Lj O’Loughlin’s Round 6 / 3 Preview is Proudly Brought to you by a special forward from Lyall Gardner:

The Dream Debut – Three Generations

By Lyall Gardner

If that 1950s through 1970s icon of Randwick Cricket, John O’Loughlin, and his lovely wife Josie, were still with us today, it wouldn’t be hard to find them this Saturday. And they wouldn’t have taken the ferry to sit on the famous Manly beach to lunch on fresh fish and chips in the warm November sunshine. They would be at Manly however, perched high in the Manly Oval grandstand, as close behind the bowler’s arm as possible, to witness a dream come true. The dream of their grandson, Mitchell O’Loughlin, making his 1st Grade cricket debut for Randwick Petersham, just like John had done with Randwick, 72 years earlier.

John O’Loughlin was one of the champions of Randwick Cricket Club. He played between 1943 and 1972 as a high-order right hand batsman and part-time leg-spin bowler. He was Randwick’s fifth highest run-getter in its 101 years, scoring 8,313 runs with five centuries including 6,662 in 2nd Grade and 693 in 1st Grade. He made his 1st Grade debut on 12 December 1948 against North Sydney at Coogee. John was also one of the longest-serving 2nd Grade captains while his wife Josie was almost as familiar a face as he was at Coogee Oval, helping out with afternoon tea.

Fast bowler Mitchell, who turns 20 on November 23rd, created club history when he took the field in 5th Grade on 3 December 2016 becoming the third generation of O’Loughlin’s to play for Randwick/Randwick Petersham. While there have been many father, son and other family combinations throughout the history of NSW Premier Cricket (formerly Sydney Grade Cricket) there have surprisingly, been very few instances where players from three generations have participated in the competition and even more rare when playing for the same club. Mitchell’s dad, Paul O’Loughlin, was a handy off-spinner and capable bat for Randwick in the late 1970s. He is currently the Randwick Petersham Assistant CEO.

And to add to the O’Loughlin cricketing story, Mitchell’s elder brother Liam O’Loughlin, also an off-spinner, is following in his grandfather’s captaincy footsteps as he is the captain of the club’s 4th Grade team. While the reality is that John and Josie O’Loughlin won’t be physically present at Manly Oval on Saturday, they will be there in spirit, watching intently from the great cricket grandstand in the sky. Sometimes dreams do come true.

Mitch O'Loughlin

Last weekend saw our top two grades clinch quality wins against Penrith, while the other three grades fell short of victory.

This weekend, round six begins for 1st and 2nd Grade in two-day fixtures against Manly, while the lower grades try to catch up in the draw against Fairfield-Liverpool in one-day grades.

It will be a special day at Manly Oval on Saturday, with some debuts for three of our local juniors in 1s. Read more about it here: https://www.randwickpetershamcricket.com.au/2020/11/12/three-local-juniors-debut-in-first-grade/

Lefrand Group 1st Grade vs Manly-Warringah @ Manly Oval

Caelan Maladay

Saturday will mark a rather historic day in the club’s history, with three local juniors set to make their debuts.

2nd Grade skipper Jackson Eldridge and close mate Ravin De Silva have come though all their junior cricket, school cricket and Randy Petes careers playing together. The pair have played every level of cricket together for the club from Metro Cup, Green Shield, Poidevin-Gray and now all five grades. Their form early in the season has earned them their 1s caps, and it is a huge testament to the hard work and dedication they have put in over many years. As a mate, I’m stoked for both of them to be getting this opportunity.

The other debutant is my little bro Mitchell O’Loughlin, who at 19 will round out a pace attack that also includes 18-year-old Caelan Maladay and 21-year-old Jason Ralston – some real young guns! Like Jacko and Rav, Mitch has also played every grade for the club and is a local junior. Our grandfather John is a former 1 st Grader and is a life member of the club, so it is a very rare occasion to have Mitch playing 1s for the same club.

Manly will no doubt be a tough task for the Randy Petes this weekend, with a host of rep players and even a former Test star in Steve O’Keefe. In our 20 clashes over the years, we have come out victorious in 13 of them. Our last encounter was a T20 last year, which we won.

The player to watch this week is the aforementioned Caelan Maladay. The quick steered the side to victory late in the game last weekend against Penrith, and will need to stand up with ball in hand once again with some key players missing.

Suttons City Rosebery 2nd Grade vs Manly-Warringah @ Coogee Oval

Jamie Hemphrey

Jamie Hemphrey

With Jacko called into 1 st Grade, Scott Sharma will take the reins as captain this weekend. On top of that appointment, there have been four players promoted to the side. Ben Montedoro, Jack Lyle and Kel Mullins will all make their second grade returns, while Mandar Mariguddi will make his 2s debut for the club.

