Lyall’s Preview Round 5 v Northern District and Metro Cup Round 5 v Syd Uni & Gordon

What a difference one round in NSW Premier Cricket can make! After leading by 51 points in the Club Championship prior to round 4, we are now in 6th place, some 89 behind the new front-runner, Western Suburbs, who gave us a real thrashing last weekend. Wests won all 5 grades against us–the first time they have done that. And what a hiding they gave us!  We were not close in any grade with 1sts going down by 145 runs and 4ths by 191, 2nds losing outright by 9 wickets while 3s and 5s went down by 6 wickets and 4 wickets respectively. There’s no easy way of putting it. It was our worst performance. Ever. The only saving grace was that our two Metropolitan teams won.

But it’s a new round beginning this Saturday. And we are far better than what was shown last weekend. On Saturday we line up against Northern District–always a tough nut to crack–in a round of 2-day matches. NDs are 20 points ahead of us in 5th position in the Club Championship. This gives us a chance to redeem ourselves by winning more games than them. 1st and 2nd grades start at 10 am and the lowers from 12 noon.

The big match this weekend, however, is the Grand Final of the Kingsgrove Sports Twenty20 Cup which we will participate in for the 5th time on Sunday at Coogee from 2.30pn. A detailed preview will issue Friday.

Round 5 v Northern District

1st Grade is @ Asquith: NDs are the competition leaders with 3 wins from 3. We are 6th with 2 from 3. They made 8-327 against us last season although we drew the match with 6-275. They are firing this season so this will be an even contest. Congratulations to right-arm fast bowler Luke Callanan who makes his 1st Grade debut with us as capped player no 157. He played two Test Matches with the Australian under 19s against England in England in September. He replaces the injured Jason Ralston.

2nd Grade is @ Petersham: NDs are 10th with 2 wins and we are 15th with one. It’s 2-all in the last 4 clashes between the teams so this will be another even contest.

3rd Grade is @ Coogee: With skipper Tom Holland still on the injured list, Ross Elliot will again lead the side. Josh Mellick returns to strengthen the batting. We have 3 wins to NDs 2 and hold down 6th spot on the ladder while NDs are 10th. We won last year.

4th Grade is @ Kensington: We are 11th and NDs are 6th. In our last 5 clashes we have won just once. Last year they scored 306 to defeat us by 143 runs. We have a very young side and Jackson Dodd will again be the skipper.

5th Grade is @ Storey Park: We were knocked off our leaders perch last Saturday and are now in 6th place but within one win from the new front-runner, Manly. NDs are just behind us in 8th possie. We chased their 331 last year to go down by 153 runs, so hopefully, our young charges can post a big score to give them something to chase. The big news for the team however, is that Fabian Heaton is back!  Skipper Glen Standing is unavailable and the affable, ageless (he is 59!) and highly successful wicket-keeper/ batter will stand in for him.

Our METROPOLITAN CUP matches this weekend are two-day fixtures from 12 noon each day with a number of players making their club debuts.

RPC Green plays Gordon at Snape over the next two Saturdays. RPC Gold plays Sydney Uni. Blue at St Paul’s over the next two SUNDAYS. Both teams are aiming to continue their win rate against the Stags and Students respectively.

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