Round 13 has arrived and the lure of Finals just over a month away will look to sort out the sides that want the opportunity of playing deep into March and those that are keen to see the end of the season.
Highlights were few and far last weekend with the weather having the final say over the course of the day. Two standout batting performances from the limited playing time were James Seymour (Essendon) with 79 against Geelong and Greenvale Kangaroos Captain-Coach Kaushal Silva, who wore out the Panthers attack for 94* before rain ended play at Greenvale and helping his side to avoid an Outright result.
This weekend sees a return to the Saturday/Sunday Two-Day match for 1st & 2nd XIs, while the 3rd & 4th XIs will return for one week to coloured gear and white ball on Saturday.
Kingston Hawthorn (17th) host the Camberwell Magpies (13th) at Walter Galt Reserve. Both sides were in losing positions when the rain saved their respective performances last weekend and both will be keen to secure more points this round. The Hawks have been led with the batting by Ramneet Dhindsa (365 runs), Shorye Chopra (262) and Visura Fernando (260), while the Magpies have been led by Thomas Russ (386 runs), Simon Hill (342) and Isaac Conway (282). With the ball, the Hawks have been led by Prateek Patil (11 wickets), Nivin Sathyajith and Jack Fowler (both 9), while the Magpies attack has been led by Andrew Fekete (19), Matthew Whittaker (19) and Alec Smith (16). On current form, the Magpies will go in as favourites.
Melbourne (6th) host Carlton (2nd) at the Albert Ground. The Demons will be keen to rebound after a batting collapse against Footscray, while the Blues will be keen to keep on winning to continue to hold a top-two spot. The Demons have been led with the bat by Blake Thomson (416), Meyrick Buchanan (314) and Matthew Brown (293), while the Blues have been led by Brayden Stepien (465), Thomas Smyth (360) and Nicholas Ross (326). With the ball, the Demons have been led by Kieran Elliott (22), Fergus O’Neill (17) and Jackson Koop (16), while the Blues’ attack has been led by Cam Stevenson (31) and Xavier Crone (20), while Evan Gulbis has made 281 runs and taken 18 wickets. On current form, the Blues will start as favourites in this one.
Casey-South Melbourne (14th) host the Greenvale Kangaroos (18th) at Casey Fields #4. The Swans would have been frustrated with the rain ending chances of an upset against Northcote while the Kangaroos played well on week two to finish positively against Dandenong. Both sides will be keen to take some points to progress plans for next season. With the bat, the Swans have been led by Luke Wells (456), Nathan Freitag (343) and Devin Pollock (305), while the Roos have been led by Kaushal Silva (527) and Michael Stretton (306). With the ball, the Swans have been led by Nathan Lambden (13), Joshua Dowling (12) and Wells (11), while the Roos have been led by Sean McNicholl (23) and Humza Ali (12). On current form, the Swans will start as favourites at home.
The Monash Tigers (15th) host Dandenong (12th) at Central Reserve South. The Tigers would have been unhappy with being in a winning position and rain curtailing chances against Kingston Hawthorn, while the Panthers took 1st innings points against the Greenvale Kangaroos. With the bat, the Tigers have been led by Marcus Berryman (198) and Jackson Waters (179), while the Panthers have been led by Brett Forsyth (387), Ed Newman (279) and Comrey Edgeworth (261). With the ball, the Tigers have been led by Berryman (26), Mitchell Perry and Dominic Matarazzo (both 20), while the Panthers have been led by James Nanopoulos (191 runs & 43 wickets), Suraj Randiv (24) and Peter Cassidy (16). On current form the Panthers need to win well if they want to sneak in the Finals.
