Lyall’s Preview Round 16 v University of NSW & Metro Cup Round 15 v Penrith and Sydney Uni. Blue

This is the last round and we take on University of NSW in a must-win round for 1st Grade. Should they win and other results go our way, the side is a chance of making the finals. None of our other four grades are within coo-ee of finals cricket, although our Metro Gold team has made it. 1st Grade is in 7th position with 43 points on the ladder just 3 from 5th placed Gordon (46) and only one point from 6th placed Western Suburbs (44). This round, Gordon plays Blacktown Mounties, which is equal with us on 43 points although, at present, we have the better quotient.

Western Suburbs take on Campbelltown-Camden (13th on 36) at Pratten. The only other match of interest is 9th placed Penrith (41) playing Manly-Warringah (3rd on 63) at Manly. All matches this round are two-day games.

With only 1st Grade winning last round, we didn’t improve our position in Club Championship, where we remain 14th. Fairfield-Liverpool is in front of us by just 19 points. We have them in our sights as the best we can finish is where they are now–13th.

One of the highlights of the season occurred last Saturday when 18-year-old Jack Gibbens-Johnson made a return to cricket after battling cancer the past two years. With a batting average of 44.50 in our A W Green Shield team of 2021-22, young Jack made his comeback in the Metropolitan Cup competition playing with RPC Green. In front of his
family and after being applauded to the crease by a well-wishing Warringah team, Jack was off the mark with a second-ball single before hitting a well-struck boundary. And while he only made those few runs from 8 balls, he was part of an important win over the competition leaders. Welcome back, Jack.

Round 16 v University of NSW:
1st Grade: @ Coogee from 10 am: We have finished in the top 4 (with one win) in 3 of the past 4 years. To continue that trend and give us another shot at the Belvidere Cup premiership, we need to win well this round. An outright would go very close to giving us a top 6 place while we would have to rely on either Blacktown beating Gordon or
Campbelltown defeating Wests. If both Gordon and Wests win and we win on the first innings, we will end up 7th. A loss will put us out altogether. UNSW are 15th but they have beaten us in 2 of the past 3 Belvidere Cup matches and can’t be taken lightly.

2nd Grade: @ David Phillips from 10 am: UNSW is 15th and we are 19th. We just missed last week after a good win the match before. We have won 4 of the past 6 clashes.

3rd Grade: @ Petersham from noon: They are 12th and we are 15th. We have won 6 of the past 8 including 5 in a row. 4th Grade: @ Alexandria from noon: We are 16th and they are 18th. They have won 2 of the past 3.

5th Grade: @ Kensington from noon: We are 15th and they are 16th with both teams on 26 points. Our last win was on 11 November in round 5. We have suffered 11 losses with one drawn from our past 12 matches after winning 4 of the first 5 matches. The run of 7 losses in a row, equals the team’s worst run of losses recorded in 2020-21.

METROPOLITAN CUP (two-day matches from noon): Gold (2nd) take on Penrith (8th) at Rance over the next two Saturdays. After a great win last Saturday, the side is just one point behind new competition leader Sutherland. RPC Green (14th) is up against Sydney University Blue (4th) at Snape. After their surprise win over Warringah last weekend, they could well finish the season on a high note with another victory


Lyall Gardner OAM

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