Last weekend’s play in Premier Cricket saw the weather from earlier in the week have a say in the condition of the grounds, with the Men’s 1st & 2nd XIs revert to a One Day game on the Sunday and the lower XIs abandoned.
Highlights from the weekend included:
This weekend sees all grades reverting back to the traditional whites and red ball and with the forecast looking clearer than previous weekends some good cricket should be on the cards.
The Camberwell Magpies (15th) host Prahran (4th) at the Camberwell Sports Ground. Both sides will be keen to rebound after losing their matches last weekend and another loss to the Magpies may put a nail in the coffin to any chance of Finals. The True Blues have been one of the most improved sides this season and will be keen to keep their position in the Top 4, with James Billington, Matt Wilcox, Andrew Perrin and Sam Grimwade all leading the way, while the Magpies need to find more support with the ball and more runs to support Isaac Conway and Oliver Gunning. On current form, Prahran will start favourites.
Geelong (9th) host Fitzroy Doncaster (11th) at the Geelong Cricket Ground. This match will be one to watch, as there has been some noticeable changes to both sides since their last encounter in last season’s Preliminary Final. The Cats’ notched up a win on the road against Uni, while the Lions were tamed by the Swans and will be keen to close the gap between them and the Top 8. The deciding factor in this battle on paper will be between the bowling attacks, with the side to extract the most out of the Geelong wicket to win the match. The Cats to start favourites on home ground advantage.
Footscray (7th) host Northcote (12th) at Mervyn G Hughes Oval. The Dogs returned to the winners list with a victory over the Camberwell Magpies, while the Dragons have been licking their wounds after falling short against the Greenvale Kangaroos. The Dogs are starting to hit their stride in the early rounds and will be keen to notch another win on the board, with Matthew Underwood, Dean Russ and Travis Dean all with some early season form with the bat. The Dragons will need to find support for Mark Phelan and Josh Sundberg with the willow and will need to find a few more wickets out of the bowlers if they are to take the points. Footscray with the advantage.
The Greenvale Kangaroos (17th) host Ringwood (8th) at Greenvale Reserve #1. The Kangaroos are finally on the board after a 4-run win over Northcote, while the Rams defeated the Monash Tigers. The Roos are slowly strengthening with the bat with Kaushal Silva and Michael Stretton finding some form but will need to find a lot of inner strength against Ringwood’s batting card, led by David King, Tom Rogers and Jackson Freeman. The Rams’ attack will also find this a good opportunity to see where they are at against a test-level batsman. On paper, the Rams to start favourites but the result might be closer with the Rams missing Ian Holland (USA) and Tom Stray (injured).
Kingston Hawthorn (16th) host Melbourne University (6th) at Walter Galt Reserve. The Hawks were comfortably accounted for by Melbourne, while Uni will be looking to rebound after losing to Geelong. The Hawks have had the season where for every step forward on field, there is two steps back and this game will be a good one to see where they sit. For Uni, they will look to capitalize on their team and will push hard to obtain maximum points with Alex Gregory, Andrej Yaksender and Steven Reid all in form. Current form suggests Uni in with a chance for an outright.
The Monash Tigers (18th) host Melbourne (2nd) at Central Reserve North. The Tigers lost to Ringwood last week but will find extra pressure in this game with the Demons having blanketed Kingston Hawthorn. The Tigers are likely to be missing Jake Fraser-McGurk for the first week at minimum after being selected for Victoria and this will be felt by their batting card, with the Demons’ attack keen to capitalize. The Demons’ batsmen will be keen to have some time in the middle also and will see how the game goes as to the likelihood of the maximum points being on offer, but the Tigers attack has been solid this season. Melbourne to start favourites, with a chance of an outright possible.
Dandenong (14th) host Carlton (3rd) at Shepley Oval. The Panthers will be looking to rebound after losing to Essendon but will take on their arch-rivals of recent seasons who defeated Frankston Peninsula last week. The Panthers have one advantage with the Blues having lost leading wicket taker Cam Stevenson for a match or two (USA) but will still have to negate Evan Gulbis, Xavier Crone and Thomas Smyth, while their bowlers might be in with a chance as only Brayden Stepien has passed 160 runs this season for the Blues and James Nanopoulos is in some form. I expect this match to be a lot closer than expected, with the Blues just to start favourites on the road.
St Kilda (5th) host Casey-South Melbourne (10th) at the CitiPower Centre. Both sides are coming off wins last week and will be keen to keep recent form going, with the Saints to play again at the CitiPower Centre. The Saints have been in good form with their young attack finding some good bowling form, while the batsmen will be keen to capitalize on starts and make some big scores against the Swans’ attack. The Swans will be happy with the century made by Luke Wells last weekend and will be keen for their batsmen to dig in and get a big score to put pressure on the Saints. On paper, this one could be closer than expected, with the Saints to have a slight advantage at home.
