THE LDCA Junior Country Week Under 15 and Under 14 returned from Traralgon with a mixed bag of results.
The week started off with rain from Monday to Wednesday morning when the weather cleared, which resulted in rescheduling of some Under 15 matches due to turf grounds being unavailable.
Both sides had the worst of the conditions bowling with a wet ball in the opening three days, which put pressure on the bowling and fielding.
With the top order batsmen struggling to consolidate their starts, the pressure was on the lower order batting to make the runs consistently.
The Under 15s won their last two matches against Bairnsdale on turf at Traralgon South, with the Under 14s’ only success a tie against Warragul at Glengarry on Tuesday.
Aaron Bardwell was chosen in the Under 14 All Gippsland Junior Country Week team as wicketkeeper.
Day 1 v Traralgon: Leongatha won the toss and sent Traralgon in to bat on a damp Yinnar pitch which deteriorated as the day went on due to consistent showers during the day.
Leongatha started off well with two run outs to Aiden Box and Alex Geyer trapping their opener Sbaglia for 6 to have Traralgon 3/11.
To the boys credit they stuck to the job with run ups very wet and after 50 overs Traralgon finished 7/157.
After lunch LDCA batted with Matt Allen (29) and Jacob Lamers (16) opening on a very wet pitch and very slow outfield, to reach 2/56.
Wickets tumbled and the LDCA was quickly all out for 112, with Brad Monson (17) and Ryan Sparkes (13) adding respectability to the score.
Day 2 v Warragul: The game was moved from Glengarry Turf to a synthetic pitch at Toongabbie.
Warragul won the toss and batted, scoring 3/210 off 50 overs.
Wickets went to Alex Geyer, Jack Hume and Ryan Sparkes.
Matt Allen (31), Jacob Lamers (14), Jack Hume (15), Mitch Hoober (19no) and Cooper Cary (15no) top scored for Leongatha as they posted 8/150 off 50 overs.
Day 3 v Central Gippsland: Central Gippsland won the toss, batting first at Old Trafford on a damp outfield to score 8/201.
Ryan Sparkes took three wickets, Alex Geyer and Tyler Pipicelli grabbed one each.
Matt Allen (22), Mitch Hoober (23) and Ryan Sparkes (20) top scored for Leongatha who were all out for 124.
Central went for bonus points batting 5.5 overs to be 3/61, with wickets to Tyler Pipicelli and Darcy Kemp as well as a run out to Tyler.
Batting again, the LDCA were given 12 overs to make 138.
A solid start by Alex Geyer (25) and Matt Allen (13) to score 41 runs off five overs.
A couple of quick wickets snuffed any chance of a reverse outright but Drew Herbert (38), belted sixes including 26 off one over to add a bit of life into the innings at the finish.
LDCA finished 5/104 off 12 overs.
Day 4 v Traralgon: Traralgon won the toss and sent LDCA into bat on the soft John Black Reserve pitch which improved as the day went on.
Matt Allen (35) Alex Geyer (62) Jack Hume (21) Ryan Sparkes (22) batted well as Leongatha posted 8/ 200 off 50 overs.
Traralgon crumbled to be all out for 131 with Alex Geyer (3/24), Jack Hume (2/24), Tyler Pipicelli (2/8) and Cooper Cary (2/9) the pick of the LDCA bowlers.
Leongatha batted for the remaining nine overs and finished 6/58 with the top scorer Darcy Kemp 30 not out.
Day 5 v Sale-Maffra: Sale-Maffra won the toss and batted first at John Black Reserve, posting 4/184.
LDCA batted after lunch and Jacob Lamers (75) and Jack Hume (30) looked to have put LDCA in a winning position but the Leongatha middle order slumped to 7/150.
Brad Monson (25) and Drew Herbert (15) added 29 to take the score to 8/179, before Leongatha passed the score with two wickets to spare
Day 1 v Traralgon: After constant rain the match was reduced to a 20/20 match at the Glengarry Oval.
Leongatha were sent into bat and a very slow start never allowed them enough
runs to put pressure on the opposition, reaching 3/51 led by Rohan Slade (18) and Jy Hull (14).
Traralgon passed the total in the 16th over with the loss of one wicket.
Day 2 v Warragul: LDCA won the toss and batted at Glengarry Oval with Joel Brann top scoring (22) as LDCA was all out for 93.
Warragul started off well and were 3/57 off 25 overs when spin was introduced into the attack by Josh Williams and Ben McRae and the game changed suddenly.
At 8/93 with one over to go, scores were level.
With Keith Robinson bowling four dot balls, the pressure was on the batsman and his attempt to hit the winning run was thwarted by a brilliant catch by Ethan Lamers at mid-off.
Another attempt to hit the winning run resulted in a skied ball being caught by Ethan Lamers resulting in a tie.
Leading wicket takers were Ben McRae (2) and Keith Robinson (3).
Day 3 v Central Gippsland: Central won the toss and batted, making 4/176 off 40 overs at Jack Maskrey Oval, Traralgon.
Batting after lunch, LDCA started off well with Aaron Bardwell (27) and Rohan Slade (55) top scoring.
The LDCA fell short at 6/157.
Day 4 v Bairnsdale:
Bairnsdale won the toss and batted first, posting 3/221 off 40 overs at Jack Maskrey Oval.
LDCA reached 9/113, led by Aaron Bardwell (20) Joshua Schulz (18no) and Rohan Slade (17).
Day 5 v Sale-Maffra:
Sale-Maffra won the toss and batted at Jack Canavan Oval, Traralgon, posting 6/177 after 40 overs, with Josh Williams snaring 3/32.
Leongatha’s batting was solid but they could not penetrate the field and finished 8/72.
Aaron Bardwell top scored with 20 runs.