Round 8 Preview v Bankstown

This Saturday we play Bankstown in another round of Limited Overs matches in all grades. And apart from being part of the Belvidere Cup competition in 1st Grade it is also round 3 in the Limited Overs Cup Competition. We have done well so far to be second on points and fifth on quotient just one point from the leader Parramatta. It’s a tight competition and we need to keep winning. All games start at 10 am.

This is the last round before Christmas which has produced some amazing results in the last three years. Last season, we WON ALL FIVE grades against North Sydney. The previous two years however, it was the complete opposite. In 2015-16, we LOST ALL FIVE grades against Penrith and the year before we LOST ALL FIVE grades against Easts!! There’s no half-measures this round. It’s a case of all or nothing!

Bankstown is usually one of the front-runners in most competitions and the Club Championship, although they are having an ordinary summer so far. But we should always be wary of the wounded Bulldog! They are 16th in the CC on 361 points while we are now 5th on 502. We are up three places after last weekend’s rounds against Manly but, because the leader Parramatta had a huge round, we are now 197points behind them. However, we are only 81 from second-placed Sydney. Clearly, Parramatta are having a blinder this season. Our great win in the A W Green Shield against North Sydney on Thursday enabled us to pass Easts.

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1st GRADE is at Petersham Oval: We are now 3rd in the Belvidere Cup competition on 31 points just one from the leader Campbelltown-Camden. Easts are equal with us but second on quotient. Bankstown is 9th on 20 but had a good win in the LO match last Saturday over the well-performed Sydney. Our clashes with Bankstown over the years make for interesting reading. We have played them 16 times with 7 wins and a tie each, 7 losses each and one draw. The important distinction is that we have beaten them in 5 of our last 6 games. They last beat us in 2008-09. May the recent history continue!

And congratulations to Daniel Sams who brought up 200 1st Grade wickets with the club last Saturday. With his 37 wickets he took with Bankstown before he joined us, he has a NSW Premier Cricket record of 237 1st Grade wickets. A fantastic record! Dan is also our leading run-getter with 325 this season, just marginally ahead of Jason Hughes on 304 who is having a great summer.

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2nd GRADE is at Bankstown: The 8 wickets win last Saturday equalled our record winning margin in a single innings set in 2004-05 when we beat Mosman 2-97 to 94. A sensational performance! And no doubt Matt Everett earned a rest afterwards as he was on the field for every moment of the game by ‘keeping throughout Manly’s innings then batting throughout ours for 92* and a great win! He deserved the extra 8 runs.  The 145 put on by Jack Tector (71) and Everett was the best opening partnership in any grade this season. We are now 12th on 19 points, 11 out of the top 6 so we need to keep winning. Bankstown is 17th on 12. Over the years we have beaten them 8 out of 14 with one match drawn. Last season we won 5-204 to 200 at Petersham.  Jamie Hemphrey returns this week.

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3rd GRADE plays at Coogee: We are now 6th on 25 points just one point from 4th and 13 from 1st. Bankstown is 16th on 9 points. Historically we have won 7 to their 5 with 2 drawn. Last year was washed out at Grahame Thomas Oval. And what a start by 3rd Grade debutant Padraic Flanagan last Saturday to hit the stumps with his third ball! Tom McKenzie who did well in 2s last weekend will strengthen the bowling.

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4th GRADE is at Jensen Park, Sefton:  A bit of a blow to go down to the leaders last weekend but we are still 6th on 25 points just 5 out of third. But Bankstown are breathing down our necks just one point behind!  We MUST WIN to keep our top 6 spot. While we have won 7 clashes to their 6, they have won 5 of the last 6 matches. We lost at Coogee last year 159 to 201 although skipper David Bourke produced a great spell taking 5-15. Bourke is back to captain the side.

bendigo red 250x1255th GRADE plays at Kensington: Unfortunately, last weekend’s 4-339 by Manly was the highest-ever score against us in 5th Grade. Despite chasing a record, our boys managed their second highest total of the season and batted the full 50 overs. A repeat of that effort may see them give Bankstown a run for their money this Saturday. They are 9th on 20 points and we are 19th on 2. Historically, we have a brilliant record against them winning 12 of 15. They beat us last year on this ground 178 to 199. This is our chance to notch up a win before Christmas. Ed House takes over as captain from Mark Wall who is unavailable while Angus Clark, one of our top young bats in A W Green Shield last year makes his first appearance this summer. Kyri Tsalikidis adds great weight to the spin bowling ranks.

rsz lau marrickville logoMetropolitan Cup from Jeremy Jastrzab: Metro has a win on the board. Granted, it was a derby and barring natural disaster, one team was eventually going to have a win. The last round before Christmas sees both teams come back up against familiar foes. Derby victors head back to their other home, Snape Park, to take on their favourite opponents, Mosman, again. Jay Patel has had an ace up his sleeve this season in Kunal Sharma, MD of Spartan Sports, who has rampaged to 516 runs before Christmas, which included a mammoth 166 against the Golds in Round 4. To put this into perspective, the highest run scorer in the competition last season had a total of 443 runs. And while Mosman always are bolstered when the private schools go on holiday, Snape Park has been putting on the kind of scores that put Dwight Eisenhower off cricket when 104 runs were scored in a day during a Karachi test match in 1959. Getting Kunal early could see a tightly fought low-scoring contest unfold. Green head back to St Pauls to take on Sydney University and will hope to have more than 8 players and one sympathetic parent to put on the park. The students also find an extra wind during school holidays so even with a full side, the team will have their work cut out for them. As long as they apply themselves like they did in the second innings of their last match, they’ll put on a good show to match the picturesque surroundings.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to one and all!

Lyall Gardner

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