Sharks at Scorpion Park

Liam Durkin

ROUND two of Gippsland Cricket League senior action will take place this Sunday, with teams across the associations looking to put their best foot forward.

Sale-Maffra, coming off an opening round win, will return to Scorpion Park, venue of the past two grand finals, to take on Leongatha.

After putting in a diabolical performance with the bat last time around, Leongatha will be hoping its top order can fire to put some pressure on a Sharks line-up which bats deep, exemplified by the fact they were still able to post 9-166 after being 7-98 against Latrobe Valley.

Sale-Maffra will take a relatively unchanged line-up into the match, with Rohan Blandford, Jack Wrigglesworth and possibly Stuart Anderson the only players available to come in.

AFTER brushing aside Leongatha in round one, Bairnsdale will be looking to make the trip back from Lucknow a sombre one for Warragul.

The Wild Dogs will be eager to put on a good show after their opening match was washed out.

Traditionally the Wild Dogs have chosen workmanlike players in their representative teams, taking a preference to players who are able to remain disciplined as opposed to those willing to take a risk in order to gain an advantage.

After being overlooked for Gippsland under 21 selection despite averaging 60 at club level, Buln Buln wicketkeeper Jack Armour said he was determined to prove a point.

“I was a bit surprised I didn’t at least get an offer to be honest after playing in the final last year, but most people would rather play GCL anyway because there is an opportunity to make runs against the best of the best,” Armour said.

THE match between Traralgon and Latrobe Valley promises to be one of the most hotly contested GCL matches in recent memory.

After an off-season which had Latrobe Valley and Traralgon officials locked in battles at boardroom level, Sunday’s GCL match should explode with passions igniting on the field.

“There has been a fair bit of mud slinging from a few keyboard warriors about the Latrobe Valley league, so everyone will be putting their hand up to play,” Latrobe Valley manager Craig Giddens said.

A number of former Traralgon association players, including Ross Whelpdale, Tim Fitch, Dylan Freitag and Ryan Harvey, are now playing in Latrobe Valley, and can expect plenty of attention from their former teammates.

Calignee and Traralgon South all rounder Ben Julin is on record as saying that he was “all for the merger”, but that “Ex-Students would absolutely pants Morwell”, so Sunday’s match may offer a good indication to see if there truly is any imbalance between the playing standard of the two leagues.