The Premier Cricket Management Team (PCMT) welcomes all Premier Club Officials, Players, Umpires and Supporters to 2019 and hope that everyone has had a safe and enjoyable festive season.
Round 9 (on 22 December 2018) saw some wonderful games over the round with a number of matches being decided by either just a handful of runs or a couple of wickets. Highlights included:
Round 10 provides an opportunity for some sides to define their season in another white ball match, with all sides currently in the Top 8 playing against another side also in the Top 8, while sides just outside the 8 will play against others that are hot on their tail!
Casey-South Melbourne (8th) host St Kilda (5th) at Casey Fields #4. The Saints are sitting just 2 points behind Essendon after dropping their match against Melbourne while the Swans are just holding out the Camberwell Magpies from entering the Top 8 by a solitary point. The Swans have been playing strong cricket under Captain/Coach Luke Wells and will be keen to continue their form this season, while the Saints will be looking to break a 3-game losing streak since skipper Michael Beer left for the BBL. Gut feel says it could go either way but the Swans to start favourites at home.
Reigning Premier Dandenong (6th) host Carlton (2nd) at Shepley Oval. The Panthers are sitting at the top of the second chasing pack (percentage ahead of Geelong) but still 5 points behind St Kilda, while Carlton sit 7 points behind Fitzroy Doncaster and 2 points ahead of neighbours Melbourne University. The battle in this one will be between the top orders, with Panthers Tom Donnell and Brett Forsyth up against Blues Brayden Stepien and the Smyth brothers. This will be one of the matches of the round and could easily go either way in the result pending on who does more damage with the ball.
Essendon (4th) take on Melbourne University (3rd) at Windy Hill with just 1 point separating the two sides on the ladder. Both sides risk dropping out of the Top 4 if St Kilda can defeat Casey-South Melbourne on the road to show how tight positions 3, 4 & 5 are on the ladder. The Bombers will be ruing that 2-run loss prior to Christmas against the Camberwell Magpies as they dropped from 2nd to 4th and will be keen for more effort out of their line-up. Uni will be keen to capitalize on their 3-game winning streak and push for 2nd position to keep Carlton on their toes. Recent form would suggest Uni on the road but it won’t be easy!
Fitzroy Doncaster (1st) host Geelong (7th) at Schramms Reserve #1. The Lions come in after the Christmas break with a 7-point buffer on top off the back of a 6-game winning streak, while the Cats sit behind Dandenong on percentage and 1 point clear of Casey-South Melbourne after a shock loss to Northcote leaves them on a 3-game losing streak. The Lions have a good mix of experience and youth under Ejaaz Alavi and have used this to great effect if they have been in sticky situations, while the Cats need to find some consistency with the bat if they are to push the top side. On form, the Lions would have to start favourites.
Greenvale Kangaroos (17th) take on the Camberwell Magpies (9th) at Greenvale Reserve #1. The Kangaroos will be keen to pick up some points to get some early momentum in the back half of the season but will be up against a Magpies line-up pushing to get inside the Top 8. The Magpies will need the support bowlers to pick up some form to ease the load on openers Andrew Fekete and Will Walker, while the Roos will be needing more of an even contribution to ease the pressure on the shoulders of Sunam Gautam after his strong start to the season. The Magpies on the road to start favourites.
Frankston Peninsula (15th) host Ringwood (14th) at AH Butler Oval. For the winner of this game, any chance of keeping a sniff of making the Finals will still be alive, while the loser can just about say goodbye and begin planning for season 2019/20. Both sides are searching for wins after poor finishes to 2018 and will see this as their cut-throat match that will decide their season. The match is expected to be won or lost by the battle between Ian Holland + David King for Ringwood and Tom Wood and Brodie Symons for Frankston Peninsula. Recent results suggest the home side in a close match.
Footscray (16th) host Kingston Hawthorn (18th) at Mervyn G Hughes Oval. The Dogs were stiff in the last round losing in a close one on the road against Casey-South Melbourne, while the Hawks were competitive against Uni but let too much slip with the ball and were thereby set a target of 261 in only 40 overs due to a wet ground. The big catch for the Hawks is the batsman are not going on with ‘starts’ and this will be like ‘blood in the water’ for Hamish Winter-Irving and Lucas Dredge, while the Dogs’ batsmen are all capable of runs and need to gel together for some big partnerships. Footscray favourites to commence 2019 with the points in their back pocket.
