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By Chris Anderson

YARRA VALLEY CRICKET ASSOCIATION
After having to wait an extra week for cricket to arrive again, due to torrential rains last weekend, cricketers around the Yarra Valley were champing at the bit to resume the cut and thrust of the season.
With two day games being cut down to one day in the competition’s top grades, victories would prove crucial in establishing ladder positions.
The game of the round in DJ Strachan Shield had to be between the top two performed teams this season, Mount Evelyn and Yarra Junction, and the game didn’t fail to deliver.
On their home deck, Mount Evelyn batted first, and it was in-form opener Daniel Giblin (51) who set the pace for the home team.
With Nick Bark (2/26) removing his partner in crime, Jesse Fraser, in a brilliant spell of bowler, Giblin set about the task giving his team the best part possible. A 62-run partnership with Gareth Fraser had the Mounters humming along nicely.
Jesse Cook (3/52) and Terry Ottrey combined for an excellent partnership of bowling that netted three wickets and put the breaks on the Mount Evelyn innings.
Mount Evelyn captain Kane Jones (32) threatened, but the remainder of the batting line up had to scratch and scrape for their runs and eventually their innings was closed at 7/157, a decent total, but one that was very much attainable.
Yarra Junction made a brisk start courtesy of openers Andy Wear and Andy Taylor, and they were able to maintain their momentum despite some tidy bowling from the home side.
Brad and Kane Jones were able to keep things tight, but Wear stood firm on his way to a half century.
The innings proved to be a real arm wrestle as Yarra Junction stood firm against some disciplined bowling.
With a dash for the total on the horizon, Wear lost his wicket, and the Eagles gradually slipped off the required rate, courtesy of some well executed late bowling from Chad Witherdin (4/29) and Gareth Fraser.
The Eagles were still within reach of the total late into the innings, but just couldn’t muster the big over required to break the Mounters’ back. In the end they fell agonisingly nine runs short in a brilliant contest.
Yarra Glen and Healesville also played out a close game at Queen’s Park.
Yarra Glen’s season has been built upon their experienced bats at the top of the order, and Brendan Ricci, Andy Cowan and John O’Donnell all threatened to break the contest early.
Unfortunately, none of them were able to convert positive starts into a match defining innings.
With the innings well set for a fast finish, Dermott Fry (5/37) kept the middle order in check with an excellent spell of bowling just when his team needed it.
The Riverpigs were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over, but not with the gusto they had anticipated. In the end the final total was 9/167, which could’ve been much more, but considering Healesville’s batting woes this season, looked to be enough to enjoy lunch without to many worries.
Healesville have battled for consistency with the bat this season, but looked determined to give themselves every opportunity to chase the score. Openers Brenton Damrow and Michael Jackson cautiously kept things intact early, and despite an early wicket, the inform Jayden Lawry entered the fray assuredly.
Yarra Glen matched the Bloods patience, and wickets to Richard Ellisdon (2/27) and Jimmy Lusk (3/46) had almost broken the Bloods with the score at 4/66 and a wobbly tail sitting in wait. Jayden Lawry stood firm, and found a valuable ally in Liam Daly. Not only were the pair able to stem the flow of wickets, but they were able to up the ante on a flagging run rate.
At 4/130, the wheel had certainly turned in the Bloods favour with 38 runs needed with seven overs remaining.
Lawry fell for an excellent 61, but Daly fought on.
Yarra Glen needed a match winner, and it was the spin of Andy Cowan (4/46) that would prove to be the difference as he cut a swathe through Healesville’s lower order with guile as they tried to put him to the sword in the final throws of the contest.
Cowan bowled his side to victory as the home side were left six runs short of victory with still two overs in the bank.
Yarra Glen’s season keeps ticking on, whilst a devastated Healesville would be ruing an opportunity to close the gap in the top four.
In the final contest in Strachan Shield, Warburton-Millgrove did what they needed to secure victory against a gallant Seville. The Burras batted first and battled to gain total ascendency against the Blues.
