The final round of the Gippsland Cricket League was inconsequential in terms of determining finalists, although for the players involved, there was still plenty at stake.

With combatants for the senior final, to be played on Sunday, February 5, already set in stone before the round started, the game between Traralgon and Sale-Maffra offered a dress rehearsal for the big dance.

Players from either side also had one final chance to impress selectors for not only the final, but Melbourne Country Week, which starts February 13.

Taking to the picturesque Roger Ries Oval, Toongabbie, now featuring a white picket fence, the Tornadoes batted first and closed at 9/155.

Opening bat Ryan Morley top-scored with 44, and received support from Dougal Williams, who made 29 in the middle order.

Sale-Maffra threw the ball around, using eight bowlers in total.

Captain Dylan Bolton was the most productive in terms of wickets, taking 4/34, while Steve Spoljaric did Steve Spoljaric things, and ended with 2/23 off 10 with three maidens.

Interestingly, Sharks quick Tom Morrison only bowled one over – an over that produced a wicket.

Sale-Maffra didn’t have too much trouble chasing down the total, getting across the line in the 38th over.

A fresh Tom Morrison made 41 against the new ball, and brother Charlie remained unbeaten on 31.

Traralgon took three wickets for their trouble. Ewan Williams and stand-in skipper Adam Brady nabbed a pair each.

Although the Sharks won by five wickets, it is likely both sides will take some mental notes heading into the Grand Final.

Traralgon may still bring in key players Lee Stockdale, Jimmy Pryde and captain Nat Freitag, which will no doubt change the order and dynamic.

LEONGATHA finished its GCL campaign on a high, defeating Bairnsdale.

Playing at Scorpian Park (another picturesque ground on the Gippsland landscape), the visiting Bairnsdale team decided to have a hit first up.

Bairnsdale was bowled out for 166, a disappointing total considering they were 1/98.

Wickets fell in a steady stream after captain Reagan Kyle was dismissed for 43.

Only opening bat Sam Stewart with 61 was able to make an impression.

Andrew Donohue was the best bowler for Leongatha, and finished with 4/31, while Damian Symmons and noted goal-kicker Lachlan Wright chipped in with a couple each.

The boys from Gatha’ town chipped away at the total bit-by-bit, and won thanks to a team effort of most people making handy double-figure contributions.

Although James Rushton was the only player to make a decent score (42 off 43) the work of others batting around him ensured the points for the home side.

Bairnsdale used five bowlers, who all took one wicket, while there was a run-out in the mix as well.

PRIDE was on the line for Latrobe Valley and Warragul.

The Wild Dogs kept theirs in tact with an emphatic 95-run victory, while for Latrobe Valley, to get skittled for 110 on a wicket as good as Ted Summerton probably left more questions than answers.

Warragul was sent in, and duly scored 205.

Todd Mann played an enterprising knock of 30 off 27 balls, before the two Vela’s, James and Dan, made 61 and 31 respectively.

Latrobe Valley had Warragul in a bit of trouble at 4/71, but the Wild Dogs were able to dig themselves out of the hole.

Grant Duncan courageously took the Warragul total past 200, as the visitors used their full 50 over allotment.

Tye Hourigan got one for the mantlepiece, bowling very well to claim figures of 5/38 off 10 overs.

Jackson Noonan and George Cheshire also had some success with a pair of wickets each.

Unfortunately for Latrobe Valley, the batting effort was a train-wreck.

After getting to 20 without too many issues, wickets started to tumble, and fell virtually every 10 runs thereafter.

Blair Clymo hung around for a period, making 29 off 45 balls, but the home side failed to ever get going, and was bundled out in the 39th over.

Dan Vela backed up his efforts with the bat, taking 3/23, while Harry McConnell took 2/20.

Duncan, opening the bowling with his left arm orthodox, displayed good control, returning figures of 1/23 off 10 with two maidens.

There was some friendly-fire in this match, as Mann came up against former teammates Noonan and Clymo.