Morning rains put a dampener on proceeding for cricketers across the Yarra Valley last weekend, with many games delayed, interrupted or abandoned without a ball being bowled.
In the Yarra Valley Cricket Association’s DJ Strachan Shield, for the games that got a start it was the bowlers who took the honours on day one.
Traditional rivals Healesville and Seville faced off in a crucial battle in the race for finals.
Seville’s form reversal since Christmas has been quite remarkable.
The visitors were asked to bat in tricky conditions.
Bowlers Dermott Fry and Jordan Poynton had a tidy opening spell, with Poynton capturing two early wickets.
Seville captain Leigh Aitkins joined young opener Liam Kay at the wicket, and the pair repaired some of the early damage.
The pair started to get the scoreboard ticking over and pushed the score to 2/40 before Dale Senior swung the game back in Healesville’s favour.
Coming off a match-winning display with the ball last round, Senior (3/44) was back at it this weekend with three quick wickets, rapidly reducing the visitors to 5/55.
When Poynton (3/33) returned to capture his third wicket, Seville found itself in quite a deep hole at 6/63.
Andy Kay’s role in the team has been to mentor the youngsters while taking a back seat to their prodigious talent.
But for the second week in a row his coolness with bat in hand was vital.
Kay (45) combined with the tail for a series of important partnerships to not only extend the innings to its full allotment of overs, but record a fairly decent total of 171.
Daniel Healy and Marcus Smith were his chief allies.
Healesville star Ash Hamer kept things in check over the final stages of the innings, taking three crucial wickets.
Mount Evelyn lowered their colours for the first time for the season last round so were keen to atone against a Yarra Junction team that has struggled for consistency.
Mount Evelyn won the toss and chose to bat first.
O’Donnell fell early and, despite a short resurgence, Jesse Fraser and Andrew Giblin quickly followed him to the sheds.
The Mounters were 3/22.
Daniel Fraser joined captain Kane Jones at the wicket for a well-measured partnership.
Jones scored a run-a-ball 60 while Fraser was the patient support act.
The pair pushed the total beyond 100 and extended the innings beyond the tea interval.
But they fell in quick succession, sparking a devastating collapse as Kevin Bomford (3/16) and Caleb Hrabe (2/16) cut a swathe through the Mount Evelyn middle to lower order.
A spell of five wickets for 12 runs quickly reduced the innings to a poorly 8/113.
Chad Witherdin (33 not out) stepped up to stem the carnage with some late partnerships, the score 9/141 at stumps.
Only 45 overs were bowled due to rain, leaving the contest wide open.
The final game of the round between Wandin and Warburton-Millgrove was a complete wash-out.
It will now revert to a one-day contest next weekend.
DJ STRACHAN SHIELD
Healesville vs Seville 10/171 (A. Kay 45, M. Smith 16*, J. Poynton 3/33, A. Hamer 3/39, D. Senior 3/44)
Mount Evelyn 9/141 (K. Jones 60, C. Witherdin 33*, K. Bomford 3/16, C. Hrabe 2/16) vs Yarra Junction
RA FINGER TROPHY
Coldstream 10/138 (D. Oliffe 33, D. Pezzimenti 18, D. Whelan 15, C. Dikschei 15, R. English 5/38, M. Jackson 4/37) v Healesville
Mount Evelyn 10/151 (M. Potter 25, T. Williams 24*, C. Ferguson 4/13, J. Young 2/20) vs Woori Yallock
Seville 10/134 (S. Troyahn 37, D. Knight 24, B. Robertson 20, S. Robertson 2/13, L. Hoorn 2/22, S. McLachlan 2/23) d Hoddles Creek 10/90 (S. Robertson 32, J. McIntosh 19, D. Knight 3/22, M. Hardy 2/6)
Yarra Junction 6/152 (M. Robinson 38, L. Vandervlugt 34, J. White 20, J. Mullins 2/22, B. Pereira 2/34) d Seville 10/70 (C. Trainor 23, R. Culwick 23, T. Pilton 3/9, B. Ganson 3/11, R. Lebrocq 1/2)
16 AND UNDER
Healesville 4/175 (C. Frazzetto 50*, S. North 43*, S. Gebert 23*, L. Odea 2/12) d Yarra Junction/Gruyere 8/102 (C. Holmes 42, R. Foley 39, S. Gebert 2/4, C. Kusnezow 2/11)
Warburton-Millgrove 4/97 (A. Nelson 37*, D. Cerveri 24*) d Coldstream 91 (L. Riddiford 46, B. Humphrey 3/3, P. Huynh 3/5)
Healesville 7/179 (C. Anderson 45*, J. Handasyde 27*, C. Nyko 23, M. Thompson 23*, N. Powell 3/27, T. Noar 2/39) d Coldstream/Mount Evelyn 6/38 (M. Thompson 1/0, C. Nyko 1/0)
Hoddles Creek 10/195 (O. Simpson 52, W. Hayes 33, R. Thompson 3/10, R. Staggard 2/16) drew with (wash out) Warburton/Millgrove 4/70 (E. Crowley-Brown 19*, H. Heatherton 16*, O. Simpson 1/3, J. Karanikich 1/11)
Yarra Junction 7/165 (R. Foley 43, L. Theobald 25*, N. Berry 26*, H. Murphy 1/9, J. Hook 1/6, L. Timoney 1/8) d Seville 10/40 (H. Smith 9, C. Aitkins 8, R. Lambie 6*, D. Carvill 5/1, L. Theobald 1/1, N. Berry 1/2)
Yarra Glen Red 5/121 (C. Watts 35*, L. Pearce 22*, A. Druitt 2/9) drew with (wash out) Healesville White 4/39 (J. Ferris 10, A. Druitt 7, C. Ewan 2/8)
Yarra Junction/Gruyere 6/104 (B. Doolan 12, H. Beers 9, K. Tilney 8, L. Parker 4/6) drew with (wash out) Launching Place