THE Sale-Maffra Cricket Association season got underway on Saturday, with some impressive results across the board.
Stratford began its title defence by flexing its muscles with an impressive win over Maffra, defeating the Eagles by 96 runs.
Collegians put together a comprehensive batting performance to defeat Boisdale-Briagolong by seven wickets after the Saints made 196 batting first.
Bundalaguah got its season off to a strong start, accounting for Sale by 77 runs after amassing an impressive 8-241 batting first.
Rosedale-Kilmany made light work of last year’s bottom of the ladder Longford, bundling out the Lizards for 73 to win by 67 runs.
STRATFORD will be pleased to start its title defence so strongly with a big win over last year’s grand finalists, Maffra.
It was a tough day for the seamers, and Stratford’s openers cashed in with an opening partnership of 48. Jack Wrigglesworth finished on 37 before falling to Mitch Bennett.
Taylor Tatterson came to the wicket but struggled to get going, scoring 13 from 33 deliveries before being run out by Maffra’s Danny Butcher.
That wicket brought Ben Channing to the crease, who looked to be positive from ball one.
Channing finished the innings not out on 81, putting together a strong partnership with captain Jack Tatterson who supported his number four well scoring, 36 from 52.
Channing and Tatterson came to the wicket with the match teetering after two quick wickets but set about settling, putting on 106 to help Stratford finish 6-210 after their 45 overs.
Maffra lost the key wicket of Dan Bedggood early to Jack Wrigglesworth but Ben Sly steadied, scoring 24 off 38 before falling to Ethan Albrecht.
After the Eagles lost their captain Josh Davis they never got going, losing regular wickets with Lee Hopkins the standout, scoring 52 from 66 with wickets falling all around him.
Hopkins was faultless in his innings finishing not out. He hit three fours and one six to be the shining light in a tough day for Maffra.
BUNDALAGUAH showed the rest of the competition that it means business this summer, easily accounting for Sale.
The Bulls’ top order looks to be in fine form to start the summer, with Jason Langshaw and Kyle O’Reilly getting the Bulls off to a solid start before Langshaw fell for 28 from 36.
O’Reilly then continued his good start with number three Matt Doswett, with the pair combining for 63 before Dowsett fell to Brody Dobson for 33.
This brought Steven Spoljaric to the wicket, who is showing that he is ageing like a fine wine, scoring 55 from 58, combining with O’Reilly to put on 97 for the third wicket.
Sale was able to wrest back some of the Bulls’ momentum, taking four wickets for only five runs towards the end of the Bulls’ innings, including the wicket of opener O’Reilly who finished on 80 with seven boundaries to help Bundalaguah finish on 241.
Sale bowlers John Mayman and Lucas Mowat were able to take some wickets in the piece, claiming 4-53 and 3-41 respectively — accounting for most of the Bulls’ wickets between them.
In response Sale was unable to find many gaps, losing early wickets and only managing to put together a total of 164.
The Bulls had a good spread of the wickets, with Gayashan Munasinghe taking 2-27 from his nine overs, and Eranda Aponso finishing with 2-34 from his nine.
Steven Spoljaric capped off a strong day with 2-26.
Nathan Massey enjoyed a strong return to the SMCA, top scoring for the Swans with 59 from 86, with Ben Jones the next best, making 26 from 24.
COLLEGIANS had a seven wicket win against Boisdale-Briagolong, but the match was kept interesting as College took the chase to the penultimate over.
The Saints started their innings strongly after winning the toss and electing to have a hit, with their top order getting them off to a great start.
Michael Roberts and Steve Noble put on 66 for the opening stand, scoring 43 and 41 respectively.
Tom Langshaw then came to the wicket, putting on 30 before falling to Mark Nicholls who took 2-45 from nine overs.
Boisdale-Briagolong lost regular wickets after that, with College captain Isaac Love ensuring his team would not let the Saints get away late in the innings, finishing with figures of 4-37.
College never looked troubled by the Saints’ bowlers, with openers Tom Morrison and Jed Malone putting on 80 for the first wicket, scoring 34 and 44 respectively.
The Saints were able to snag three quick wickets courtesy of two from Liam Hurst and one from Mark Donald.
Elliott Durrant and Charlie Morrison settled for College, guiding it to a win, with Durrant top scoring on 72 not out and Morrison scoring 41 off 64.
LONGFORD ran into the Anthony Scott Show against Rosedale-Kilmany.
It was poor timing for the Lizards, as Scott was available to play for his old club due to a break in his schedule with Yarram and District Cricket Club, which begins its season next week in the Traralgon and District Cricket Association.
Scott ended up scoring 77 out of a total of 140 and took 4-6.
Longford sent Rosedale-Kilmany in upon winning the toss, and would have been pleased with the improvement of its bowlers in their first game, led by new recruit Jake Wynd who took 6-26 from his nine overs.
Captain Lachlan Floyd started his time back at the Lizards well, taking 2-36 from his nine overs.
Scott opened the innings with a swashbuckling 77 from 64 balls, comprising of eight fours and three sixes before being bowled by Wynd.
Captain Rohan Diamond was the next best, putting on 21 from 30 and finishing not out.
The Lizards never got going in their pursuit of 140, as only three batsman made double figures. Kerrod Macgregor-Davis top scored with 21.
Dylan Rowley was the destroyer for the Warriors, taking 3-18 from six overs, ensuring that after the openers fell the middle order would put up little resistance, accounting for Austin Bauer, Will White and Wynd.
Anthony Scott then tidied up the Lizards’ innings with his 4-6 to see the Longford innings come to a close with the team bundled out for 73.