This weekend’s action will be busy for Premier Cricket with a Saturday/Sunday round of matches in play across the Men’s grades and T20 Grand Finals for the Women’s grades.
Round 15 sees only 3 games remaining in the home-and-away season and anything can happen when teams can still sneak into 7th and 8th places.
Fitzroy Doncaster (1st) will be keen to get a points buffer on top of the ladder as they take on Casey-South Melbourne (18th) at Schramms Reserve. The Swans lost Outright to Footscray last weekend and will be relying heavily on the recently returned Luke Manders (21 & 94) to continue his recent run of form with the bat. Fitzroy Doncaster should win considering the strength of their bowling line-up, but the Outright might end up out of the question come Sunday afternoon if the Swans can post a competitive score in their 1st innings.
Footscray (2nd) will take on Melbourne Uni (7th) at Merv Hughes Oval with both sides in good form. The Bulldogs claimed the 10 points against the Swans last weekend at Casey Fields and will be keen to keep the form going, while Uni held on in a close game against Prahran with Steven Reid (6/52) the hero. With Dylan Kight (85) and Hamish Winter-Irving (2/23 + 5/35) in top form against the Swans, this game should be one to follow closely.
Prahran (11th) will take on Kingston Hawthorn (16th) at Toorak Park. The Hawks’ bowling attack will have been reviewing their performance after last week against Melbourne where they conceded 5/450 declared after making 295 inside the first day. Prahran will be looking to bounce back from a close loss against Melbourne Uni with Nicholas Morrey (61) showing resistance in an innings that stuttered at regular intervals. The True Blues might just have enough bowling options to keep the Hawks at bay in this one.
Northcote (15th) play Melbourne (9th) at Bill Lawry Oval, with the Demons gaining some valuable form at the right time against Kingston Hawthorn. Northcote were left to rue the last wicket partnership from St Kilda for stopping them gaining win number 5 of the season. Melbourne will be hoping the form continues from last week’s centurions Will Pucovski and Sam Harper while Northcote will be looking to build on recent performances against the Saints and Essendon. Melbourne to be favourites here to keep their season alive.
Monash Tigers (13th) host the Greenvale Kangaroos (17th) at Central Reserve North. The Tigers can take positives out of performances from Sam Taylor (73) and Dominic Matarazzo (3/50) from their match against Carlton, while Greenvale will be licking some deep wounds after being taken to the sword by Fitzroy Doncaster. Players like James Rosewarne, Haseeb Qureshi and Kyle Adams will be keen to give the Roos some respectability and something to build on for the next season. Recent form says Monash Tigers to be favourites in this one.
Camberwell Magpies (14th) will host traditional foes Carlton (4th) at Camberwell Sports Ground. The Magpies fought hard on the road against the Heat but were left at a ‘Boland’ block by the end of the game, while the Blues captured a valuable win thanks to Aaron Smillie (4/47) and Harrison Smyth (147). Camberwell will be looking for form to continue from the likes of Simon Hill, Dylan Hodge, Brendan Drew and William Walker to provide a strong contest. This could be a closer game than you think, with Carlton starting just ahead on paper.
Ringwood (10th) travel to AH Butler Oval to take on Frankston Peninsula (12th). The Heat can thank the heroics of the Boland brothers to escape with a draw last week, while Ringwood’s bowling attack struggled to defend 280 at Geelong. The big battle for this match will be between Ringwood skipper David King and Frankston keeper Liam Tonkin as both players are showing good form with the bat. Another game that could keep either team in with a chance of making the Finals.
Essendon (5th) will take on Geelong (6th) at Windy Hill. Both sides have come off good wins last weekend and will be taking strong form into the match. Geelong regain Tim Ludeman from BBL commitments, while skipper Eamonn Vines has made his Victorian debut yesterday against South Australia in recognition of his outstanding form this summer. This might be the opening the Essendon bowling attack of Matt Doric, Clint McKay and Liam Bowe needs to get the points, providing the batting line-up of Aaron Ayre, James Seymour and Michael Hill can all fire.
The last game sees St Kilda (8th) take on Dandenong (3rd) at the Junction Oval. The Panthers will need to win this game as Carlton and Essendon are both just 1 point behind, while the Saints will be wanting to keep the fast-moving Melbourne out of 8th position after hanging on with a draw against Northcote last round. Depending on how the Saints line-up, early favouritism would lean with the recent White Ball Final-winning Panthers.
In Women’s Premier Cricket, last weekend finalised the placings for the T20 Grand Final. The match played last Saturday in Hamilton saw EMP clean up Dandenong by 9 wickets thanks to performances by Sophie Van De Heuvel (3/16) and Jenny Taffs (33 + 3 catches) and then rely on Melbourne to beat Box Hill. This result materialised with a 5-wicket victory (with 5 balls to spare) to the Demons with Sophie Townsend (3/13 + 23) the lynchpin for the victory. Anna Lanning (30), Hayleigh Brennan (32), Danielle Montague (2/19) and Cassie Brock (2/18) all contributed for the Mustangs but two quick batting collapses ultimately cost them a rematch against the Demons this weekend.
In the other games, Ringwood finished their T20 season with a 9-wicket win over Plenty Valley thanks to Madeleine Wright’s 42* getting them home with an over to spare and Prahran avoided the wooden spoon by handing Coburg a cricketing lesson off the back of skipper Emma Inglis (125*) and quick Gemma Triscari (4/3).
This Saturday sees the T20 Grand Finals take place at the Harry Trott Oval. The Seconds Final will commence at 11am between Carlton-Brunswick and Essendon Maribyrnong Park (EMP), before the Firsts Final is played from 2:30pm between Melbourne and Essendon Maribyrnong Park (EMP). Both of these games will be live-streamed through the Victorian Premier Cricket Facebook page courtesy of My Sport Live.TV.
To view the match previews for Saturday’s T20 Grand Finals, please click here.
Congratulations to the following members of the Premier Cricket competition for recent and upcoming milestones:
MEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 15 – SATURDAY 10 & SUNDAY 11 FEBRUARY (11:00am Start)
FITZROY DONCASTER V CASEY-SOUTH MELBOURNE at Schramms Reserve #1
Umpires M Hanton & B Davies
FOOTSCRAY V MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY at Mervyn G Hughes Oval
Umpires A Hawking & V Borg
PRAHRAN V KINGSTON HAWTHORN at Toorak Park
Umpires F Fabris & S Olufson
NORTHCOTE V MELBOURNE at Bill Lawry Oval
Umpires R Birch & S Pitts
MONASH TIGERS V GREENVALE KANGAROOS at Central Reserve North
Umpires D Ireland & D Brigham
CAMBERWELL MAGPIES V CARLTON at Camberwell Sports Ground
Umpires C James & M Muthugounder
RINGWOOD V FRANKSTON PENINSULA at AH Butler Oval
Umpires A Barrow & R Hubbard
ESSENDON V GEELONG at Windy Hill
Umpires R McKinnon & B Stribley
ST KILDA V DANDENONG at Junction Oval
Umpires G Azzopardi & S Brne
WOMEN’S PREMIER 1STS T20
GRAND FINAL – SATURDAY 10 FEBRUARY (2:30pm Start)
MELBOURNE V ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK at Harry Trott Oval
Umpires M Malmberg & S Weerasekara (Reserve Umpire: S Fishley)
WOMEN’S PREMIER 2NDS T20
GRAND FINAL – SATURDAY 10 FEBRUARY (11:00am Start)
CARLTON-BRUNSWICK V ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK at Harry Trott Oval
Umpires S Fishley & M Malmberg (Reserve Umpire: S Weerasekara)