After a break for Chirstmas and New Year’s, the Randy Petes will return to action this weekend in one-dayers against Northern Districts. Wins in both First and Second Grade against local rivals Easts prior to the break give us some nice momentum in those grades, while the lower grades look to improve on disappointing starts this weekend.
Last season against ND’s we came away with two wins and a draw across the five grades, so let’s hope we can improve on that on Saturday.
Read below for the previews for each grade.
1st Grade is at Coogee Oval:
After a brilliant win against Easts prior to Christmas, 1s now sit in 3rd place on the ladder and are just two points off the top spot. A win here would be massive – and their chances get a major boost as they welcome back Adam Semple.
Our overall record against ND’s in this grade isn’t great, having only won seven times in 19 clashes. Last year we had a draw and in 2017/18 we had a good win, but the overall record is slightly in their favour.
Daya Singh tore through the Dolphins in Round 8, taking four poles, and there is no reason he can’t replicate that effort here. One of the great blokes in the club and a natural leader, Daya is primed for a big second-half of the season and that will all start tomorrow.
2nd Grade is at Mark Taylor Oval:
What a win the lads had before Christmas against the previously-undefeated Easts! It should set in motion a late-season push for the finals, and another win against the Rangers on Saturday will give us more confidence. 2s welcome back skipper Jack Lyle for this one, along with Luke Radford from a long injury layoff and Dylan Hunter back from a stint in 1st Grade.
We have only beaten ND’s five times in this grade, however have had four draws and a tied match back in 2007/08. The Randy Petes had a good win last season and there’s a big chance we make it two on the trot this weekend.
After taking 7 poles at under 14 in his first two games of Second Grade, seamer Mitch O’Loughlin is fired up and will look to continue his recent form with the ball. He even managed to see out 20-odd rocks while batting last game which is a rarity.
3rd Grade is at Kensington Oval:
It’s been quite a tough season for 3s so far, but they put in a real gutsy effort only to fall just short against Easts prior to the break. They welcome back Doug Loth and Ash Burton from 2s for this one, while Ryan Connolly’s strong form in 4s has been rewarded with a call-up.
Despite losing the last three encounters with the Rangers in this grade, the overall record isn’t too bad with six wins and two draws. It’s time to get our first win against them since 2015 and what better place to do it than Kenso.
Ash Burton scored 98 last time he played Third Grade and he is a class above playing in this grade once he gets going, so he looms as a player to watch. Burton has enjoyed his break more than most and should be fresh for a big second-half of the season.
4th Grade is at Asquith Oval:
It was a good batting display last round but Easts were far too strong in the chase prior to the break. This round, the batting line-up gets a few massive boosts with the inclusions of Ben Montedoro, Vivek Mahajan, Josh Segal, Akhter Hussain, Jaya Murdita and Kel Mullins. The side also welcomes Corey Graham for some bant from the cordon and hopefully a few poles.
A win last year was our first against the Rangers since 2013, and our overall record doesn’t read too well with just five wins in total. There have also been four draws in there, but we need to improve that on Saturday.
The aforementioned Ben Montedoro is the player to watch on the weekend. After taking down Thailand prior to the break and circuiting with zest that few can match over New Years, Monte drops down a grade and is primed for a big score. The wickets could be coming his way and he adds plenty of experience to this 4s side.
5th Grade is at Snape Park:
A hard-fought draw against Easts prior to Christmas showed there is plenty of fight in Fabian Heaton’s side. This round they welcome back Pratulya Kashyap, Neale Crawford, Sean Rushton, Steven Sheakey and Mitch Winslade who will all add plenty of experience.
The overall record in 5s against ND’s is by far the best of any grade, only losing two matches in the history of the club and registering nine wins. We were undefeated against the Rangers until 2016/17 – however we did lose last year so it is time to get back on track.
Steven Sheakey offers plenty with both bat and ball and is a huge asset here. His leadership and experience will make him integral to any chance of victory against the Rangers and he is the player to watch on Saturday.
Metropolitan Cup Preview by Jeremy Jastrzab:
It’s a good thing that Hawkesbury played against the Gold team at Marrickville just before Christmas, because now they’ll know they way for their one dayer against the Green team this weekend. While not the most prodigiously talented side, it’s the discipline in all three facets of the game and the nous shown by former NSW representative Liam Zammit that has them sitting at second on the ladder on their return to the Metropolitan Cup. John Stewart’s boys will have their work cut out for them, but in Waverley trio, Jackson Dodd, Will Dodd and Harry Schultz, they have some promising youngsters to take the results forward. Gold will take on Sutherland for the second time this season, with a trip down to the deep shire in the form of Tonkin Oval. The hobbits are also a formidable outfit, sitting third on the ladder with an experienced grade campaigner leading them from the front. Gold welcomes back Daniel Davies for his first match after a record-breaking decimation against Blacktown before Christmas, while prodigal son Dane Coombs should have plenty of local knowledge to assist him in ‘home’ conditions.