Finally, Frankston Peninsula (13th) host Essendon (1st) at AH Butler Oval. The Heat were competitive against Carlton before losing by 5 wickets, while the Bombers accounted for Dandenong by 8 wickets. The Heat have been showing some decent scores on the board, but are again finding issues with getting sides out with their bowling attack struggling for penetration, while the Bombers are again in some form with Michael Hill, Liam Bowe and Matt Doric leading the younger brigade coming through the ranks. On paper, the Bombers will start as favourites on the road as I struggle to see the Heat bowlers getting enough wickets.
The Women’s 1st XI competition last weekend saw play get on at three venues, with play called off at Righetti Oval ending a sorry weekend of washouts for Prahran and Plenty Valley (as their T20 scheduled for Friday Night was also abandoned due to a wet wicket table at Toorak Park).
On Wednesday Night, Round 12 of the T20 competition was played with a number of the Melbourne Renegades WBBL players available for those sides.
This weekend sees Round 2 of the One Day matches, with all teams again looking forward to testing their skills over the longer format of the season.
On Saturday, Essendon Maribyrnong Park (1st) host Ringwood (3rd) at Aberfeldie Park. The Bombers comfortably accounted for Melbourne last weekend while the Rams upset Dandenong by defending a moderate score. The Bombers on paper have the more experienced side with the likes of Nat Schilov and Briana Binch in the ranks, while the Rams have ex-WA representative Bhavisha Devchand leading an up-and-coming side. On season form so far, I would think the Bombers will start as favourites with experience coming to the fore in tight situations.
On Sunday, Carlton-Brunswick (7th) take on Prahran (Equal 4th) at Princes Park #1. Carlton-Brunswick were simply outclassed by Box Hill while Prahran have only played one game in the last couple of weeks after recent wash-outs in the T20s and One Dayer last weekend. The Strikers will be looking to get some confidence after a couple of rough weeks on-field but may find the task challenging with the True Blues fielding internationals Gabby Lewis, Robine Rijke and Sterre Kalis in their line-up. With the expected line-ups, Prahran will start as favourites in this one.
Melbourne (8th) host Dandenong (6th) on Sunday at the Albert Ground. The Demons were swarmed and outclassed by the Bombers last week, while the Panthers will be looking to rebound after dropping a game to Ringwood that they expected to win. Both sides have a number of experienced members and will be keen to keep the other at bay. I expect the battle that will decide the match result will be with the batting line-ups and how they go against the respective bowling attacks. On paper, I feel that Melbourne will start favourites in this aspect and for the match.
Finally, Plenty Valley (Equal 4th) host Box Hill (2nd) at AK Line Reserve. The Bats will be keen to get on and play after wash-outs against Prahran last week in the T20 and One Day game, while Box Hill easily accounted for Carlton-Brunswick. The Bats will be keen to notch another win on the board and get their season restarted but will find this a tough proposition against the Mustangs, who have seen Anna Lanning and Zoe Griffiths in strong form so far this season. For the Bats to win they need their batting card to fire and against the Mustangs I am struggling to see this happening. Mustangs favourites to win.
Congratulations go to the following members within Premier Cricket:
The following Milestones were achieved last Sunday during play:
MEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 7 – SATURDAY 16 & SATURDAY 23 NOVEMBER (11:00am Start)
CAMBERWELL MAGPIES V PRAHRAN at Camberwell Sports Ground
Umpires V Calabro & D Ireland
GEELONG V FITZROY DONCASTER at Geelong Cricket Ground
Umpires R Hubbard & C James
FOOTSCRAY V NORTHCOTE at Mervyn G Hughes Oval
Umpires G Bawa & R Birch
GREENVALE KANGAROOS V RINGWOOD at Greenvale Reserve #1
Umpires M Robertson & B Sheahan
KINGSTON HAWTHORN V MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY at Walter Galt Reserve
Umpires T Wendelken & M Muthugounder
MONASH TIGERS V MELBOURNE at Central Reserve North
Umpires S Pitts & L McKay
DANDENONG V CARLTON at Shepley Oval
Umpires M van Eck & L Uthenwoldt
ST KILDA V CASEY-SOUTH MELBOURNE at CitiPower Centre
Umpires B Davies & M Malmberg
FRANKSTON PENINSULA V ESSENDON at AH Butler Oval
Umpires L Edwards & M Nolan
WOMEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 2 ONE DAY – SATURDAY 16 NOVEMBER (11:00am Start)
ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK V RINGWOOD at Aberfeldie Park
Umpires J Leonard-Scott & L McCabe
ROUND 2 ONE DAY – SUNDAY 17 NOVEMBER (11:00am Start)
CARLTON-BRUNSWICK V PRAHRAN at Princes Park #1
Umpires C Grant & D Brigham
MELBOURNE V DANDENONG at Albert Ground
Umpires A Hind & M Muthugounder
PLENTY VALLEY V BOX HILL at AK Line Reserve
Umpires G Azzopardi & B Sheahan