The home side had contributors right throughout their innings without any batsman going on to take control of the match.
Carl Morgan (32) and Liam Barnard (31) were their team’s top contributors with their innings built on a series of partnerships that added to a final total of 7/187, a final total they would be well pleased with.
Jake McInnes (3/45) proved to be the surprise packet with the ball as he led a spirited Blues performance with the ball.
After a bleak start to the season with the bat, Seville have turned things around in recent weeks.
A more determined display this week gave them an opportunity to stay in this contest for a long time.
A useful partnership between Toby Spargo (55) and Jake McInnes (39) gave the innings some early momentum in which it required.
The Burras, however, weren’t about to let this slip, and their bowlers, led by captain Daniel Lever (4/33) ensured their wouldn’t be too many wobbles defending the total. In the end, Seville were bowled out for 151.
Not a disappointing effort with the bat, but still one that left them short on the scoreboard.
In RA Finger Trophy action, Hoddles Creek proved that they can match it with the top four, despite narrowly losing to top of the table Coldstream.
Coldstream batted first, and just could flex their collective muscle against a disciplined Wombats attack.
Contributions from Stephen Phillips (38) and Dean Oliffe (28) looked to be steering the Crocs in the right direction, but the momentum of their innings was continually thwarted by regular wickets.
Simon McLachlan (2/14) and David Rowe (2/30) led a displined performance from the Wombats attack at they managed to keep the home side to 8/137, definitely not an insurmountable total.
The Wombats gave themselves every opportunity to chase the target, and their were moments throughout that suggested they may just get there.
Enterprising innings from Will Trotter (34) and Simon Robertson (29) threatened, but wickets fell at inopportune times.
Daniel Sharp (5/28) and Leam Doughty (4/40) have proven valuable with the ball for the Crocs this season, and again they proved the difference as things got close at the tail end of the innings.
With the game almost gone, the pair were able to bowl Hoddles Creek out for 131, securing a nail-biting five run win and cementing their spot at the top of the ladder.
Woori Yallock are proving that they have every opportunity to be featuring when the whips are cracking at the end of the season as they held firm against a gritty Gruyere.
On their home turf, Woori Yallock batted first, and soon found themselves in a spot of bother losing experienced openers Mick Dwyer and Paul Broussard.
Cal Ferguson strode to the wicket, and from the moment he faced his first ball, he owned this innings.
With the fall of Brandon Mills making the score 3/36, the Tigers found themselves in a spot of bother. Ferguson held firm.
A 118-run partnership with Stephen Morgan, in which Ferguson contributed 80 of the runs, was a highlight of the innings, and enabled some fast scoring at the end of the innings to push the final score to 9/186.
The sour note on the innings was that Ferguson couldn’t convert a much deserved century as he fell for 92. Jared Carroll (4/43) and Ethan Blain (3/39) were the pick of Gruyere’s bowlers.
Gruyere have putted along this season without giving us too many glimpses of their premiership winning form of last season.
They have been close to breaking the trend in recent weeks, and despite the loss of an early wicket, looked to be well on the way to changing their fortunes as the ever reliable Carroll (51) combined with Josh Harding (50) to give this innings some early momentum.
Unfortunately the pair lost their wickets just upon bringing up their half centuries, and the tale of this game would lie in the fact that none of their teammates could reach double figures.
This consigned the Scorpions to a 23-run loss, that with a bit of discipline would’ve seen them claim their biggest scalp of the season.
Wandin kept themselves within touching distance of the top two with a solid victory against Launching Place.
Batting first, the Bulldogs did little wrong with the bat as they compiled a tidy 7/186.
Danny Alderman (59) continues his consistent season with another half century, whilst his captain, Tim Thorne, contributed a contrasting half century to his team’s total scoring it off just 23 balls, including 5 sixes.
