Preview Round 13 v Parramatta

This weekend we have a round of one-day limited overs matches in all grades against Parramatta.

Club Championship: We picked up two spots going from 11th to 9th after last week’s 80 pointer against Bankstown. In fact the 80 points total was our third best round this season which no doubts says a lot as to why we are 443 points behind the tearaway leaders Manly who look to have the Championship all sewn up as they are 199 in front of any other club. Bankstown are only 89 points ahead of us however, in sixth place so that should be a target for everyone to complete the season strongly over the final three rounds. To finish in the first half dozen will be a great result. Something to aim for.

1st Grade is at Old Kings (Parramatta Park): Our great win over Ireland on Friday 6 Feb scoring 4-256 was followed next day by a score of 8-413 which was our third highest-ever total in 1st Grade. That was 669 runs for 12 wickets in two days and set the scene for a great win over Bankstown last Saturday. This week’s opponent Parramatta was also in the runs, scoring 5-348 to beat Gordon, so runs will be the order of the day this weekend. We are now 4th in the competition while Parra is 14th. But it’s still tight and a loss could mean a struggle to make the finals. Fortunately our final three games are against teams behind us. All other teams in the top nine play sides in that nine during the next three games. If we can win all three matches there is a chance we could grab a home ground Qualifying Final spot.  Historically we have won 6 to Parra’s 3 with 2 drawn. Their last win against us came in 2006-07. And it’s more records to Adam Semple who became the second player behind Jake Wilson (injured) to pass 150 wickets in 1st Grade. It was also Adam’s 150th wicket for the club. Well done Adam Semple! 

2nd Grade is at Coogee: A great effort chasing 345 last weekend to make 270. However, the loss has put us 10 points out of the top six so it may be a bit of a struggle to make the finals. But stranger things have happened!  We are 13th on 30 points and Parra is 9th on 34. Our win ratio over the Eels is 5 to 2 with 2 matches drawn.

3rd Grade is at Merrylands: Married life obviously agrees with skipper Rod Stafford who bowled his side to a marvellous 10 runs victory defending just 151 last Saturday against Bankstown. Stafford’s figures of 6-39 took his tally past the 350 mark to be only the second player after Nigil Singh to do so. It was his second “six for” this season and the 17th time he has taken 5 wickets or more in an innings—all in the top three grades. He has also passed the 2,500 runs milestone so it’s a double-bunger for Rod! We are now up to 10th although 16 points out of the top six. We just have to keep winning and you never know.

4th Grade is at Petersham: There were 741 runs scored for the loss of only 18 wickets in the 1st Grade match against Bankstown at Petersham last round so there’s no argument about the quality of the pitch for this week’s clash against the Eels. But last game against Bankstown was all about records. Firstly, skipper David Bourke set some sort of a record by winning his 10th straight toss. Secondly, the outright loss by 10 wickets was also a new record. The previous worst losing margin for 4th Grade was an outright by 6 wickets in 2001-02 when Manly trounced us. That was the only previous time the team had suffered an outright defeat. And thirdly, the 73 put on for the 10th wicket by Jaya Murdita and Cameron Fowler broke the 4th Grade record of 66 set last season by Oshanka Perera and Grant Rimmer. But the side can bounce back here. We might be 18th but Parra is only 13th so there won’t be anything in this match with both sides playing for pride. They have beaten us only ONCE (2008-09) while we have WON 6 TIMES with 2 draws. The money’s on the good guys.

5th Grade is at Mona Park 3: The outright win by 10 wickets over Bankstown last Saturday was the team’s greatest-ever winning margin. The previous best was a 9 wickets outright defeat of Sydney University in 2006-07. It was also our 12th win from 14 games against that club but the first outright result. The win has moved the team into 5th place on the competition ladder and only 7 points from the lead! Parra will be no easy nut to crack however, as they are just 6 points behind us in 7th spot. This could be the match of the round. Neither team can afford a slip-up. The historic record is 5 wins to us; 2 to them and 3 draws. Grant Rimmer (31 wickets) and Nigil Singh (29) are second and third in the 5th Grade bowling stats just one behind the leader from St George.

Metropolitan Cup from Denis Hinds: This week sees State of Origin II with the Green v Gold teams trying to bash each other into submission in the onedayer at Kensington Oval. Green come off a loss to Wests which has made their semi’s climb very difficult while the Gold boys under new skip jiving John Stewart are full of confidence after nearly winning outright. Deadly bowler Charith DeSilva will lead the Gold boys attack with Green’s Alexis Coovre threatening to cross the floor and vote gold. Green have nasty Max Brandy out on a good behaviour itching to take cocky Coovre down a few pegs. The matchup between Greens Jezza Jastrab and Gold’s Damien Sidney will be worth the price of admission alone.  

And the President’s Lunch is on THIS FRIDAY!  See you there!!

Lyall Gardner

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