Season 2017-18: Round 1 Preview v North Sydney

Welcome one and all to another fantastic season of Randwick Petersham Cricket!  And have we got a great season ahead!  Strong teams, enthusiastic players, dedicated volunteers and of course, devoted followers and supporters. It’s great to be a part of it! And the good thing is—it all starts THIS SATURDAY!

All 5 NSW Premier Cricket grades will play a one-day limited overs match (50 overs a side) against North Sydney. In 1st Grade it will also be the first round of the 4 match Limited Overs Competition. The second round won’t be until 9 December at Manly Oval.

And a BIG WELCOME to new players. RILEY AYRE a left-arm orthodox spinner from Denman near Scone who has played NSW and Australian under 19s, makes his debut with us as 1st Grade capped player no. 112 while JASON HUGHES an experienced top order right hand batter who has many years of top grade experience & played previously with Mosman & Wests comes into 1st Grade as player no. 113. It’s also welcome to Jamie Hemphrey, an English player from Kent League; Scott Stirling from Queensland; Tom Frith a brother of former 1st Grade capped player Matt Frith; and Bailey Kenzie who played with Manly last season.

And it’s goodbye and good luck to James Psarakis (Wests), Suffan Hassan (Sydney), Sam Wood (Sydney Uni.) and Rehaan Nawaz (North Sydney) who have joined other clubs while James Tyson, Matt Wallis and Karl Schuber enter into well-earned retirement. Sam Mackay has returned to Queensland while Max Moran is having a break from the game. Thanks for your contribution to the club and especially in the case of our “retirees” who have served so well over the years.

Another loss this season is Nathan Price (5,116 runs in 1st Grade) who has elected to remain and play in Newcastle. However, he will join us once again in the Twenty20 competition which starts on 29 October. Jake Scicluna, who was originally expected to remain in the UK will be back mid-October and ready to go.

FIRST ROUND RECORD and CLUB CHAMPIONSHIP: In our 16 seasons we have achieved a fantastic record in the first game of a season. In the 80 matches covering the five grades we have won 49 with one tie, lost 22 and drawn 8. 3rd Grade has the best record winning the first game 12 times followed by 5ths with 11, 1sts with 10 and a tie, 2nds with 8 and 4th Grade with 8 from 16. Last year we won four of the five against Fairfield-Liverpool with only 2nd Grade losing. After that round we were fourth in the Club Championship but unfortunately, it was all downhill from there eventually finishing 11th—the same as the previous two seasons. We are certainly not looking to finish 11th again this season and only a place well higher than that will suffice. Norths were 18th last season and have not been overly strong in recent years. Our clash with Norths last season resulted in a GREENWASH—wins in all 5 grades! Can we do it again??? Let’s hope we can get away to a flier and put some space between us and the other clubs in the battle for Club Championship honours.

1st GRADE is at Coogee Oval: We again start the season with a match at Coogee Oval.  Last year in round 1 the wicket was a beauty with our boys scoring 7-332 in the 50 overs after being sent in. A new third wicket partnership of 217 between Anthony Sams (152) and Jake Scicluna (89) was created. Liverpool responded with 323 to give us the win by a narrow 9 runs. A match with 655 runs scored in the day off 100 overs! Alex Kemp’s boys will be looking to repeat the dose this Saturday. Against North Sydney we have a solid record with 11 wins out of 18 matches with only 4 losses. We have won the past 5 clashes. Last season we beat Norths 2-176 to 9-174cc with skipper Kemp hitting one of the fastest ever centuries with 104* off just 68 balls including 14 fours and 5 sixes. We finished 7th and they finished 18th in last year’s competition.

Adam Semple is on the cusp of greatness having scored 4,818 runs and taken 247 wickets in 1st Grade. Should he pass the 5,000 runs / 250 wickets double he will move into the list of the greatest 60 all-rounders in Sydney Premier Cricket history. Go Adam!

Riley Ayre and Jason Hughes make their debut with the club in 1sts.

We have narrowly missed a spot in the finals the past 4 seasons. Chance to amend that record with some early points this season.

