Welcome back everyone and Happy New Year one and all! It’s been great over the Christmas period watching some of our own performing well on the big stage. David Warner and Usman Khawaja in the Test matches and Daniel Sams recording the greatest debut performance EVER in the Big Bash taking 4-14 from 4 overs for the Sixers against the Thunder. Great to see Daniel’s talent finally recognised!
But back to reality. It’s the second-half of the NSW Premier Cricket competitions. This is the half that counts. Seven matches to determine the finalists and we aim to be part of that. This Saturday in a one-dayer against Hawkesbury. It’s an ordinary round match for grades 2-5 but for 1st Grade it’s the last round of the preliminary games in the separate Limited Overs Cup competition. The top 8 proceed to the finals and we are 10th after our hiccup against Bankstown in the round before Christmas. Hawkesbury have lost all 3 in the competition and we need to make it 4 by beating them this Saturday. If we can win we also need to win well to improve our quotient and so grab a top 8 spot.
In the Club Championship we are now up to 6th on 613 points but just 66 from 2nd placed Sydney. We need to finish strongly in this second-half if we are to finish in an acceptable position. Parramatta have bolted away on 870 points and lead by a massive 191. We need to whittle some of that lead away over the next few weeks. Hawkesbury 1s 11th on 509 points. Last time we played Hawkesbury in all 5 grades was 2 years ago when we had a “Greenwash” (wins in all 5 grades).
1st GRADE is at Owen Earle Oval, Richmond: Bankstown knocked a bit of the wind out of our sails when they done us over before Christmas but we are still in it holding down 6th place. We are on 31 points just 7 behind the leaders Campbelltown-Camden on 38. We played the Hawks in the semi-final of the LO Cup last year and they beat us. We had beaten them the previous four occasions and in fact have won 11 times to their 5 over the years. Alex Kemp returns as does Greg West for the first time this season following injury. Matt Everett makes his 1st Grade debut after a huge batting season in 2s.
Daniel Sams on his Sydney Sixers Debut
2nd GRADE is at Petersham: After two great wins prior to Christmas the side is now in 10th spot and just one win out of the top 6. But we’ll need to bring our A game again this Saturday as Hawkesbury is running second having won 6 out of 8. Their Kerrod Gordon is the competition’s leading run-getter with 426—23 ahead of our Matt Everett. Historically we have won 10 of our 13 clashes but they are clearly an improved side this season. Pat Magann makes a welcome appearance for the first time this season while wicket-keeper Kel Mullins makes his 2nd Grade debut.
3rd GRADE plays at Bensons Lane 2, Richmond: With 4 wins and a draw the past 5 games, our boys are on fire! They are now in 6th place on 31 points just 7 from second placed Mosman. The Hawks are struggling with 2 wins and a tie out of 8 and are 13th on 15 points. 3rds has the worst historical record against the Hawks winning just 5 to their 7. A good chance for us to start evening up that record. Doug Loth returns and will add to the bowling.
4th GRADE is at Coogee: We are now in 4th place on 31 points but just 5 in front of Hawkesbury who are 8th. This will be a keenly contested clash. We have an amazing record against the Richmond boys winning 11 of 13. They beat us in 2013-14 but we have won the past two matches.
5th GRADE plays at Bensons Lane 3, Richmond: It has been a difficult season for the defending premiers not having won a match and languishing in last place on just 2 points. Hawkesbury have won 3 and are 12th on 19 so they won’t be easy. Time for a turnaround and hopefully this will be it. Ed House will again captain the side.
POIDEVIN GRAY v Fairfield-Liverpool SUNDAY at Petersham Oval from 10 am: This will be a tough assignment as the Lions are sitting in 3rd spot on the ladder and we are 18th. We have only played Fairfield four times but have won three. We could use the Club Championship points so a big win would be very welcome.
Metropolitan Cup from Jeremy Jastrzab: After filling their bellies with Christmas pudding and punch, the cricketers are all keen to get back out on the park and work off some of that festive paunch. And with temperatures predicted to soar, that should help out a bit with that goal. John’s Golden Boys have soared off the bottom of the table with two resounding wins on the trot, but will be tested by the conditions out at Whalan Reserve this weekend. Blacktown has towelled our 5s and Metro this season already, but with the reinforcements called in over the last couple of weeks, the Golden boys will fancy their chances of continuing their ascent up the ladder. The other Greenies with Alexis will get to enjoy the home comforts (hopefully a sea breeze) in their rematch with Penrith at Kensington Oval. Penrith are a very different team now from the one that racked up 300+ in round 1, and the Greens have recruited smartly as well to be a much better prospect than they were last September. At least they’ll have 12 players as opposed to 9 from last time!