Round 11 Preview v Northern District
This is a crunch round for us as we take on Northern District who are 5th in the Club Championship and doing well in the individual grades. We have finals hopes for our top four grades and they are ahead of us on points in all but 1st Grade. It’s a two day match round so our premiership chances hinge on some good performances over the next two Saturdays.
The toss has proved an issue for us this season. Last round against Sutherland we won four tosses and won three of those games. 1st Grade can’t take a trick with just 3 of 14 flicks of the coin going our way. Our last toss win was in a T20 match against St George on 19 November—just over 2 months ago.
Getting the majority of the points on offer against Sutherland we improved our Club Championship position from 10th to 7th. In fact, the 82 points we won against Sutherland was our third best behind the 90 we made playing Manly. We have 719 points while NDs have 846 and are in 5th spot.
1st GRADE is at Coogee: With two losses and a draw our last 3 games, we have dropped from 3rd to 9th on 32 points and 7 out of the top 6. We have it all to do in the run home. Gutsy performance last week in gale force winds to hold on for a draw against a huge score made in ideal heat conditions. NDs are struggling a bit this season being 16th on 15 points yet have scored almost as many runs as us, 2,496 to 2,512. But they have only taken 53 wickets to our 74. Clearly batting is their strength so we need to knock them over for a reasonable target. And he did it last Sunday! Adam Semple passed the coveted 1st Grade double of 5,000 runs and 250 wickets. What an achievement that is! And great to have Daniel Sams back after a successful Big Bash stint with the Sydney Sixers! Daniel replaces Riley Ayre who dislocated a finger last weekend.
2nd GRADE is at Mark Taylor Oval, Waitara: This is THE BIG ONE. NDs are 1st by 10 points on 54 having won 9 of 10. The only game they lost was against Hawkesbury four rounds ago. We are 11th on 31. If we are to be a force this year we have to go well here. Strangely our last 6 clashes with NDs have resulted in 4 draws, a win and a loss. Historically there has been little between the sides with 4 wins each and a tie plus the 4 draws. We have a very good side in this week so there’ll be no excuses.
3rd GRADE plays at Petersham: We are 4th on 44 points and NDs are 2nd on 45. What a clash this will be. The match of the round! We each have won our past four matches. The only difference being an extra bonus point for them in an early round. Over the years we have won 6 to their 5 with 2 drawn. You can’t get much closer than that.
4th GRADE is at Asquith: A bit of a hike to Asquith for the boys this weekend but they won’t mind with 6 wins out of 10 and in 7th place on 37 points. NDs have 8 wins out of 10 but lost last round to Bankstown when they only made 142. They are 2nd on 49—12 points more than us. Four wins, 4 losses and 4 draws is the record against NDs.
5th GRADE plays at Kensington: Could this be the venue of the side’s breakthrough win? We’ve said that a few times in the past few weeks but back home may bring a change of fortune. The only game NDs have EVER won against us was last year 171 to 8-205. We have won 8 including one outright. They are 18th on 13 points and we are 20th on 2. This is our chance to grab a win.
Poidevin Gray v Western Suburbs at Petersham Oval THIS SUNDAY at 10 am: This is the last round in this year’s PG program which has been pretty disappointing with just 2 wins and 6 losses. It would be great to finish on a high note and take out this match. We don’t have such a good record against Wests losing 5 and winning just 2 so a big chance to right that record this Sunday and add some valuable points to our Club Championship tally. Go the Randy Petes!!
Metropolitan Cup from Jeremy Jastrzab: Coming off a weekend of contrasting fortunes, where Gold were rolled on a Kensington green top and Green struck gold in Blacktown, both teams are – as Willie Nelson once sang – on the road again. Gold jump on the M4 and head out for Werrington and Rance Oval to take on 2nd placed Penrith for the next two weeks. The Cats may not have a side as imposing as the ones from seasons past but still manage to crank out some impressive young talent. Green hop over the Harbour Bridge for Mike Pawley Oval to take on 6th placed Warringah. They overpowered the Green team after an initial arm-wrestle back in Round 3 at Marrickville and also had a comprehensive win against Penrith to show that they’re a rising force in the Metropolitan Cup. Notably, this is the first time a Metropolitan Cup side from Randwick Petersham will be playing at Mike Pawley Oval.