Over the years, we have won just four games against Manly in this grade – two of which have come in the past four meetings. History may not be on our side, but at the end of the day it’s exactly that – history.

Jamie Hemphrey will be without his opening bowling partner this weekend, and will need to stand up and lead the attack. Hemp was brilliant at the death last week against Penrith, and has been ticking along nicely so far this season.

Petersham RSL 3rd Grade vs Fairfield-Liverpool @ Petersham Oval

Vivek Mahajan

After a gallant effort last weekend, 3rd Grade will go into this one with plenty of confidence as they aim for their first win of the season. A few returns to the side in Luca Lopes, Ross Elliot, Vivek Mahajan and Corey Graham, as well as a debut for Jack Horseman.

Over the years, we have won seven and drawn three games to give us the edge. We got the chocolates last year, so here’s hoping we can make it two in a row on Saturday.

The player to watch here is Akther Hussain, who’s bowling especially in one-day games can be very important to the Randy Petes’ success. Hollywood has plenty of variety in his bowling, and also has the ability to score runs in the middle-order.

Mellick Wealth 4th Grade vs Fairfield-Liverpool @ Fairfield Oval

Josh Segal

Last week was a horrific day for 4s, getting rolled for just 44 runs against Penrith. But the good thing about cricket is, you’ve only got to wait a week to turn things back around. Ryan Connolly, Haider Ali and Alex Deller all return this weekend, while new recruit Connor O’Riordan will make his RPC debut.

After a loss last year, we have now had six wins and three draws in our 16 games clashes with Fairfield-Liverpool. Prior to last year’s defeat, we had not been beaten by them in this grade since 2013.

Josh Segal missed out on a score in the Penrith collapse last week, but will need to stand up here at the top of the order. He has proven multiple times he has what it takes to compile a big score, so here’s hoping he can do that tomorrow.

Clovelly Community Bank 5th Grade vs Fairfield-Liverpool @ Kensington Oval

Freddy Whalebone

After a defeat last weekend, 5th Grade will welcome back a couple of players from 4s in Angus Beaumont and Freddy Whalebone. But the big in this weekend is the return of Scott Stirling from an 18-month hiatus. Working from home and playing golf got a little too boring for our resident Queenslander, by the sounds of things.

Nine wins and three draws from 17 games give us a decent edge over our opponents this weekend. However, we haven’t beaten them since 2016 and will need to turn that around at Kenso on Saturday.

Sriram Suresh has shown plenty of promise early in his career at the Randy Petes. A leg-spinner who can also bat in the top-order, the youngster has a bright future and will be an important key to victory for 5s this weekend.

Metropolitan Cup: Cartwright Insurances Green vs Blacktown @ Whalan Oval No. 2

Metropolitan Cup: Titan Fitness Gold vs North West Sydney @ Castlewood Oval (Sunday Nov 15)

Both Metropolitan Cup teams hit the road this weekend, as it seems that many clubs are keen get back on the park after a protracted start to the season has meant that many more grounds have been available than usual.

Green will attempt to get back on the field after a wet start in Round 1 and a timely bye in Round 2, with a road trip out the idyllic Whalan Oval. Until this afternoon, their likelihood of getting on was high, so they’ll be hoping that the afternoon showers don’t adversely affect a ground that hasn’t always had the best drainage. Our record against Blacktown is actually pretty good, with a close loss and an emphatic win headlining last season. As many as 7 of the players should be playing their first full game for Randwick Petersham, while eyes will be on Jack Braithwaite who impressed with his pace and heavy bowling in last week’s demolition of Warringah, before almost guiding the chase home with a composed 20.

Gold will become Sunday specialists for the next few weeks, starting off with a road trip to the Hills and the secluded Castlewood Oval. With two emphatic wins driven by some ferocious bowling and determined fielding, the North West Sydney Hurricanes will provide a stern challenge to the early season running. Metro’s two trips to Castlewood Oval were impacted by losing toss on sticky wickets, but with enough sunshine on Saturday, it should keep the contest even on Sunday. Charith De Silva has lead the attack so far and sits on the cusp of a phenomenal milestone – he is currently equal with Adam Lee as the highest wicket taker in the Metropolitan Cup for both Randwick Petersham and across all teams. One more wicket will take big Chaz to the outright lead and give cause for a double celebration in the De Silva household, following Ravin’s first grade debut.

Charith De Silva

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