After another ‘weather-enforced’ weekend of coloured clothing and the White Ball Finals, clubs will be once again looking forward to returning to the whites and the two-day matches as the weeks’ tick away towards Finals.
Round 14 sees the annual Indigenous Round matches being played between St Kilda (6th) and Northcote (15th) around the Junction Oval complex. This weekend will also see the Junction Oval make its long-awaited return to hosting Premier Cricket with the 1st XI match between the Saints and the Dragons. Both sides will be keen to win this match, with recent form suggesting the Saints in a tight one.
White Ball premiers Dandenong (1st) will be keen to keep their current form going, with Essendon (4th) the next in line to play the Panthers. This game should easily be the match of the round as both sides contain quality players in both disciplines that will want to win the match for their respective sides.
Carlton (3rd) will be keen to put last weekend’s performances behind them with the Monash Tigers (12th) in the firing line. This will be a danger game for the Blues with several teams in hot pursuit for positions in the top 4 closing quickly. The Tigers are also coming off a good win against Frankston Peninsula and will be keen to claim a top end scalp like the Blues to keep their finals chances alive.
Fitzroy Doncaster (2nd) travel out to Greenvale Kangaroos (17th) this round, with the Lions keen to capture the outright and potentially top spot come the end of the round (if results go their way). The Roos were competitive with the bat and ball last round against Footscray and will require another performance of this nature against another flag contender.
Casey-South Melbourne (18th) will host Footscray (5th) at Casey Fields. The Swans have been on the improve after a slow start to the year but require a few more to contribute with the bat. The Dogs will be looking to obtain maximum points and boost their percentage in this match to be able to secure a top 4 position come the end of the year.
Melbourne Uni (8th) will host Prahran (10th) with a position in the top 8 at stake. Uni was unlucky to fall short against Melbourne last week after Patrick Smith’s heroics with the bat on the last wicket for the Dees, while the True Blues did enough to chalk a win on the board against the Swans in Stephen Seymour’s 200th Premier 1st XI match. Expect this match to be hotly contested.
Kingston Hawthorn (16th) host Melbourne (13th) at Walter Galt with both sides coming off close results last week. The Hawks just fell short defending 222 against Northcote, while the Dees chased down 210 on the last wicket against Uni. Melbourne will require a team performance if they are looking to get full points as they can then be in with a sniff of the finals if other results go the right way for them.
Geelong (7th) host Ringwood (9th) at Geelong, with both teams suffering defeats on the road last weekend. The Rams require more support with the bat for skipper David King, while the Cats will be keen to be back at home where over 600 runs were scored in the match against Monash Tigers prior to Christmas. Another top game is expected, with just 4 points separating these two sides.
Finally, Frankston Peninsula (11th) host Camberwell Magpies (14th) at AH Butler Oval. The Heat were gallant in a 4-wicket loss against Monash Tigers minus strike bowler Ben Ashkenazi (late withdrawal), while the Magpies were the victors in a high-scoring game against Geelong. With only 2 points separating these teams, this match could be one that decides who remains in the hunt for the finals.
In Women’s Premier Cricket, three matches were held on Wednesday Twilight, with EMP winning at Aberfeldie Park by 7 wickets over Plenty Valley thanks to the efforts of skipper Briana Binch (1/9 off 4, 1 catch & 1 run out), Sarah Harris (27) and Sophie Van De Heuvel (26*). Providence Cowdrill (2/15 off 4) tried hard with the ball for Plenty Valley, but too many innings ending between 10 and 19 hurt them in the end, ending their chance at playing the T20 Final. This victory has kept the Bombers in with a chance of making the T20 Final.
Dandenong were far too strong at Shepley Oval for Ringwood, winning by 9 wickets and ending any chance of the Rams making the T20 Final. Gabby Basketter (28) and Maddie Wright (23) laid the foundation for the Rams, but limited support plus tight bowling saw the innings finish at 5/103. Dandenong passed the total at the start of the 18th over thanks to Joanne van der Veen (40*), Lucy Cripps (35) and pinch-hitter Emma Gallagher (21*).
At the Albert, Melbourne consolidated the top spot with a 50-run win over Coburg, thanks to Teagan Parker’s run-a-ball 50* helping the Dees to 6/142, Amy Yates (3/11 off 4) and Tegan Orwin (2/9 off 4 with 2 maidens) then restricted Coburg to 8/92 off their overs. Stephanie Theodore (33) and Rebekah Morris (2/26 off 4) were Coburg’s better players on the night.
Today will see the battle between Prahran and Box Hill at Toorak Park as part of the Maddie’s Shield Day for the Maddie Riewoldt Foundation. A win for Box Hill will see them only 2 points behind Dandenong coming into the last round for the fight for 2nd position, while Prahran will be aiming to break their winless drought during this T20 campaign.
Congratulations to the following members of the Premier Cricket competition for recent and upcoming milestones:
MEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 14 – SATURDAY 27 JANUARY & SATURDAY 3 FEBRUARY (11:00am Start)
GREENVALE KANGAROOS V FITZROY DONCASTER at Greenvale Reserve #1
Umpires R Birch & M Cervetto
CASEY-SOUTH MELBOURNE V FOOTSCRAY at Casey Fields #4 Oval
Umpires R McKinnon & M van Eck
MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY V PRAHRAN at University Main Oval
Umpires G Bawa & C James
KINGSTON HAWTHORN V MELBOURNE at Walter Galt Reserve
Umpires V Borg & B Davies
DANDENONG V ESSENDON at Shepley Oval
Umpires M Muthugounder & A Hawking
GEELONG V RINGWOOD at Geelong Cricket Ground
Umpires J Walker & C Grant
FRANKSTON PENINSULA V CAMBERWELL MAGPIES at AH Butler Oval
Umpires G Azzopardi & M Malmberg
CARLTON V MONASH TIGERS at Princes Park #1 Oval
Umpires S Olufson & S Pitts
ST KILDA V NORTHCOTE at Junction Oval
Umpires A Barrow & F Fabris