Traralgon wins Gippsland Cricket League final rematch against Sale-Maffra

SALE-MAFFRA went down in a close contest against Traralgon in Sunday's Gippsland Cricket League match.

The blockbuster fixture had last season's grand finalists battle it out, with Traralgon defending its score of 140.

The Tornadoes recovered from a slow start, with captain Chris Lehner and Ryan Morley putting on a handy partnership of 33 for the second wicket.

The former made 27 and the latter 42.

From there, wickets fell at regular intervals, as Sale-Maffra's depth of bowlers allowed it to strike.

Coenie Nel took four wickets in his first senior GCL game, while fellow spinner Josh Davis and pacer Dylan Rowley claimed two each.

Chasing a tricky total, the Sharks got off to a steady enough start, before Zac Hurley was dismissed off the bowling of Michael Warne with the score on 23. It was at this point the Tornadoes' spinners came into the game, as they took three of the next five wickets to leave Sale-Maffra in all sorts of trouble at 5-57.

Rohan Diamond did his best to wrestle some ascendency back with a counter-attacking 34 batting at number seven, but his efforts were in vain as Traralgon's Justin Little finished the job to have the Sharks all out for 134.

Little took 4-25 to make it back-to-back fourwicket hauls in representative cricket, while Warne ended with 3-31. Luke Henderson was also effective, conceding just 19 runs in 10 overs, which included the key wicket of the in-form Nel.

The tale of the day for Sale-Maffra was probably best evidenced by the fact the team's highest partnership was 28.

In other games, Leongatha defeated Warragul and Latrobe Valley posted its first win for the season, getting the points over Bairnsdale.

IT was better news for the Sharks' under 18s, who defeated Traralgon in a close finish by two wickets.

The Sale-Maffra women's team had the bye.

THE next round of GCL matches will be played Sunday week, with the seniors hosting Warragul at College Oval, and the under 18s playing a twenty20 double header at Korumburra, while the women will play Centrals at Apex Park, Traralgon.

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