Traralgon thumps Sharks in GCL final

Traralgon District's Adam Brady appeals unsuccessfully for the leg-before wicket of Sale-Maffra's Ben Jones. Photo: Tom Parry

Tom Parry

SALE-MAFFRA are lamenting what could have been after being thumped by Traralgon District in the Gippsland Cricket League Grand Final.

The Sharks won the toss and elected to bat first at Sale Oval on Sunday, February 5 on a pitch that was hard, dry and had minimal grass coverage.

Save for the overcast skies and gusty winds, conditions could not have been more perfect for batting.

Unfortunately for the Sharks, their innings did not start well, with Adrian Burgiel bowled on the very first ball for a golden duck.

It was an ominous sign of things to come.

Ewan Williams was next to strike, tearing through Sale-Maffra’s top order to dismiss heavy hitters Zac Hurley, Steve Spoljaric and Rohan Diamond, all lost for single digits in the first 10 overs.

Jack Tatterson and Tom Morrison offered some resistance for the fifth wicket, but only briefly – they too were gone by the 16th over, both succumbing to the bowling of Mitch Harris.

Sale teammates Ben Jones and Garreth Wolmarans formed a partnership which also proved brief, lasting six overs with only 18 runs added.

Wolmarans then combined with Jack Rietschel for another six-over stand, this one netting just 13 runs before the latter was trapped on his pads.

The very next over, Wolmarans was dismissed in similar circumstances, with Sale-Maffra’s scorecard reading 9/80.

Captain Dylan Bolton and Isaac Love managed to save the Sharks from utter humiliation, scoring 36 runs between them in their 10th-wicket fightback.

But it wasn’t enough – Sale-Maffra all out for 116 in the 36th over.

Love was the last batsman to depart, finishing with an innings-best 25.

Williams and Harris took three wickets each, while Lee Stockdale snagged two, and Nat Freitag and James Pryde walked away with one each.

Lee Stockdale took two wickets for Traralgon District in their win against Sale-Maffra’s representative side.
Photo: Tom Parry

Traralgon had a much stronger start to their innings, with openers Frank Marks and Stockdale making 42 runs between them in the first eight overs.

After Stockdale’s dismissal, Marks then partnered with his captain, Freitag, to add another 24 to Traralgon’s total.

A change in bowlers brought an end to that collaboration, with Spoljaric clean-bowling Marks on his very first ball.

Freitag and Al Jenkin added 22 before Spoljaric struck again, the captain being caught-and-bowled for 26.

The late wickets of Ryan Morley and Matt Dyke had the Sharks buzzing, but by then the premiership was well and truly decided.

Jenkin hit the winning runs in the 42nd over with a pull shot to the boundary; Traralgon District being victorious by five wickets.

Marks top-scored with 42, while Jenkin was next-best with 32 not out.

Spoljaric was easily the best of Sale-Maffra’s bowlers with figures of 3/10.

Ewan Williams was awarded Man of the Match for his 3/18 off six overs.

While the scorecard suggests otherwise, Traralgon’s win is nothing to be sniffed at – Sale-Maffra finished the regular GCL season undefeated.

Alastair Jenkin prepares to hit the winning runs for Traralgon District.
Photo: Tom Parry

THE Sharks enjoyed better success in the women’s and under 18s finals, walking away with titles in both.

In the women’s game, the Sharks beat Leongatha District by 106 runs at Bundalaguah.

Choosing to set a total after winning the toss, the team batted the entire 40 overs to end the innings at 4/174.

Opener Lily-Mae Lyndon top-scored with 50 – the score at which female cricketers must retire – while Delwyn Ahern and Indianna Coleman both scored 30, the latter unbeaten.

Katrina Burgoine took two of Leongatha’s wickets.

In reply, Leongatha made just 68 across 28 overs, losing all ten wickets in the process.

Meg Wrigglesworth was Sale-Maffra’s star bowler with figures of 4/13 off her eight overs; Chloe Lenehan claimed two wickets of her own.

And in the Under 18 final, the Sharks were triumphant again, easily accounting for Bairnsdale by 67 runs at College Oval, Sale.

As with the other two games, Sale-Maffra won the toss and batted first, closing their 50 overs at 5/203.

Jay Diamond and Zane Waixel combined for an 82-run stand during the fifth wicket to put their side in a strong position; the former made 69 not out, the latter 46.

Bairnsdale were bowled out for 136 in the 43rd over, with opener Campbell Macalister their best scorer (35).

Harry Tatterson took 3/23 off six overs, while Waixel and Tyson Dobson each finished with two wickets.