Round 15 Preview v Parramatta
This is the crunch weekend. By Saturday night we’ll know if we are to participate in the finals this season. And we need a bit of good fortune as we play Parramatta in a round of 50 overs per side matches. Parramatta have taken all before it this season and although they have come back to the field a little in recent weeks they still hold the lead in the Club Championship—albeit by just 2 points from Manly. We are currently 10th—a long way from the leaders. We need a few wins to keep or better that position with the dreaded 11th—our place the past 3 seasons—just 49 points behind us and occupied by Bankstown. A replay of season 2010-11 when we beat Parramatta in all 5 grades would be REAL NICE!
1st GRADE is at Old Kings, Parramatta: 1st Grade need to win (probably with a bonus point) and hope some other results go our way. Had we won last match against Sydney we would have been 5th instead of 10th. It’s a close contest for 4th, 5th and 6th spots. We have won 3 of the past 5 clashes although Parra won last season. Alex Kemp and Greg West come into the side in place of Kushaal Ram and Mac Jenkins.
2nd GRADE is at Coogee Oval: Seconds are coming home like a train with three wins in a row and are just 6 points out of the top 6. With a good win over Parra, you never know! Sadly, Josh Bohannon who created club history last weekend scoring a century and taking a six wickets haul (the first Randwick Petersham player in any grade to do so) has returned to the UK. We have won 3 of the past 5 matches against Parra including last season at Old Kings 8-161 to 160. Kushaal Ram and Mac Jenkins come into the side along with Mitch Edwards who returns from injury. Jack Tector captain’s the side in the absence of Tom Holland.
Matt Calder has impressed in 2s and will be pushing 1st grade next season
3rd GRADE plays at Merrylands: 3rd Grade is in 7th place just one win from 5th placed Easts. Unfortunately the only two teams in the top 7 who play each other are us and Parramatta—and they are the competition leaders although they have had a draw and a loss in their last two matches. The 5th and 6th teams Easts and Sydney play low placed sides so we need to bring our A game if we are to make it. Last season Parra inflicted our worst defeat upon us at Coogee—63 to 0-66. We need to repay that embarrassment. Joe Hart and Chris King join the team in place of Lachlan Hodges and Kyri Tsalikidis.
4th GRADE is at Petersham: 4th Grade is currently 6th and just 4 points from 4th placed Gordon. Gordon and Sydney (5th) both have relatively easy games this round although Parramatta are not going so well in this grade being in 9th position. We simply need to win and win well. Last weekend’s loss was costly. We have won 3 of the last 5 clashes and last season won 6-119 to 116 and gained a bonus point. Jack Standing and Gabe Budwee come in to replace Tom Frith and Matt Hilder.
Luke Radford has been a great mentor for young 4th grade quicks such as Hayden Fox in the latter half of the year
5th GRADE plays at Castlewood, Castle Hill: The only hope we have of 5th Grade not finished 20th and last is if we can beat 4th placed Parramatta and 19th placed ND’s lose to 12th placed North Sydney. It was a close thing last week and there’s no doubting the talent within the team. It’s just a matter of putting it all together. Maybe this week…….. Lachlan Hodges, Tom Frith, Kyri Tsalikidis and Apollo Papathanasiou join the team.
Metropolitan Cup from Jeremy Jastrzab: A long and at times gruelling season comes to an end for both Metro teams this Saturday as neither are in finals contention. Even in this transitional phase though, a number of younger players have exponentially improved over the season and will be bigger, stronger and wiser in upcoming seasons, while a fewer of the older players have put in vintage performances. But for now, there is one more game and neither side has to go too far. The Golds head to St Pauls to finish their season as they started - with a match against Sydney University. They'll be hoping for a much more positive result as the students’ playing reserves seems to have fallen through the bottom. A win for the Golds and a couple of favourable results could see them finish as high as 9th after a rough season. The Greens finish the season in the home comforts of Kensington, against the likely finals bound UNSW Black. This is a great opportunity to teach those other students a lesson by tripping them up and potentially sending them for a luxurious weekend out in Penrith next week.
While it has been a tough season overall, thank you to all the players who stuck by through thick and thin and no doubt had some memorable experiences on the way.