The only thing that stopped the Randy Petes from claiming their first ‘Greenwash’ for quite some time last weekend against Campbelltown-Camden was an unprepared wicket – so its safe to say we have found some form across the board.
This round it is back to two-day cricket for all five grades, and we take an opponent in Parramatta that clearly had our number last season. The Randy Petes lost four out of the five grades in 2018/19, so we definitely want to rectify that on the weekend.
Here’s a preview of each grade for Round 12.
1st Grade is at Old Kings Oval:
A fantastic outright win last time out sees the Randy Petes extend their lead at the top of the First Grade standings. This round sees the inclusion of teenage seamer Caelan Maladay into the XI and he will be sure to bring plenty of firepower to the bowling attack.
We have won just six games in this grade against Parra over the years, giving us a pretty poor record from 16 encounters. Despite this, prior to the loss last year Parramatta had only beaten us on one occasion since 2006 so there are some positives there.
While a lot of the talk has been about the form of Daniel Bell-Drummond in 2019/20, opener Will Affleck, returning to Parramatta for the first time since 2018/19, has been a rock at the top of the order and has scored 501 runs at 45.55 to date. They are very impressive stats and he is certainly a player to watch over the next fortnight.
2nd Grade is at Coogee Oval:
The Randy Petes should have got six points last week but were robbed of any chance to compete due to an unprepared wicket. They take on 7th placed Parra at Coogee this round and are joined by Jamie Hemphrey.
In the 13 clashes between the two sides over the years, RPC have come away with seven wins and two draws – pretty solid history. We have also won three of the last five, but 2s will be out to avenge last year’s loss this round.
Tom McKenzie is our leading wicket-taker for the season with 17 poles at 27.00 and he has been a consistent performer all season long. T-Mac will be hungry for poles after a frustrating couple of weeks for 2s and could be primed for a big game.
3rd Grade is at Merrylands Oval:
A host of changes this round with skipper Ben Stares away on rep duty and Tom Holland returning to the side with the C next to his name. Kel Mullins and Hayden Fox also come up from 4s, while Ben Montedoro returns from injury.
Looking at the historical results between us and Parra in this game isn’t pleasant viewing, not having won a game against them since 2010. Turn it around this time, lads.
Fresh of his second ton of the season in 4s, Kel Mullins is back in the side here and will be wanting to prove his worth at this level. Mullo has been a strong performer throughout the grades for many years, but has had a rollercoaster 2019/20 season. If he can find the form he had last weekend, Parra will be in all sorts.
4th Grade is at Kensington Oval:
A big win last round against the Ghosts but a plethora of changes for this weekend’s game. Neale Crawford, Alex Deller, Akhter Hussain and Dane Coombs are all up from 5s, while Ross Elliot drops back from 3s.
An overall positive record in this grade against Parramatta sees us with 8 wins and two draws from 13 fixtures. While we lost last year, we had won the previous two and looking at both side’s spot on the ladder, this should be a game the Randy Petes can win.
Ryan Miskella hasn’t taken as many wickets as he might have liked in his Aussie tour, but he has been economical and always holds down an end well. Giggsy has been clamouring for a bat higher up the order and his wish has been granted by the captaincy genie this weekend.
5th Grade is at Castlewood Oval:
As has been the case for a few sides this round, there are a heap of changes following a much-needed win in Round 11. Green Shielder Haider Ali returns and is joined by Freddie Whalebone, Hamza Mahmood, Ben Thomas and Will Hutchison in the XI here and will be keen for 6 points.
Another side with a not-so-pleasant record against Parra, 5s have not defeated this round’s opponents since 2010 and will want to change that over the next fortnight.
Young gun Will Deller has been consistently good with both bat and ball when called upon this season, and is growing with confidence. He is the player to watch this round in Fabian Heaton’s side.
Metropolitan Cup Preview by Jeremy Jastrzab:
A stunning long weekend that culminated in two resounding victories had the Green team roaring back into finals contention. They are the only team other than 1st grade in contention for late March, and fate is now firmly in their own hands. Win the next three games, and they will be heading to the finals. And after taking down a much vaunted Sutherland team, they’ll be confident in taking on Mosman this round. Sure, the boys from Balmoral gave the Golds a touch-up in the previous week, but Gold did take the Whales down in Round 5. And with a good mix of Green Shield youth and grizzled experience, the Greens will back themselves to take on a team ranked lower than them on the ladder. Gold will take on the bottom-placed Eastern Suburbs, with a golden opportunity to show that they’re a much better side than their ladder standing and their last few batting efforts would suggest. The batting looks quite strong, going all the way through all 12 players, the bowling is suited to the generally slower Snape Park, so the result will be decided in the quality of their fielding. Anis ‘The Beard’ Bugti will hold the key with both bat and ball, as he reunites in the field with good mate, Jarrod ‘Itch’ Hookey.