LJ’s Randy Petes Preview Round 2 vs Sydney University + Metro

A strong start overall in Round 1 for the Randy Petes saw us pick up wins in three out of the five grades, and one Metro Cup side claiming a first-round victory.

1s, 4s and 5s all came away with strong wins and will take plenty of confidence from their first-up displays, while the other two grades will look to use the positives from their defeats over the next two Saturdays.

It will be a tough task against Sydney Uni, who are always a strong club across the grades. Metro will play two one dayers across the next two weekends, with Green taking on Eastern Suburbs and North West Sydney at their Marrickville fortress, while Gold will take on the other students – UNSW – and Metro Cup newbies Sutherland.

1st Grade is at Sydney University Oval: 

It was a good win in the opening round of the season over Wests with the likes of Shaun Eaton and Will Affleck starring with the bat. This round it gets a lot tougher though, as Sydney Uni made the Grand Final last season and are always a worthy opponent for any side. 

In the 24 clashes between us and the Students over the years, the Randy Petes have emerged victorious in 10 of them – including a couple of T20 grand finals. Ben Abbatangelo scored a quickfire 20-odd in the first round and brings plenty of energy to the lineup, and he will play a big factor here if he can stick around and keep the runs flowing in our innings.

Ben Abbatangelo

2nd Grade is at Coogee Oval:

The big change for this clash is the loss of new skipper Jack Lyle, who has succumbed to an unfortunate ankle injury. We wish him all the best in his recovery and hope to see him back out on the park scoring runs sooner rather than later. In his absence, Luke Radford will have the ‘C’ next to his name moving forward and he is certainly a man who will lead by example. 

In the 17 matches between the two sides, the Randy Petes have a pretty poor record, winning just two games. We haven’t beaten the Students since 2012-13 – can we break the drought this season? Jacob Wood is a talented young off-spinner who can control a game very well, and the variations in his game will make him a major threat to the Sydney Uni batsmen. He is the player to watch for 2s this round.

Luke Radford

3rd Grade is at St Paul’s Oval:

A disappointing first round loss will only encourage our boys to fire up here and take it to one of the competition’s heavyweights.

We have a very underwhelming record against the Students in this grade as well, with just two wins in our history. But the lads will no doubt be looking to rectify that over the next fortnight and they have the squad to do it. 

Reuben Sachs had a good start last week with the bat and will be keen to improve on that once again here. The young gun is improving every innings and every training session with bat in hand, and his energy around the group will make him a major asset not only in this game but all season.

Emmanuel Grogan & Reuben Sachs
Emmanuel Grogan & Reuben Sachs

4th Grade is at Kensington Oval:

A cracking win in the opening round of the season over Wests will give the lads plenty of confidence heading into this much tougher task. Akhter Hussain comes up from 5s this weekend and can add plenty in all three areas of the game. 

The Randy Petes have emerged victorious just six times in this grade against Sydney Uni – but have won three out of the past six encounters. Lewis Barnes tore through the Wests batting lineup last weekend and will look to do the same again here as he makes a name for himself in Randy Petes colours.

5th Grade is at Camperdown Oval:

After annihilating Wests in Round 1, this energetic 5s team will be looking to prove it was no fluke against the Students this weekend. Josh Lau, Stepehen Sheakey and Will Deller all make their debuts here and will look to make a good first impression for the RP’s. 

The Randy Petes have won 10 matches against Sydney Uni in this grade – and have won five on the trot after last season’s victory. Ryan Connolly couldn’t pick up any poles last week and wasn’t required with the stick, but he is a threat in both departments and his services will likely be required much more over the next fortnight. His below-par bant aside, Rhino is one of 5s most reliable players.

Liam ‘LJ’ O’Loughlin

Metropolitan Cup Preview by Jeremy Jastrzab:

The Metropolitan Cup draw takes a slight deviation from the Premier Cricket draw for the next two weeks – two one dayers as opposed to a two dayer. Just to help round out the somewhat ‘local’ derby with Sydney University in Premier Cricket, the Metro Cup teams have drawn Eastern Suburbs and UNSW this weekend. Green started off their campaign with a win against Georges River, and will look to turn Marrickville into their fortress for the season. Their opponents – Eastern Suburbs – were unable to put a team on the field last week, but Green will be keen to build moment going into the season. Gold take on the ‘other’ students in UNSW at Snape Park, who are completely unrecognisable from last season. In any case, one team will be opening up their account for the season at the end of Saturday.

Next weekend, the Green team will face a stern test in North West Sydney at Marrickville, who have taken to the Metropolitan Cup like ducks to water. They favour a power game and street smarts to overwhelm their opponents and were the competition’s early leaders last season. Gold head into the unknown against Sutherland at Snape Park. In a boost for the Metro Cup, more and more premier cricket clubs are beginning to realise the value of the competition, with Sutherland’s maiden appearance being headed by a previous 5th grade captain and a number of promising youngsters.

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