First Grade flew the flag high last round against Blacktown, as all other grades fell short against the Mounties. They backed up on the Sunday afternoon against St George to claim a spot in the T20 Preliminary Final on the 22nd December, which will be a day for the ages.
And with just one game remaining before the Christmas break, it is time to get some momentum back against our local rivals – Eastern Suburbs.
Last year was a tough one as Easts washed us on Australia Day – so the next fortnight is our chance for redemption.
1st Grade is at Coogee Oval:
After a good win over Blacktown, the lads are now sitting in 4th spot on the table – however they will be missing Daniel Sams and Jason Sangha this week – replaced by Matt Everett and Ryan Ninan. In the second week of this clash, Caelan Maladay will make his 1s debut for the club, replacing Adam Semple.
The Randy Petes have won 9 games against Easts over the years, and have suffered 10 defeats. The recent history is not fantastic, however we will take confidence from a recent T20 victory against the Dolphins.
Ryan Ninan has been in strong form in the T20s and with some experienced and high-profile stars missing here, he will need to take his share of poles and restrict the run rate as he does so well in the shorter form.
2nd Grade is at Waverley Oval:
A tough loss last weekend has 2s in 15th spot and starting to need some wins to compete for a finals berth post-Christmas. In the absence of Jack Lyle, the in-form Stephen Doheny will take the captain’s armband here. Adam Docos returns after a half-century in 3s, while Jackson Eldridge has been promoted after scoring well on his uni exam during last round.
In 14 matches between the two sides over the years, the Randy Petes have won just four of them which is a record that doesn’t read too well. Our last win came during the 2013/14 season – but here’s hoping we can get one back here.
The bloke scored 170 last game, so Stephen Doheny is a pretty easy selection for the player to watch here. The Irishman has been playing well and circuiting even better, and his acclimation into the Randy Petes culture has been seamless.
3rd Grade is at Trumper Oval:
Another close loss for 3rd Grade last weekend has them stuck at the bottom of the table – and it gets tougher this weekend against the 6th-placed Easts. Scott Sharma and Vivek Mahajan return to the side and will all be keen on runs.
In 14 matches between the Randy Petes and Easts in this grade, we have a good record of 9 wins and just three losses. After last year’s disappointing defeat, it’s time to improve that record even more.
Luca Lopes has had a disrupted season thus far with HSC exams and holidays, but he still possesses plenty of talent and an ability to score runs at the top of the order. He is the player to watch here and we are backing him for a big score.
4th Grade is at Kensington Oval:
We’ll strike a line through last round and move forward. There are changes aplenty for this round, with Lewis Barnes, Will Hutchison and Sean Rushton returning. Reid McNamara and Lachie Bird will make their 4s debut as well.
Overall our record is good against Easts in this grade, with 9 wins over the years. Unfortunately, recent history is not on our side with one win from the past five encounters.
Ryan Connolly started the season as a bowling all-rounder, but those days are well and truly behind him as he continues to find form with the bat. A half-century last game when the side were on the ropes and some handy contributions earlier in the season have him locking down a top six spot permanently.
5th Grade is at Snape Park:
So close, but yet so far last round for 5s, going down by six runs to Blacktown. They will fancy their chances this weekend against Easts who sit only two spots above us on the table.
We have beaten the Dolphins 8 times over the years in this grade which is a positive. The negative is that there has only been one victory for us since 2010 and we need a win here big time.
Freddy Whalebone was in the runs last week in the gallant chase at Whalan, and can do a bit with the ball as well. He looms as a player to watch and could be a good all-round option in the lower grades moving forward.
Metropolitan Cup Preview by Jeremy Jastrzab:
After one of the most promising rounds in the Metropolitan Cup in recent memory, the challenge will be to keep up the good form. It’s the turn of the Green machine to head up across the harbour and spit bridges, off the lovely Mike Pawley Oval to take on Warringah. Sure the playing surface is among the better ones from lower grades, but you’d barely be able to swing a mouse in the change room… in any case, John Stewart returns to captain a side that contains a lot of promise. Jackson Dodd will be looking to follow his marathon effort in the previous game with another strong performance. Gold continue to enjoy home comforts, taking on the vistors from Hawkesbury at Marrickville Oval. The Hawks are back in Metro for the first time since the 2015-16 season, and until the previous round were unbeaten. Led by former NSW Blue, Liam Zammit, the Hawks will pose a stiff challenge for the Golden boys, who have a number of Green Shield players looking to fine tune their games before the start of their season.