Launching Place were best served by Cody Andrews (4/46) with the ball as he did his best to keep things in check. Launching Place have found it tough to match it with the big boys despite showing fight.
Once again the total proved too great, but to Launch’s credit, they batted out their overs and battled on gamely.
Captain Andy Vandervlught (43) gave his team the best opportunity up front with Matt McConnell, but the pair couldn’t kick on.
Max Bradley (29) continues to display his prodigious talents, but he too fell when he needed to kick on.
In the end the visitors fell 46 runs short despite fighting it out.
For the Bulldogs, who have now entrenched themselves in the top four, David Wallace (3/26) was again their most effective bowler.
DJ Strachan Shield and RA Finger Trophy
Healesville 162 (J Lawry 61, L Daly 44, A Cowan 4/46, J Lusk 3/46) lost to Yarra Glen 9/167 (B Ricci 35, A Cowan 31, D Fry 5/37); Warburton-Millgrove 7/187 (C Morgan 32, L Barnard 31, J Neale 21*, J McInnes 3/45) defeated Seville 151 (T Spargo 55, J McInnes 39, Dan Lever 4/33); Mount Evelyn 7/157 (D Giblin 51, K Jones 32, J Cook 3/52, N Bark 2/26) defeated Yarra Junction 8/148 (A Wear 50, K Bomford 23*, C Witherdin 4/29); Coldstream 8/136 (S Phillips 38, D Oliffe 28, S McLaughlin 2/14, D Rowe 2/30) defeated Hoddles Creek 131 (W Trotter 34, S Robertson 29, D Sharp 5/28, L Doughty 4/40); Woori Yallock 9/186 (C Ferguson 92, S Morgan 21, J Carroll 4/43, E Blain 3/39) defeated Gruyere 163 (J Carroll 51, J Harding 50, J Young 2/5, P Broussard 2/25); Wandin 7/185 (D Alderman 59, T Thorne 50, C Andrews 4/46) defeated Launching Place 7/140 (A Vandervlught 43, M Bradley 29, D Wallace 3/26).
C Grade
Yarra Junction 9/119 (R Foley 43, S Gebert 3/17, A Pearce 2/38) defeated by Healesville 6/122 (S Gebert 48*, T Gasket 2/40); Mount Evelyn 8/185 (A Giblin 61, A Whiting 30, L Faulkingham 3/25, S Thompson 3/20) defeated Powelltown 8/170 (L Long 51, A Giblin 3/27); Seville 5/80 (D Gale 31, K.Chawala 18*, H Lamont 3/8, D Trembath 2/40) defeated Wandin 75 (R Smith 17, M Alderman 17, G Foster 4/28, J Beri 2/3, M Proctor 2/17); Yarra Glen vs Warburton-Millgrove (no scores).
D Grade
Healesville 67 (S Fawdry 9, P Heaphy 5/10) defeated by Mount Evelyn 7/72 (L Cook 15*, D Henderson 14, W Cooney 4/9); Hoddles Creek 49 (B. Ganson 4/4, R. Foley 3/9) defeated by Yarra Junction 9/189 (L Thompson 77, S Jordan 34, B Cole 2/32, B Sinclair 2/36); Coldstream 7/144 (D Vaux 67, A Whelan 31*, M Milkins 3/35, E Davies 2/26) defeated Launching Place 97 (R Milkins 48*, P McArdle 3/9, A Cummins 2/9); Seville 3/110 (A Kay 55, S Mindie 14, L Kay 14, B Clark 1/4, B Sinnot 1/9) defeated Wandin 9/109 (L Perry 45, M Sinnot 23, D Knight 6/25, A Kay 2/27).
