Leongatha Town’s Amila Ratnaike has starred with the bat and ball in A Grade Division 1 this season, hitting 450 runs and claiming 17 wickets so far.
THE LDCA’s A Grade Division 1 has been a tight competition so far and is set up for an enthralling finish after teams enjoy the Christmas break.
Nerrena has been the stand out team having lost just one match to the second-placed Inverloch in round six.
Nerrena secretary Graham Wightman said the team’s success was down to an even team performance.
“Mitch Clark is our new captain and he’s a really young captain in his 20s, but he’s done a really good job,” he said.
“Our legend Damien Symmons has had a great year as he usually does and Josh Trease has been good with the bat and ball.”
The Red Caps’ greatest challenger this season has been Inverloch, who narrowly lost to Nerrena in the final round before Christmas.
The Stingrays have had a consistent season to date, including two victories over the dangerous Wonthaggi Workers.
Inverloch president Bill Aikins said the improved effort was a result of the commitment shown by coach Kit Rotthier and the players.
“It’s a pretty settled line up and if you can keep the same players together and they work well together, you’re going to get a good team,” he said.
“Darien Mathews has made runs and taken wickets, he was batting at number eight at times and he’s made a couple of fifties.”
The Wonthaggi Workmen’s are in unknown territory having sat at the top of the A1 table for many years.
The Workmen’s are in third position with three losses and the loss to OMK last week may have dashed their chances of a top two finish.
Workmen’s president Rob Geyer blamed a lack of runs for the side’s downfall.
“We’re doing everything else right but there’s not enough consistency with the bat,” he said.
“Captain/coach Gav Britt is having a good year and has been making a few runs but he hasn’t turned them into big ones like he normally does.”
“James Sheerin has been good with the ball as well as Ryan Thomas.
“Numbers are really good and the juniors are going well, we just need A Grade to fire up.”
Leongatha Town’s Amila Ratnaike leads the batting statistics with 450 runs at an impressive average of 75.
Gav Britt has hit 379 runs at an average of 54.14 and Damien Symmons has made 364 runs at an average of 45.50.
Workmen’s bowler Ryan Thomas has claimed the bowling honours so far with 21 wickets at an average of 17.67, followed by Nerrena Josh Trease with 18 wickets at an average of 12.89.
Ratnaike has proven to be the premier all-rounder of the competition with 17 wickets at an average of 19.82.
A Grade Div 2
The A Grade Division 2 competition hasn’t been as closely contested, with many one-sided matches and blow outs this season.
Korumburra has been the stand-out team, losing only two matches and winning outright on two occasions.
Korumburra president Darren Scott said it was exciting times for the club.
“The guys put a lot of effort into the pre-season and are starting to reap the reward of their hard work,” he said.
“Shane Dole had a very good start to the year, but you probably expect that being the most experienced cricketer there.
“There haven’t been any other real standouts; there’s been one or two pop up each game to get the boys across the line.”
Despite the Cobras sitting clear on top of the ladder, the side will not rest on its laurels.
“At the moment it’s a team effort and we’re still expecting a lot of improvement from guys in the second half of the season,” Darren said.
“We’ve got some different approaches to training that Shane and Daniel Salmon will introduce after Christmas, including game simulation and fielding drills.
“The turf has come up magnificently. The idea of turf was to get more experience because finals are played on turf and as a club we’ve lacked game time on the turf in recent years.
“We’re really rapt with where it’s at. We haven’t got one or two people looking after it, we’ve got a lot of guys around the club helping out.”
Trailing Korumburra in second position is MDU, who have been bolstered by the recruitment of Nick and Adam Eddy.
MDU president Craig Hoober said it’s the best start to a season he can remember.
“We’ve won eight games, lost two to Korumburra and beaten everyone else,” he said.
“Adam has been in the top couple of bowlers with 27 wickets and Nick has made over 300 runs.
“Mark Le Page and Mark Cantwell have only played a handful of games so were looking forward to them playing after Christmas.”
Koonwarra-Leongatha/RSL batsmen Sam Hughes has hit 418 at an average of 52.25, followed by Nick Eddy with 322 runs at an average of 40.25 and Shane Dole with 310 runs at an average of 44.29.
In the bowling, Kyle Dorman leads the way with 27 wickets at an average of 8.74, Adam Eddy has claimed 27 wickets at an average of nine and Dole has taken 18 wickets at an average of 8.83.