THE Leongatha and District Cricket Association are in danger of missing the Gippsland Cricket League final after losing again against Sale-Maffra at Inverloch’s Thompson Reserve on Sunday.
Dropped chances proved costly with the visitors reaching the required total with two wickets to spare.
LDCA skipper Tim Wightman won the toss and elected to bat first, but lost openers Mitch Clark and Wal Taberner for just four and five respectively.
Tom Piddington and Ryan Thomas then steadied the innings, getting the LDCA past the half century before they too fell in quick succession for 25 and 24.
Kit Rotthier added a vital 26 in the lower order to help get the locals to 135 before they were bowled out with just seven balls to spare.
Sale-Maffra’s Taylor Tatterson led the way, taking 4/17 along with Brad Scott who picked up 3/26 with the ball.
LDCA debutant, Inverloch quick Lewie Rankin got an early breakthrough, knocking over opener Ben Shepperson for eight.
Sale-Maffra seemed to stem the bleeding before a series of quick wickets had the hosts back in the match, but dropped catches hurt LDCA, who could have put the visitor’s tailenders under even more pressure.
Sale-Maffra won by two wickets, before eventually being bowled out for 152 in the final over.
The LDCA’s spin bowling quartet of Madura Weerasinghe Silva, Charith Keerthisinghe, Tim Wightman and Dylan Clark combined for 36.3 of the 49.3 overs bowled, each taking two wickets.
Rankin finished with 1/10 off four overs and Ryan Clark bowled one over for a wicket-maiden.
LDCA captain Tim Wightman, said that again it was a case of not making enough with the bat.
“We just didn’t get enough runs on the board, 180 would have done the job but 130 just doesn’t cut it,” Wightman said.
“We bowled well which kept us in the game for a fair while. We got a few quick wickets, but again it comes back to runs – it was never enough.”
The LDCA, the GCL’s reigning premiers, have now lost two of their three matches, leaving them fifth on the ladder in the six team competition.
The GCL season is now over until the New Year, when the LDCA will take on ladder leaders Warragul and Bairnsdale in Rounds 4 and 5 to try and get the win-loss ratio back into the positive.