.


Country Week

LATROBE VALLEY is in the midst of its Melbourne Country Week campaign.

The week-long tournament has been a staple on the Victorian country cricket calendar for more than 100 years, and welcomes cricket associations from across the state.

This year’s campaign marks the start of a new era for Latrobe Valley, who are competing in their first country week as a combined entity.

Traralgon District and Latrobe Valley District merged last year to form Cricket Latrobe Valley.

Being a technical new league, Latrobe Valley will need to pay its penance in Division 2 of Country Week, with the aim of gaining promotion to Provincial by Friday.

Country Week works on a promotion/relegation system, although it has slightly changed this year.

The Victorian Country Cricket League reduced the number of Provincial teams from 10 to eight this year, bringing about a few talking points.

Amazingly, traditional powerhouse Ballarat missed the cut, and will need to fight its way back to the top.

Bairnsdale were also relegated, and could be fighting Latrobe Valley for one of the two promotions up for grabs.

Sale-Maffra and Leongatha District are the two Gippsland associations flying the local flag at Provincial level.

Sale-Maffra have been supporters of Country Week from the very start, and are one of the few associations that have attended every single Country Week instalment.

As such, a premium is placed on Country Week from those within the SMCA, and generally speaking, the best players have a strong desire to play.

Disappointingly, Warragul District is not sending a team down, having not generated enough interest from players.

Warrnambool and Wangaratta won Division 2 last year, and have thus earnt promotion.

There is much prestige about competing at Provincial level in local cricket, and something most associations strive to achieve.

After winning the Gippsland Cricket League premiership a fortnight ago, Latrobe Valley captain Nathan Freitag said his side would be doing all they could to get into Provincial.

Onto the next one: Latrobe Valley cricket captain Nathan Freitag receives the Gippsland Cricket League premiership cup from Raiders legend Jeff Knowles a fortnight ago. Freitag has since turned his attention to Country Week, which is currently taking place in Melbourne. Photograph: Liam Durkin

Country Week games will be live scored via PlayCricket for those wishing to keep up to date.

Nathan Freitag (C) (Glengarry)
Frank Marks (Glengarry)
Alistair Jenkin (Glengarry)
Hamish Busk (Glengarry)
Lee Stockdale (Ex Students)
James Pryde (Ex Students)
Mitch Harris (Ex Students)
Michael Warne (Ex Students)
Matt Dyke (Ex Students)
Liam Maynard (Raiders)
Luke Thornton (Raiders)
Ewan Williams (Rovers)
Keenan Hughes (Toongabbie)
Jordan Campbell (Morwell)
Riley Baldi (Moe)
Ryan Morley (Imperials)
Lachlan Patterson (Rovers)