The wet weather played havoc with the opening round of Sydney Grade Cricket last Saturday with many matches washed out. The wet weather played havoc with the opening round of Sydney Grade Cricket last Saturday with many matches washed out.We had our 2nd, 4th and 5th grades and two Metro Cup games called off without a ball being bowled. 1st Grade got on at Coogee to go down narrowly but won the Twenty20 match the next day while 3rds won with an over to spare. Let’s hope the rain gods don’t deliver this Saturday!

Once again it is a round of 50 overs-a-side matches in all five grades THIS SATURDAY 3 October starting at 9.30 am. . There is no play on the holiday Monday. We are up against Campbelltown-Camden who got on in four grades last week against Easts winning 1sts, 2nds and 5ths. They lost 3s. Interestingly we have been affected by bad weather when playing Campbelltown-Camden more than any other club. In four successive seasons from 2009-10 rain intervened in three of them resulting in a number of wash-outs. It’s for that reason our record in the 66 matches against them in 14 seasons includes 20 drawn games. Apart from that we have won 28, tied once while losing 17. However, the forecast is promising—sunny and 29 degrees.

SECOND ROUND RECORD: While we have a great record in round 1 of our 14 seasons, our performance in the second round has not been as good. In fact, of the 70 scheduled games, we have won only 24 although there have been 18 draws. Our losses total 28. 3rds and 4ths have lost 7 each while winning 3 and 4 respectively although 1sts and 5ths have both won 6. 2nds have 5 wins and 5 losses. Hopefully we can improve on that record on Saturday.

1st GRADE is at Coogee Oval: Congratulations to Adam Semple who will be playing his 175th 1st Grade match this weekend. We will be up against former RPC skipper Scott Coyte who was in good form last weekend. However, history is on our side. We have won the past 6 clashes with them not beating us since 2008-09 which was also a one-dayer at Coogee. We lost 8-32 that day to go down by 6 wickets and miss a spot in the semis. We don’t want a repeat of that effort.

And it’s welcome back to Jake Wilson who hasn’t played since round 6 last year when he badly broke a finger. However, he spent the winter in England and just a couple of weeks back took 8-11 off 15 overs for Isham Cricket Club! With 100 1st Grade games and 188 wickets for the club this could be another big one for Jake. It’s also welcome back to Sam Doggett who missed out last game through injury. And in defiance of custom where teams carry only “mature” spin bowlers, we have one of the youngest spin attacks going around with our two spinners Soumil Chhibber being just 20 while Jack Preddey is only 18!

2nd GRADE is at Raby 1: After last week’s washout, this will be John McLoughlin’s 100th game in 2s. He has played 196 for the club. He is also the second highest scoring player in the club with 5,443 runs and has a real chance of overtaking the leader Usman Khawaja who has 5,620. The Ghosts last beat us in 2s in 2006-07. We have won the past two with the previous 4 drawn. They were 16th last season and we were 12th. They beat Easts last Saturday 174 to 152 on a wet Waverley pitch.

3rd GRADE plays at Petersham Oval: A great booster to start the season with a dynamic win last week at the same venue. Our 208 runs to win was the highest score in 3rd Grade last weekend. The boys will be looking to do even better this Sat. The Ghosts were 17th and we were 10th last season but they beat us at Petersham 191 to 104 although that was their first win against us since 2006-07. TAB have us red-hot favourites.

4th GRADE is at Raby 2: After last week’s wash-out David Bourke leads the side in his 218th game for the club and his 140th in 4th Grade. Last year was a shocker finishing 16th but Campbelltown went worse finishing behind us in 17th. They have only ever beaten us twice and both wins were in the past two seasons. Last year at this venue we had them 9-123 chasing 139 and they got up! Not this time.

5th Grade plays at Kensington Oval: Welcome back to Luis Siddall who makes his debut as skipper. The boys will be in good hands with him at the helm. Campbelltown-Camden have been a hard nut for us to crack in 5th Grade. We have played them in two Grand Finals (2003-04 and 2008-09) and they have ended up Premiers both times despite our overall win ratio being 5:4. This is a very young side with a lot of new players. Enthusiasm will be a big factor.

Metropolitan Cup from Jeremy Jastrzab: With Marrickville Oval’s groundsmen yet to learn the benefits of a pitch cover leading to a false start, RP Green finally get their season underway against the UNSW Gold. With two teams in the Metro Cup this season, UNSW look like they will become an even more familiar foe throughout the summer. (General) Adam Lee sits on 90 Metro wickets and will fancy closing the gap to 100 over the next few rounds. RP Gold have been dealt a bye and will instead parttake in an elite ‘training’ session over the weekend.

Golf: Don’t forget the Phil Tresidder Memorial Golf Day at MARRICKVILLE Golf Course on Friday 16 October. It’s our first ‘Legends” function so get your team in now!

Lyall Gardner

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