Preview Round 5 v Northern District
Throw Back Thursday – Brought to you by Petrozzi Wellness Centre
This round we take on Northern District in a series of two-day matches over the next two Saturdays 22 and 29 November. We have had the wood on ND’s over the past 13 years winning 27.5 of the 53 games we have played with 19.5 losses and 6 draws. They are going pretty well this season running fifth in the Club Championship. We’ll need to put in in this game to maintain our positions in the various grades as they are sure to be tough to beat.
Club Championship: We are now in SECOND place, just TWO points behind leader Penrith! This is the closest we have been to the lead since Round 15 against Uni. of NSW in 2010-11. We got close last season when we were within 6 points of Sydney University after Round 6 before we dropped off to finish 6th some 284 behind Uni. who went on to win. ND’s are in fifth spot just 22 points behind us so we can’t afford any slip-ups this round.
1st Grade is at Petersham Oval. We are now SECOND in the comp. just 4 points behind leader Manly-Warringah. ND’s beat us by 5 wickets last year although we had won the previous four encounters. Historically they lead the on-field battle 7 to 6. We have been having one of our best batting seasons for some time averaging 46.07 per wicket in totalling 1,244 runs from our 4 games. ND’s average is just 25.8 for their total of 879 runs. The bowling’s a bit closer with ND’s averaging 27.03 for each of the 33 wickets they have taken while we average 28.90 for 39 wickets. Congratulations to Adam Semple who became the third player behind Usman Khawaja to pass the 3,500 1st Grade runs milestone. Congrats. also to Anthony Sams who passed 1,500 1st Grade runs last Saturday while Nick Stapleton needs 35 to reach 2,000 club runs and Shaun Eaton requires 29 for 1,000 club runs. Nathan Price, who took his 50th 1st Grade catch last Saturday, needs 17 more runs for 2,500 in 1st Grade. And a big congratulations to Ryan Higgins who will become 1st Grade capped player number 96 when he makes his 1st Grade debut for the club on Saturday having scored 624 runs in all forms of the game so far this season (305 in 2nd Grade; 189 in PG’s; 130 in T20).
2nd Grade is at Mark Taylor Oval. Seconds are now 3rd on the ladder behind St George who we play the round after this. ND’s are second so this will be a big test. Two big games in a row. A great performance last week with the winning margin of 207 runs one of the best-ever. The best was beating Campbelltown by 222 in 2006-07. Congratulations to Hayden McLean who now has 101 wickets for the club after last Saturday and also to skipper John McLoughlin who now has 100 catches (only Matt Hilder with 119 has taken more). And congratulations to Sam Doggett who is the leading bowler in the 2nd Grade competition with 17 wickets. His 5-42 last game was his second “five-for” in four games. Ryan Higgins is now third on the 2nd Grade statistics list with 305 runs. Against ND’s the score-line reads 4.5 to 4.5 wins each. This is the match of the round in 2’s this weekend.
3rd Grade plays at Coogee Oval. Finally hit their “hopples” last game with a clear display of their ability. It was a great effort to beat North’s by 133 runs (then again we beat them by 257 in 2006-07!). ND’s are only fractionally ahead of us (two wins to our one win and a tie) so this should be a close contest. Historically we lead the win ratio 5 to 4 and won last season by 43 runs at Asquith when Tom Holland scored a century. Rod Stafford’s 6 wickets last Saturday was the 15th time he has taken 5 or more wickets in an innings. He needs just 7 more to make 350. Congratulations to Matt Hilder who became only the sixth player to pass 4,000 runs for the club last game.
4th Grade is at Asquith Oval. A bit of a shock last game losing by 8 wickets which was our second worst losing effort in this grade since we lost to Gordon by 9 wickets in 2004-05. But we are still only 4 points out of the top six in 10th place. ND’s have won just one game and are 15th. It’s an even match however, with the win history 4 all. Captain David Bourke needs just 31 runs to reach 4,000 for the club.
5th Grade plays at Kensington Oval. WE HAVE NEVER LOST TO ND’s IN 5TH GRADE! We have played them 10 times winning 8 (one outright) with two draws. This season they are 7th and we are 11th with each club winning two matches. We have had a couple of hiccups in away games the past two, but we are at home this week and the educated money is on the Randy Pete’s to bounce back with a vengeance!! ND’s lost to Penrith last game. And Grant Rimmer, who took his 10th “five-for” with a magnificent 7-43 last game now has 298 wickets for the club. Just 2 more to join the 300 Club!!
Metropolitan Cup. Metro Green performed more to their standard in last round recording a powerful victory over Mosman with Mr Metro George Frazakis leading the way with 96 and the old master Mark Wall with 6 wickets. They are now looking to follow that up with another against Wests at Punchbowl. On paper the teams look evenly matched and are on equal points on the ladder. The bookies can’t split them. Watch out for fire works as there is no love lost between these two. Metro Gold face the test of the season against high flying ladder leaders Penrith on their home patch at Rance. Metro Green and 5ths have both been savaged at Rance in the last few rounds so Gold face a tough assignment but it is not beyond them. The batting led by the two poms Stuart Parsons and Elliott Oates with heavy hitting Omair Ali and Adam Lee following could do some real damage on the fast Rance wicket. A greatly improved fielding performance last round will need to be stepped up even further to keep the Panthers strong batting line up in check. At 20 to 1 Gold look this week’s value bet if you don’t like backing favourites.