Northcote (4th) host Essendon (5th) at Bill Lawry Oval. The Dragons were thankful for the rain with their target of 333 going to be a challenge against Casey-South Melbourne, while the Bombers were in the box seat when rain ended their chances against Geelong. With the bat, the Dragons have been led by Joshua Sundberg (409), Mark Phelan (381) and Max O’Sullivan (350), while the Bombers have been led by James Seymour (487), Michael Hill (357) and Aaron Ayre (297). With the ball, the Dragons have been led by Sam Harbinson (243 runs & 25 wickets), Michael Edwards (20), Joe Medew-Ewen (20) and Jonty Rushton (18), while the Bombers have been led by Thomas O’Donnell (20), Matt Doric (20) and Liam Bowe (18). On current form, gut feel suggests Essendon just ahead.
Fitzroy Doncaster (11th) host Melbourne University (1st) at Schramms Reserve #1. The Lions had the advantage when the weather impacted their match with the Camberwell Magpies, while Uni were just two wickets away from victory when the rain ended play in their game against Prahran. With the bat, the Lions have been led by Zac Elliott (463), Jack Rudd (434) and Peter Dickson (311), while Uni have been led by Andre Yaksender (547), Alex Gregory (480) and Fergus McKenna (383). With the ball, the Lions have been led by Nicholas Fletcher and Ejaaz Alavi (both 20), while Uni have been led by Steven Reid (24), Mark Stafford (20) and Gregory (18). On current form, Uni will need to exorcise demons of past seasons and with their form should go in with the advantage to secure Finals.
Ringwood (10th) host Footscray (3rd) at Russell Lucas Oval. The Rams had the advantage against Frankston Peninsula when rain curtailed play, while the Dogs upset Melbourne on the 1st innings with a strong bowling performance. With the bat, the Rams have been led by David King (449), Jackson Freeman (352) and Thomas Rogers (344), while the Dogs have been led by Daniel Sartori (457), Travis Dean (438), Dean Russ (390) and Matthew Underwood (340). With the ball, the Rams have been led by King (24) and Matt Fotia (19), while the Dogs have been led by Jordan Buckingham (18), Hamish Winter-Irving (14), Jonah Koch and Russ (both 13). On current form, the Rams will have the home ground advantage but form suggests Footscray to start as favourites.
Prahran (8th) host Frankston Peninsula (16th) at Toorak Park. Both sides were in the worst positions in their respective matches against Uni and Ringwood last weekend when the rain hit, helping both sides to walk away with 2 points. With the bat, the True Blues have been led by James Billington (520), Jake Hancock (327) and Stephen Seymour (235), while the Heat have been led by Felix Organ (373), Brodie Symons (359), Christopher Dew (330) and Matthew Gapes (321). With the ball, the True Blues have been led by Andrew Perrin (21), Sam Grimwade (19) and Matt Wilcox (18), while the Heat have been led by Symons (17), Nick Boland (15) and Organ (13). On current form, Prahran will start as favourites in a must-win match to keep their Finals chances alive.
Finally, Geelong (9th) host St Kilda (7th) at the Geelong Cricket Ground. The Cats had their backs-against-the-wall against Essendon defending when the rain hit, while the Saints were looking positive in their chase against Carlton when the day was washed out. With the bat, the Cats have been led by Thomas Jackson (437), Hayden Butterworth (425), and Eamonn Vines (409), while the Saints have been led by Jonathan Merlo (310), Adam Crosthwaite (309), Damon Egan (235) and Josh Manning (232). With the ball, the Cats have been led by Dom McGlinchey (21), Butterworth (20) and Brody Couch (15), while the Saints have been led by Todd Murphy (17), Matt Hennig (16) and Will Lovell (15). On current form, the Cats will go in with the advantage in another must-win game.
Women’s Premier Cricket is also quickly closing into Finals time, with just 4 rounds left to play.
Highlights were also few and far between with the weather impacting play on Sunday:
Round 10 will see the intensity only rise as sides look to secure their tickets to the Finals.
