Finals Cricket Preview–Sat/Sun 25/26 March 2023

1st Grade Semi-Final: Randwick Petersham v Parramatta

3rd Grade Semi-Final: Randwick Petersham v Parramatta

Metropolitan Cup Grand Final: Randwick Petersham v Penrith

What a weekend coming up!! The State Election maybe a big thing on Saturday but it’s Finals Fever for us all weekend! After a sensational win over minor premier Sydney University in 1st Grade last Sunday, our boys are primed for another big one this weekend in their charge to the Grand Final a week later. And our development team RP Gold has a crack at the premiership in the Metropolitan Cup Grand Final. Our 3rd graders, after a disappointing loss last weekend, get a second chance for glory as they battle for a place in the Grand Final when they take on Parramatta in the semi-final. It’s all happening in Randwick Petersham Cricket!

1st GRADE v PARRAMATTA @ OLD KINGS OVAL: What a win last weekend!  Can we do it again? You betcha!  This Saturday and Sunday we take on Parramatta at their ground—Old Kings Oval—in the semi-final. The other semi is between Manly and Sydney University at Manly Oval. The winners will meet in the 3-day Grand Final starting Friday 31 March.

Parramatta have had a good season finishing 3rd on the points table after 9 wins. We were 6th with 8. We didn’t get to play them during the season so they are an unknown factor this year, although we won convincingly at Coogee last year. Over the years, the win ratio is 7 to 6 in our favour with 5 drawn from 18 matches. We have batted 6 times at Old Kings with our lowest score 230 and our highest 337. We were also at Old Kings just 3 weeks ago when we defeated the Eels in the Grand Final of the under 21 Poidevin-Gray competition.

This will be our 8th 1st Grade semi-final. We made it last year, but it was a drawn result against eventual premiers Mosman after rain intervened. Showers are forecast for later this week so we will be hopeful that’s all they are.

Having won the Belvidere Cup in 2019-20, the Limited Overs Cup in 2020-21 and the Twenty20 Cup last year, we are keen to add another Belvidere Cup to our impressive collection. And here’s the team to do it:

Our squad is: Camden Hawkins; Blake Weymouth; Jason Sangha; Riley Ayre; Anthony Sams; Ben Mitchell; Daya Singh (Capt); Angus McTaggart; Ash Burton; Jason Ralston; Jackson Gwynne; Adam Docos; Ben Montedoro; Max Robinson.

3rd GRADE v PARRAMATTA @ MERRYLANDS OVAL:  A bit of a disaster to lose the Qualifying Final as minor premiers. However, that can be rectified if we can knock over Parramatta this weekend in the semi. We have won 2 and lost 2 at Merrylands Oval with 5 draws over the years. Of the 14 times we have played, the record is 5 wins to each club. You can’t get much closer that that so this will be a very tight match.

The 3rd Grade squad is: Ross Elliot; Josh Mellick; Josh Segal; Mahsen Narvel; Thomas Holland (Capt.); Dave Dubey; Benjamin Tracey; Aman Rao; Akther Hussain; James Apostolakis; Dane Coombs; Reuben Sachs; Guru Chandar; Sadeep Deepak.

METRO GRAND FINAL v PENRITH @ PETERSHAM: After two seasons of rain dropping us out at the semi finals and qualifying finals respectively, the Gold team rode a trail of blood, sweat and tears to make the best use of their minor premiership position and book a spot in the Metro Cup Grand Final, which is our first appearance at the big dance since 2015/16. Incidentally, our opponent that time was Penrith as well, who went on to win and produce a string of first graders from that side.

Overall, this is our fourth Grand Final appearance in the competition, and we have one title that was secured by the finest of margins against Western Suburbs at Pratten Park in 2008/09. Incidentally, this is also our first time hosting a Metropolitan Cup Grand Final, which we’ll do so at the reopened and renovated Petersham Oval – which has been something of a fortress for the side, with the season so far producing 4 wins and a draw. This includes an incredible Semi Final performance where, defending a hard fought 159, we took 4/0 and 3/3 to reduce St George’s chase to 8/54 not long after drinks on day 2.

Penrith are among the most successful teams in the Metro Cup, having won 4 titles – including 3 between 2014/15 and 2017/18 and a string of runner-up positions along the way as well – and are equal second (including Sydney Uni and Maccabi) behind Gordon with 6 titles since 1997/98. During their title winning phase, the boys from the foot of the Blue Mountains would put out teams that could probably challenge decent fourth grade teams, while many would go on the represent higher grades. After a few lean years, they’re back in form with a hungry young side. They inflicted one of only two losses that the Gold team took this season, and even that was only by 3 wickets and two overs to spare against an understrength team. But we couldn’t think of a more fitting final than 1st taking on 2nd at one of the most picturesque grounds in Sydney. In an administratively challenging season that started with horrendous weather and is ending with a delayed summer, nothing will be more fitting than allowing the cricket to do the talking.

Our squad is: Asif Rasheed; Aditya Tiwari; John Stewart; Luke Takacs; Angus Gilmore; Archie Robinson; Sriram Suresh; E-Young Khoo; Jeremy Jastrzab (Capt.); Gregor Aitchison; Zack Narayan; Ben Thomas; Thanush Gowda; Rishabh Goyal; Ryan Rajesh; Ashish Bhat.

Lyall Gardner

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