Latrobe Valley and Traralgon compete in Under-15 junior country week

Latrobe Valley Under-15s squad: (Back from left) Brent Claridge (manager), Harley Bright, Josh Cope, Brandon Hansch, Lachlan Speairs, Jean Pelser, Sam Gassara, Jesse Pheeney, Mark Wynne (coach). (Front from left) Hayden Barnes, Callum Hill, Jesse Selwyn, Ben Williams, Billy Claridge, Logan Anders and Zac Cheffers. photographs hayley mills
Latrobe Valley Under-15s squad: (Back from left) Brent Claridge (manager), Harley Bright, Josh Cope, Brandon Hansch, Lachlan Speairs, Jean Pelser, Sam Gassara, Jesse Pheeney, Mark Wynne (coach). (Front from left) Hayden Barnes, Callum Hill, Jesse Selwyn, Ben Williams, Billy Claridge, Logan Anders and Zac Cheffers. photographs hayley mills

Latrobe Valley hosted the 2020 Under-15 boys' junior country week which wrapped up last Friday.

The side was unable to make home advantage count, finishing second-last, only ahead of neighbours Traralgon and District.

Sale-Maffra took out the five-day tournament after beating Warragul and District by 37 runs.

Wet weather and smoke haze forced Round 1 to be abandoned last Monday with play eventually getting underway on Tuesday.

Traralgon faced Latrobe Valley first up with Traralgon scoring 144 runs in 42.4 overs.

Hayden Richards top-scored with 41 before Latrobe Valley's Sam Gissara ran him out, while Harley Bright and Joshua Cope took two wickets each.

Latrobe recorded 8/235 from its 50 overs to secure a strong win with Cope earning player of the match honours with a pivotal 45.

Traralgon and District Under-15s squad: (Back from left) Paul 'Stix' Richards, Bailey Jones, Zachary Bastin, Ashan Keppitipola, Fletcher White, Thomas Gafa, Joel Thomson, Ruby Adams, Jamie King. (Front from left) Ethan Jarvis, Zack Henke, Mitchell Bellingham, Hayden Richards, Nathan Thomson, Bobby Lever-Makin (Absent - Clancy Quirk).

Traralgon and District Under-15s squad: (Back from left) Paul 'Stix' Richards, Bailey Jones, Zachary Bastin, Ashan Keppitipola, Fletcher White, Thomas Gafa, Joel Thomson, Ruby Adams, Jamie King. (Front from left) Ethan Jarvis, Zack Henke, Mitchell Bellingham, Hayden Richards, Nathan Thomson, Bobby Lever-Makin (Absent - Clancy Quirk).

In Round 3, Latrobe Valley had eight-wicket defeat to eventual winners Sale-Maffra while Traralgon were no match for Leongatha and District.

The next day, Leongatha overcame Latrobe Valley thanks to Harry Hoekstra's 25 and 3/6 while Bairnsdale accounted for Traralgon despite Nathan Thomson picking up 3/31.

In Round 5, Bairnsdale had the better of Latrobe Valley while finalists Warragul and District power to a win over Traralgon though Thomson snared another two wickets.

On Friday, Latrobe Valley and Traralgon squared off again, this time in a fifth against sixth match.

Latrobe Valley scored 8/143 in the 30-over match with Billy Claridge notching 31 off 21 balls.

Ruby Adams was on song with the ball taking 3/16 while Thomson took 2/32.

In reply, Traralgon fell 20 runs short with Thomas Gafa reaching 20.

Latrobe Valley coach Mark Wynne said it was a learning experience for the team.

"It was a tough week, but I hope those who played got something out of it," he said.

"We tried working a lot on field positioning and hopefully they have improved with that as well as not always going out to try and slog the ball."

Wynne said Cope was the standout for his side finishing with 92 runs at 23 which earned him selection in the All Gippsland side.

As for Traralgon, coach Jamie King admitted his side were undone by better opposition, adding a small talent pool doesn't help the Association's cause.

"We were obviously outclassed and the results show that," King said.

"It was still a great learning experience, you can only learn so much from winning I think you learn more from losing.

"Since we only have six junior teams it doesn't give you much to choose from."

King highlighted Thomson who was picked in the All Gippsland side after taking nine wickets at 15.2.

"Nathan Thomson from Ex Students got in the All Gippsland team which is a great achievement, especially for someone who has only just got into cricket this season," King said.

UNDER-15 BOYS JUNIOR COUNTRY WEEK

Round 1 (abandoned)

Warragul and District v Latrobe Valley (draw)

Traralgon and District v Sale-Maffra (draw)

Round 2

Traralgon and District 144 (Hayden Richards 44; Harley Bright 2/21) def by Latrobe Valley 8/235 (Joshua Cope 45; Logan Fernando 1/10).

Round 3

Latrobe Valley 99 (Sam Gissara 25 no; Jack Love 4/7) def by Sale-Maffra 2/123 (Austin Bauer 38; Callum Hill 1/15).

Leongatha and District 8/236 (Jack Butcher 58, Harry Hoekstra 55; Mitchell Bellingham 4/52) def Traralgon and District 74 (Zack Henke 15; Harry Hoekstra 4/5).

Round 4

Bairnsdale 7/156 (Campbell Macalister 40; Nathan Thomson 3/31) def Traralgon and District 49 (Thomas Gafa 19; Matt Leong 2/3).

Latrobe Valley 74 (Callum Hill 17; Harry Hoekstra 3/6) def by Leongatha and District 6/90 (Harry Hoekstra 25; Sam Gissara 2/9).

Round 5

Latrobe Valley 78 (Joshua Cope 18; Seth Smith 3/11) def by Bairnsdale 107 (Seth Smith 20; Jesse Selwyn 2/15).

Warragul and District 4/171 (Patrick Ireland 69 no, James Keogh 53; Nathan Thomson 2/15) def Traralgon and District 37 (Carter Davis 4/7).

5th v 6th playoff

Latrobe Valley 8/143 (Billy Claridge 31; Ruby Adams 3/16) def Traralgon and District 123 (Thomas Gafa 20; Jean Pelser 2/17).

Final

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