Melbourne (10th) take on Northcote (11th) at the Albert Ground. Both sides took the points in their last match prior to the break and will be coming in to this game with form. The Demons have lost Blake Thomson for this match due to a hamstring injury from the last round against St Kilda but Will Pucovski is showcasing his talent on his comeback to the game from his early-season personal break. The Dragons have been greatly helped by the form of Mark Phelan and will be hoping that Solomon Mire can click and showcase his ability after what has been a slow start back for him. If the Demons can dismiss Phelan and Mire both for under 20 then they will win.
Finally, Prahran (12th) host the Monash Tigers (13th) at Toorak Park. Both sides have been experiencing up-and-down form, but the True Blues have won their last 2 games leading into the break against Northcote and Ringwood. The Tigers meanwhile are on a 5-game losing streak and will need to look to break this soon before their season is deemed a write-off. While Fred Klaassen and Dominic Matarazzo have been playing well for the Tigers, the True Blues batting card with Adam Bull and Jake Hancock leading has been strong in recent rounds. Form says the hosts in this one.
In Women’s Premier 1st XI T20s, Round 6 will recommence their season post-Christmas. With just 2 rounds remaining, this is the last chance saloon for some sides to sneak into the Final on the evening of Wednesday 23rd January.
Box Hill (5th) host ladder leaders Dandenong (1st) at Box Hill City Oval. The Panthers are a game clear of three other sides and a victory here would secure their spot in the Final, while the Mustangs will be looking to finish their T20 section of the season off strong. With the Panthers having had 4 players at the Australian Country Cricket Championships at Shepparton until today, will this be a benefit for form or a hinderance with fatigue to experienced players? Expect the result to be closer than first thought.
Essendon Maribyrnong Park (2nd) host Plenty Valley (3rd) at JT Gray Reserve. This game could decide who potentially makes the Final as only Net Run Rate separate the two sides. Both sides are WBBL-depleted with the Bombers impacted heavier but still carrying experienced members in Nat Schilov and skipper Briana Binch to lead from the front, while the Bats look to Sophie Day, Sophie Reid and Meagan Ciavarella as their barometers. Gut feel says this game will go to the wire and suspect the visitors may take the points with them if the Bombers are not on their guard.
Ringwood (8th) host Prahran (6th) at Russell Lucas Oval. The Rams have battled all through the season but may have a chance to pick up a morale-boosting win against a WBBL-depleted True Blues line-up. Both sides have a lot of good young talent coming through and this will be a good test for a lot of these players to see who will stand up with the ‘big guns’ away from the scene. With the experience of the overseas players in their squad, the Rams would have to start favourites on paper for their first win of the year.
Finally, Carlton-Brunswick (4th) host Melbourne (7th) at Princes Park #1. The Strikers will continue to look at pushing up the ladder and finishing the T20 section strongly, but the Demons will not be pushovers at any stretch of the imagination. Like Dandenong, the Demons have been heavily represented at the Australian Country Cricket Championships at Shepparton (5 players). The question will be if this is a benefit for form or a hinderance with fatigue to those players? I feel this could be an upset result and see the Demons whisking away the points from Princes Park.
Congratulations go to the following members within Premier Cricket for the following recent and upcoming milestones:
MEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 10 – SATURDAY 12 JANUARY (11:00am Start)
CASEY-SOUTH MELBOURNE V ST KILDA at Casey Fields #1
Umpires S Pitts & A Hawking
DANDENONG V CARLTON at Shepley Oval
Umpires L Edwards & R Hubbard
ESSENDON V MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY at Windy Hill
Umpires B Sheahan & M Nolan
FITZROY DONCASTER V GEELONG at Schramms Reserve #1
Umpires G Bawa & V Manha (NZ)
GREENVALE KANGAROOS V CAMBERWELL MAGPIES at Greenvale Reserve #1
Umpires M Malmberg & B Davies
FRANKSTON PENINSULA V RINGWOOD at AH Butler Oval
Umpires R McKinnon & A Barrow
FOOTSCRAY V KINGSTON HAWTHORN at Mervyn G Hughes Oval
Umpires R Birch & C Grant
MELBOURNE V NORTHCOTE at Albert Ground
Umpires M Muthugounder & M Hill (NZ)
PRAHRAN V MONASH TIGERS at Toorak Park
Umpires S Olufson & A Medina
WOMEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 6 T20 – SUNDAY 13 JANUARY (11:00am Start)
BOX HILL V DANDENONG at Box Hill City Oval
Umpires R Patterson & M Robertson
ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK V PLENTY VALLEY at JT Gray Reserve
Umpires P Welbourn & W Downey
RINGWOOD V PRAHRAN at Russell Lucas Oval
Umpires A Gaughan & R Harrison
CARLTON-BRUNSWICK V MELBOURNE at Princes Park #1