Round 16 NSW Premier Cricket v Sydney 2021-22 Preview

& Metro Cup v Mosman & Blacktown

Last week’s big query needs to be posed again this week. That is––will there be any cricket this weekend? After the heavy rain took out the whole round last weekend, it could well intervene again this Saturday. Wickets have hardly been touched at many grounds for a week or more, so batting could be hard yakka for those games that get on. And while it’s only Saturday of concern for the lower grades playing a Limited Overs round, this is a two-day Saturday / Sunday game for 1st Grade.

With two rounds to go, congratulations are in order for our 1st Grade team who have secured a place in the 2021-22 Finals Series. It is the ninth time in our 21 years that 1st Grade has played finals cricket. The side has been in 3rd spot for the past 8 rounds and deserves its success. Our other real hope is 3rd Grade which is in 7th place just one point out of 6th (Easts) and 5 from 5th (Parramatta). Parramatta has the hardest draw, playing 3rd placed Sydney University this Saturday. If we win the last 2 games and Sydney Uni. beats Parra, there’s every likelihood we’ll make it. And 5th Grade shouldn’t be discounted being in 9th place, but only 4 points from 6th. We’d have to win both games and hope for other results to go our way.

We are up against Sydney this weekend. The defending 1st Grade premiers aren’t going as well this season and are placed 14th in the Club Championship. We are 8th on 1,003 points, 24 behind 7th placed Parramatta. We’ll have to pull out all stops over these final 2 rounds if we are going to finish any higher. Uni. of NSW, in 5th spot, should be our target as they are on 1,085 points—82 ahead of us. Wins in all 5 grades over these 2 rounds would be like winning Lotto–but it can be done.

In our 20 seasons, we have played Sydney in 91 matches across all grades and, apart from 9 draws, they have had the wood on us winning 43 to our 39. Only 1st Grade with 14 wins to 11 and 4ths with 8 to 6 have the historic upper hand.

In Metropolitan Cup cricket, RPC Green look to have secured a spot in the finals, being in 6th place, some 7 points ahead of 7th placed North West Sydney Maroon and 9 in front of 8th placed Sydney University Blue. Interestingly, those latter two clubs meet each other in the final round on Sunday. Green however, play 2nd placed Mosman at Snape while RPC Gold (13th) is up against Blacktown Mounties (9th) at Whalan Reserve. Both our teams play Saturday.

1st GRADE is at Coogee on Saturday / Sunday from 10.30 am: The wash-out last Saturday brought to an end our record run of 10 successive Belvidere Cup matches. We are in 3rd place on 74 points, just 3 behind Mosman in 2nd spot and 10 from leader, Northern District on 84. Mosman have UNSW and Campbelltown-Camden to play. NDs have Wests (7th) and St George (5th). It’s always best to finish in the top two, especially in a wet season such as this. So if there are any glitches in the top two and we win both, you never know!  Over the past 2 seasons, we have played Sydney 7 times in all forms of the game. They won 4 to 3 although we pulled of the LO Grand Final against them at Drummoyne last year.

Anthony Sams has an interesting milestone coming up as he has a career total of 6,970 runs in 1st Grade which includes his early years with Bankstown. Just 30 runs will give him a remarkable 7,000 1st Grade runs. He will be the 113th player in Sydney 1st Grade to do it. If he can get past 7,246 he will be in the top 100. An amazing performance! Adam Semple is also on the verge of another milestone, needing just 4 runs to reach 6,500 in 1st Grade.

2nd Grade is at Drummoyne: We are 12th and Sydney is 13th. They have won 5 of the past 6 clashes.

James Mahony-Brack

3rd Grade is at Petersham:  A win will give our boys some hope of a finals berth. A loss and its curtains. They have won 7 of the last 9 clashes. Time to step up.

Ben Chaplin

4th Grade is at Birchgrove: We are 16th and Sydney is 17th. They have won 6 of the last 8.

Jackson Dodd

5th Grade is at Kensington: We have a chance if we can win. They are 8th (40 points) and we are 9th (41). Of the last 7 clashes, Sydney won all 7 on the first innings although we got up outright in 2016-17. This is a big match.

Jordan Segal

Metropolitan Cup. Green (6th) play 2nd placed Mosman at Snape while RPC Gold (13th) is up against Blacktown Mounties (9th) at Whalan Reserve. Both our teams play Saturday. Having enjoyed an excellent season with plenty of stand-out performances, the Green team have found themselves with a roulette of options for this weekend. Play against 2nd placed Mosman and win – they could finish as high as 2nd if the dominos fall in the right places. Play and lose (or get washed out on Saturday), and Sunday’s clash between North West Sydney Maroon and Sydney University Blue becomes a crucial spectacle. And if the whole round gets washed out again, the conversation becomes completely academic. In any case, having been denied a wonderful opportunity to solidify a spot in the 6 last week, the players will be keen to get one more performance out of themselves to show that they are contenders. Gold have a consolation match against Blacktown Mounties as well, and a number of the talented youngsters in the side will be using it as an opportunity to set themselves up for next season.

Go the Randy Petes…..and stay healthy!!

Lyall Gardner OAM

The Round 16 Match Preview is Proudly Brought to you by:

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