This round we take on Campbelltown-Camden in a two-day match for all five grades. They are not having their best season and are last in the Club Championship on 456 points—320 behind us. We need to take advantage of their predicament to help our chances of moving up the Club Championship ladder. After last week-end we have finally got away from 11th position having held it for a little over two months since 17 December. We are now 14th!! Mosman is 10th—just 111 points ahead of us, so a good round here and another against Easts in the final round and you never know!!
1st GRADE is at Raby 1: Our 13 matches: WWDWWLLWWLWDD: After the storm ruined our chances last Saturday we have dropped to 8th place on the ladder with just 2 rounds to go. We are on 43 points with Parramatta (47), Penrith (47) and Manly (46) immediately above us with 4th placed Sydney 11 points ahead of us on 54. It’s going to be a bit of a battle to make the top 6 but we can do it with good wins over Campbelltown (20th on 6) and Easts (10th on 42) in the final round, provided of course, other results fall our way. Sydney have St George and Penrith to play; Parramatta have Easts and Mosman; Penrith have Mosman and Sydney while Manly have NDs and Hawkesbury. We currently have the fourth-best quotient and are the highest run-scoring team with 3,883—314 more than next-best Sydney Uni. Two draws and a loss in our last 4 matches have not helped our cause. We have won our last seven matches against Campbelltown-Camden. We will also clash with two former Randy Petes capped players in Monty Panesar and Jack Preddey.
Anthony Sams is just our fourth player to pass 1,000 runs in a season behind Usman Khawaja (1,134), Nathan Price (1,074) and Richard Chee Quee (1,003). He currently has 1,025. Can he pass Ussie? He needs just 110 to do it! His brother Daniel is on the verge of an outstanding double. He has 457 runs and 45 wickets—just 43 runs and 5 wickets from a 500 runs/50 wickets season. Go Daniel! And with 32 wickets, Adam Semple has had his best season with the ball. His previous best was 28 in 2013-14. He now has 238 1st Grade wickets, needing 12 for the 250 milestone. He is not far off 5,000 1st Grade runs either—currently sitting on 4,812.
2nd GRADE is at Coogee: Our 13 matches: LLDLWLWWWWLLL: The last time The Ghosts beat us in 2s was in 2007-08. Four draws followed but we won the next three matches. They are 3 places and 6 points ahead of us in 13th spot. James Tyson has 195 2nd Grade wickets—just 5 short of the magic 200.
3rd GRADE plays at Raby 2: Our 13 matches: WLLLTLWWDLWLL: Campbelltown-Camden have won our past two clashes so there is some incentive for us to ensure they don’t complete the hat-trick. We are 14th and they are 18th so an opportunity exists to finish the season strongly. Skipper Rod Stafford needs just 19 runs to make 1,000 in 3rd Grade but he’s out this round attending his brother’s wedding! Ben Stares will captain the side.
4th GRADE is at Petersham: Our 13 matches: WWLLLLWWLWWWL: Last games’ loss saw us drop to 8th although we are just one win out of 5th place so we are still a chance for a finals berth. In the past 9 years we have played The Ghosts 7 times for just one win and 3 draws. They have won the last 3 clashes. Time to right the ledger. They are 14th on 24 points.
5th GRADE plays at Raby 3: Our 13 matches: WWLL (LWO) (LWO) (WLO) WLLLWW: A brilliant win last week—the fourth in a row against Sydney Uni. We are now up to 6th place on 46 points—just 8 from 2nd placed St George. Over the years its 5.5 wins each playing Campbelltown-Camden. They are running 18th this season with 3 wins only. Win the next two matches and a finals berth is ours!
Metropolitan Cup from Jeremy Jastrzab:
Despite being the better side, the Golds were forced to scrape through a win on rain rules against a stubborn Georges River outfit to keep their finals chances alive. Having facing 8 of the 9 potential opponents throughout the season so far, the ultimate litmus test for finals readiness takes shape for Golds as they take on table-toppers Gordon at Snape Park. Back in Round 6, the Gordon machine steam-rolled the Green team for an outright win, but not before exposing some potential chinks in the batting armada. The equation is simple for Gold – win and destiny is in their own hands going into the final round of the season, or lose and rely heavily on the results of others to be in with shot for March madness. The Greens can do their club mates a huge favour when they take on third-placed Eastern Suburbs at Kensington Oval. The Dolphins have done their best shark impressions by bearing their teeth in a couple of close and feisty encounters this season with both our sides. While their bowling has been potent their batting is ripe for exposure, so another close encounter is on the cards. A win or draw for Green will not only keep them in shooting distance of the mid-table and a strong finish, but would give Gold a handy leg-up as well. A big congratulations to Charith De Silva, for picking up 3 wickets in his 100th Metro game for the Randy Petes last week against Mosman.