This round we take on a formidable opponent in Manly-Warringah. But if we are to figure in the finals series we have to knock over clubs such as this. There has been little between the clubs over the years. Of the 63 matches played in all five grades, we have won 31 (50%) and lost 28 with 4 draws. Pretty even stuff.

 This round we take on a formidable opponent in Manly-Warringah. But if we are to figure in the finals series we have to knock over clubs such as this. There has been little between the clubs over the years. Of the 63 matches played in all five grades, we have won 31 (50%) and lost 28 with 4 draws. Pretty even stuff.

What a mixed bag last week against the Eels. Ist Grade go down but almost come back with an outright win; 2s and 4s bolt in with a bonus point to the 4s while both 3s and 5s had shockers registering new loss records! It’s like Forrest Gump with a box of chocolates—you never know what you’re going to get!

Quite amazingly we didn’t lose our place in the Club Championship last round. We are still 11th but would LOVE to get into the top 10! Manly is 4th on 921 points. We have 656. Time to make our move.

1st GRADE is at Coogee: Last 10 matches: WWDWWLLWWL: Back to Coogee for the first time in six weeks and for only the third match there this season in the Belvidere Cup. We are now 7th in the competition on 37 points while Manly are 10th on 34. They beat Campbelltown outright last week with Steve O’Keeffe taking 13 wickets in the match. Sydney Uni. and Gordon are on top with 49 points—just two wins ahead of us. Historically we have done well against the Sea Eagles winning 10 matches to their 4.

2nd GRADE is at Manly Oval: Last 10 matches: LLDLWLWWWW: 4 wins in a row! The last time 2s won 4 in a row was in 2004-05. That season they won 6 in a row then later won 4 in succession including the Grand Final! Can that happen again this season? They boys are firing well enough and this round brings a solid challenge as Manly are in 4th place on 40 points, 10 ahead of us in 11th spot but just one win from the top 6. Historically it’s not a good look as they have won 8 to our 3. We won last year at Coogee on “Duckworth Lewis” when a storm washed out play when they were 6-106 chasing our 184. We had them 6-38 at one stage. Our bowling’s good this summer with both Kushaal Ram and James Tyson taking 24 wickets to be in the top 5 in the competition.

3rd GRADE plays at Petersham: Last 10 matches: WLLLTLWWDL: The defeat last week by 10 wickets was an unfortunate new margins loss for the team. But that was last week. This weekend we take on 7th placed Manly on 37 points. We are 15th on 21 and will have to come home strong if we are to make the top 6. It can be done. Over the years there has been little between the teams with 5 wins each. They won last year on run-rate when the storm hit.

4th GRADE is at Graham Reserve: Last 10 matches: WWLLLLWWLW: This is a big game as Manly are 6th on 37 and we are 9th on 32. If we win we will go ahead of them. A great win last week with a bonus point so no reason why we can’t do it again this weekend. They also got a bonus point last week defeating Campbelltown-Camden. We hold the historic record over the Sea Eagles with a 7 to 5 win margin. They won last year on run-rate.

5th GRADE plays at Kensington: Last 10 matches: WWLL (LWO) (LWO) (WLO) WLL: Like 3s the defeat last weekend by 9 wickets was a new margins loss record for 5th Grade. But we are still in the top 6 being 6th on 34 points. Manly are 10th on 29 so it’s a big game for both teams this round. And its 6-all in the win/ loss stakes over the years. We won last year making 8-94 after bowling them out for 92 which included us bowling 23 wides.

Poidevin-Gray plays Hawkesbury at Owen Earle Oval, Richmond: Last 5 matches: LLLLL: This is the last round in this year’s competition. Hawkesbury will be keen as they are just one point out of a Qualifying Finals spot in 10th place. We are one of 5 clubs—the other 4 being Sydney, Blacktown, Campbelltown and North Sydney—not to have won a game. While it has been a poor season for our boys it is not our worst. In 2009-10 we lost 6 and drew the other when a storm washed out play. And in 2006-07 we won one and lost 6. And last round against Mosman, new club record was set when Mac Jenkins, at 15 years and 117 days became the youngest ever player to participate in a PGs match. Andrew Redman at 15 years and 177 days was the previous youngest when he played in 2006-07.

Metropolitan Cup from Jeremy Jastrzab: Following an exciting and hard fought derby match at Coogee last weekend, the two Metropolitan Cup sides continue their seasons with differing goals in mind. The Green team almost had their opponents on the canvas last week but weren’t quite able to deal the final blow. Having had a tough season to date, their underlying potential is undeniable and their opponent has only won two more games in their own yo-yoing season. Blacktown get to appreciate the ‘best and cosiest change rooms in Sydney’ at transformative Marrickville Oval. While the surrounds are still being built, the pitch and outfield have played very well and promise a good contest. The Gold team’s campaign for a semi-final berth got back on track, as they trek it all the way to the far reaches of David Phillips to take on UNSW over the next two Sundays. A win could take them to 3rd place, and they’ll definitely be keen to win as a number of teams are snapping at their heels while front-runners Gordon and Penrith are threatening to run away with the competition.

Lyall Gardner

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