One Day Grade
Marysville 2/83 (T Gleeson 39, B Norman 26*, M Wallace 2/6) defeated Healesville 8/76 (L English 24, R Nolan 21, R Hodgins 2/3, B Norman 2/9); Coldstream 6/71 (J Hamilton 26, B Robinson 2/11, S Dunne 2/20) defeated Seville 9/64 (D Steele 3/2, Jamie Hamilton 2/1, Jace Hamilton 2/21); Yarra Junction 9/179 (G Lebrocq 48*, G Thompson 43*, A Clarke 2/4, C Dunne 2/21) defeated by Powelltown 4/203 (B Simpson 41*, D Andrel 41*, M Clue 30*, C Holmes 2/15), Gruyere vs Warburton-Millgrove (no scores).
Under 16s
Mount Evelyn v Healesville 7/171 (Z Fawdry 54*, L Chandler 31, B Westaway 2/18); Seville v Coldstream 7/120 (A Steele 51*, M Pezzimenti 18, A Whelan 18, C Collee 2/8, H Harvey 2/18); Warburton Millgrove 96 (A Nelson 33, N Andueza 11, J Woolley 10, L O’Dea 3/19, M Berry 2/8, J Kettler 2/16) vs Yarra Junction; Launching Place vs Bye.
Under 14s
Moujnt Evelyn/Launching Place v Healesville 3/161 (S Gebert 40*, M Hirst 34*, B Jones 1/19, G Parker 1/20, O Powell 1/23); Hoddles Creek 1/21 (G Vukman 6*, K Rhodes 1/7) vs Coldstream 58 (H Wheeler 16*, B Weir 4/2, J Fritzlaff 2/6); Warburton Millgrove 8/171 (B Humphrey 49*, P Huynh 31, T Nicolandis 17*, R Bomford 4/13, R Foley 2/29, H Beers 1/9) vs Yarra Junction/Gruyere; Yarra Glen vs Bye’
Under 12s
Healesville Red 4/79 (R Cameron 21*, B Davey 1/4) defeated Yarra Glen 7/55 (L Pierce 13*, J Johnson 3/4), Healesville White 3/194 (C Anderson 65*, R Lever 31*, P Lambe 1/16, K Tilney 1/18) defeated Yarra Junction/Gruyere 8/26 (R Lever 3/3), Seville 4/88 (H Smith 21*, L Timoney 9*, H Murphy 7*) defeated Woori Yallock 5/74 (Charlie 9*, Balyn 8, James 5*, H Smith 2/1, T Scott 2/5, H Murphy 1/8); Marysville vs Hoddles Creek (no scores); Warburton-Millgrove vs Launching Place (no scores); Mount Evelyn vs Bye.
Under 10s
Warburton White 3/124 (Zane 14, Mitch 7, Tilley 2/7, Archie 1/10) defeated Hoddles Creek 13/66 (Des 7, Jack 5, Archie 5, Zane 5/3, Mitch 2/2, Zack 2/9); Warburton Burras 4/59 (Steven 9, Tom 5, Gabriel 5) defeated by Warburton Black 3/97 (Gabriel 1/12, Sasha 1/16); Wandin 2/126 (Jack Dixon 14, Mac 11, Joshua 1/1) defeated Warburton Blue 5/86 (Jack Darwall 14, Jack Dixon 2/4); Healesville 3/166 (D English 31*, L Frazzetto 20*, Ella 1/18, Jarrah 1/29) defeated Launching Place 80 (Briana 19, Paige 13, L Frazzetto 3/10, D English 2/7); Seville 5/79 (Jackson 6*, Alby 3*) def by Wandin 3/91 (Jarrah 7*, Max 3*, Jackson 1/4, Aiden 1/6); Wandin Blue 2/126 (Jack Dickson 14, Jack Mann 12, Kaylee 1/19, Josh 1/1) defeated Warburton Blue 5/84 (Jack Dorthwaite 2/4, Jack 14, Nate 6); Yarra Junction/Launching Place 5/63 (Ash 4, Dean 4,Black 2/10, Hunter 1/2) vs Woori Yallock 7/89 (Brock 11, Archie 8, Molly 2/7, Paddy 1/8, Tyler 1/15).

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