Country week carnage
ONLY one win out of four matches at Provisional Country Week has left the Leongatha and District Cricket Association side scratching their heads.
Team manager Kristian Gray said the team was ready for a much better result than gained.
“We didn’t get off to the best start, the loss early on put us on the back foot,” he said.
“We just didn’t play our best cricket really.”
The team is ready to recoup though for next year.
“Escaping relegation has given us another chance next year to win the top (grade),” Gray said.
“There’s not a lot between all eight sides as proven by Sale-Maffra.”
After a dominating season in the Gippsland Cricket League the LDCA side were confident going into the competition but when they faced up to fellow Gippsland opponents Sale-Maffra they were quickly brought back down to earth.
Solid hitting from the Sale-Maffra side, in particular Michael Jones with 56, saw them at 7/223 at the end of their innings.
The Leongatha boys were set to chase hard but a duck to opener Walter Taberner had them on the backfoot from the start.
Eli Richards (33) and Dylan Clark (35) hit well for Leongatha but Sale-Maffra’s bowling outfit were bringing the heat.
The Leongatha batting order was cleared and all out for 181 before the innings was up.
Sale Maffra went in to bat for one over, hitting an astounding 1/22 off six balls.
Leongatha were up against the Murray Valley Cricket Association on day two, hungry for redemption.
Going in to bat first the Leongatha boys started slowly before Ryan Thomas knocked out a handy 22 runs off 33 balls.
Guru Kedarnath took control of the game when he got to the crease, smashing out 70 runs which included three fours and two sixes.
This had the boys all out for 170 at the end of their innings. Murray Valley bowler Thomas Glover helped keep the score down with his 6/32 effort.
Early big hitters for the opposition had Leongatha looking in trouble early in their fielding innings.
Thornson (48) and Grandell (41) helped Murray Valley reach their target with lower order batsman Quinn adding to the score to finish the innings 9/253.
The third day of competition saw Leongatha get into the swing of things after being sent in to to bat first against the Ballarat Cricket Association.
Mitch Clark (35) and Shane Murdoch (27) opened strongly and were backed up by captain Jason Wilson (38) and middle order batsman Dylan Clark (31).
They built up the score for the innings to 8/207, a tough challenge for their counterparts who were also winless in the competition.
Despite a strong start by Ballarat opener Paul Phillips (47) the Leongatha bowlers were ready to make short work of the rest of the batting order.
Luke Rogers (3/33) and Tim Wightman (3/24) tore though the Ballarat line up along with help from Guru Kedarnath (2/10).
Leongatha had Ballarat all out for 156, securing themselves a victory.
Going back in to bat Leongatha managed 3/15 in three overs.
High off their win, The LDCA boys went into day four against Bendigo and District full of confidence.
Batting first, it was a slow start with low scoring off a high number of balls and had the Leongatha side once again on the back foot.
Ten maidens for Ballarat made run scoring an obvious challenge for the batsmen.
Young gun Tom Wyatt acted as a saviour for the side, hitting 66 backed up by 44 from team captain Jason Wilson.
When the 50 overs were up the scoreboard read 5/147, an achievable target.
An early duck to Ballarat opener Cam Taylor served by Tim Wightman gave the Leongatha boys a rev up.
Solid hitting had Ballarat on track to reach their target and that they did, reaching 8/207 in 47 overs.
Leongatha went back to bat for a fun three overs, hitting 1/46 to round out their week.
Former Meeniyan cricketer Taylor Beard was making his own impression on country, hitting fantastic scores of 31, 64 and 82, the latter being one of the highest of the week. Beard was representing the Goulburn Murray Association.
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