Our ambition remains the 1st Grade Belvidere Cup. With three runners-up prizes, a third place once and fourth twice, we have been knocking on the door for years and our time can’t be far off. Let’s hope this is our year!

2nd GRADE is at Bon Andrews Oval (Nth Sydney no. 2): Tom Holland will captain the side again this season. We finished 15th last season with Norths 18th. Over the years we have clashed 14 times recording 7 wins (2 outright) and 6 losses. Last year we beat them 4-194 to 190 at Petersham Oval. The first round team is a blend of youth and experience. Fast bowler Doug Loth makes his 2nd Grade debut with the club while others with only brief experience in 2s (Jack James 2 matches; Matt Calder 1 match and James Mahony-Brack 1 match) are included in the line-up.

3rd GRADE plays at Petersham Oval: In his 80th match with the club and 51st in 3rd Grade, Ben Stares takes over as skipper from the outgoing Rod Stafford (4th Grade). Up-and-coming stars Jack Standing and Jackson Eldridge make their 3rd Grade debut while new player Jamie Hemphrey makes his NSW Premier Cricket debut. North Sydney finished a spot ahead of us last season in 10th place. Over the years, we have played them 13 times for 10 wins (2 outright), and 3 losses. We have won the past 3 clashes.

4th GRADE is at Tunks Park: The indefatigable David Bourke again leads the side in what will be his 247th for the club and 168th in 4th Grade. Our boys were a very close 8th last year while Norths finished 15th. The side has a similar record to 3s against Norths with 10 wins and only 3 losses.  We won last year but they beat us the season before. Tom Frith, Scott Stirling and Bailey Kenzie all make their debut with the club.

5th GRADE plays at Kensington Oval: After 8 seasons, 90 matches and a record 128 wickets in Metro Cup, Adam Lee takes over as 5th Grade captain this season. And the side will start the season as DEFENDING PREMIERS! Always a hard game first-up after winning the previous season’s comp. but the boys will be keyed up for a big win to start their defence. We had talent to burn in the team last year and this season it won’t be any different. Norths ended up 16th last summer. We played them at this same ground last season and won 3-137 to 136. But our record against Norths is only fair with 7 wins to 6 losses and a couple of draws. 

Metropolitan Cup from Jeremy Jastrzab As the NSW Premier Cricket season gets under way, so does the Metropolitan Cup, where renewal and refreshing of the ranks is high on the agenda us. Once again we provide the distinction of having two teams in the competition, while UNSW also adds another team and Warringah join the ranks for the first time to bring the total number of teams in the competition to 12. It’s a very positive sign for the competition that we haven’t lost any teams this season.

Congratulations to Adam Lee on his ascendancy to 5th Grade captaincy after becoming the leading Metropolitan Cup wicket taker in the club’s history last season, and to the following Metro players from last year who have graduated to Grade Cricket after cutting their teeth in the lower ranks: Neale Crawford, Alex Deller, Hayden Fox, Liam O’Loughlin, Apollo Papathanasiou, Sean Rushton Chintan Sapariya and Damian Sidney. The time is ripe for the introduction for a slew of new players to the club, particularly as the local junior associations look for ways to keep players involved with the game. Thankfully, a large number of the seasoned veterans from last year are going around again, led by 101 game legend, Charith De Silva.

Last year’s captains remain in their respective roles, and Alexis Coovre will lead out the Green team on a newly revamped Marrickville Oval (assuming he takes some time out from knocking in his bat). They take on last year’s competition runners up, Penrith, who have created the most enviable of records across the last three seasons with only four losses across that period. Recently elevated CEO, John Stewart, has to wait until Sunday to take his Gold team to the field, where they’ll be hosted by Sydney University at the ‘classical’ Alexandria Park. The drier than usual lead up to the season should alleviate the usual stickiness of that wicket, as a number of players will be making their maiden Randy Pete debuts, including our latest Irish import, Padraic ‘Paddy’ Flanagan.


Best of luck to everyone for the 2017-18 season. Go the Randy Petes!! 

Lyall Gardner

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