Plenty Valley (4th) host Essendon Maribyrnong Park (1st) at Yarrambat War Memorial Park. Both sides came out of last weekend with 2 points for abandoned matches and will be keen to get back out on the park. The Bats will be keen to play their best with Melbourne closing the gap between 4th and 5th to just 3 points, while the Bombers will be looking to keep a hold of top spot, with Prahran nipping at their heels just 1 point behind. Sophie Reid (365 runs) has been the stand out for the Bats with the willow, while the Bombers have relied mostly on Makinley Blows (306) and Elyse Villani (201). With the ball, the Bats have been led by Beth Harvey (12 wickets), while the Bombers have Briana Binch (19) and Chloe Rafferty (15) both sitting in the top 5 wicket takers. On current form, the Bombers will go in as favourites.
Melbourne (5th) host Ringwood (7th) at Beaumaris Secondary College – North Oval. The Demons claimed a bonus point for their win over Dandenong last weekend, while Ringwood’s game with EMP was abandoned after 14 overs. The Demons now have a sniff of making finals and will need to pick up as many wins as possible if they wish to defend their One Day Premiers title, while the Rams on their day could fire and snuff out any chances the Demons have. With the bat, Jess Couser (196) and Amy Vine (193) lead the Demons while Bhavisha Devchand (363) and Una Raymond-Hoey (276) have been their best, while with the ball Elly Donald (18) and Hasrat Gill (11) have led the Demons well, while the Rams have relied on Devchand and Kate Burns (both 10). On current form, this game could go either way but gut says Demons just.
Carlton-Brunswick (6th) host Dandenong (8th) at AG Gillon Oval. The Strikers were very competitive but just fell short of Prahran last weekend, while the Panthers were outclassed against Melbourne with only Kim Garth holding her head high. Both sides have been competitive in patches this season and this will be one of the remaining chances for either side to get points for their season. With the bat, the Strikers have been led by Amber Cloughessy (142) and Stephanie Hutchins (131), while the Panthers have been led by Jess Matin (182), Kim Garth (178) and Tiana Atkinson (173). With the ball, the Strikers’ attack has been led by Hutchins (11), Ella Baulch and Madison Albers (both 10), while the Panthers’ attack has been led by Garth (11) and skipper Emma Gallagher (9). On current form, I feel the Panthers are a strong chance.
Finally, Box Hill (3rd) host Prahran (2nd) at Box Hill City Oval. The Mustangs had a washout last weekend while the True Blues fell over the line after a highly-competitive Carlton-Brunswick side took the match up to them. The Mustangs will need to win this match if they want to keep any chance of finishing Top 2 alive, while the True Blues need to win to keep their pressure on EMP. With the bat, the Mustangs have been led by skipper Rebecca Carter (493), Anna Lanning (199) and Zoe Griffiths (182), while the True Blues have been led by Sterre Kalis (284) and Emma Inglis (263). With the ball, the Mustangs have been led by Griffiths (13), Paris Rafferty (12) and Stephanie Butler (11), while Alana King (18) and Robine Rijke (11) lead the True Blues’ attack. On current form, another game that is too hard to pick a winner, with the True Blues just with their nose in front.
Congratulations go to the following members within Premier Cricket:
The following Milestones were achieved during play in the last weekend prior to Christmas:
MEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 13 – SATURDAY 8 & SUNDAY 9 FEBRUARY (11:00am Start)
KINGSTON HAWTHORN V CAMBERWELL MAGPIES at Walter Galt Reserve
Umpires C James & L McKay
MELBOURNE V CARLTON at Albert Ground
Umpires G Azzopardi & V Calabro
CASEY-SOUTH MELBOURNE V GREENVALE KANGAROOS at Casey Fields #4
Umpires J Leonard-Scott & A Medina
MONASH TIGERS V DANDENONG at Central Reserve South
Umpires B Sheahan & L Uthenwoldt
NORTHCOTE V ESSENDON at Bill Lawry Oval
Umpires D Brigham & M Nolan
FITZROY DONCASTER V MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY at Schramms Reserve #1
Umpires C Grant & D Ireland
RINGWOOD V FOOTSCRAY at Russell Lucas Oval
Umpires M Malmberg & S Pitts
PRAHRAN V FRANKSTON PENINSULA at Toorak Park
Umpires M van Eck & W Downey
GEELONG V ST KILDA at Geelong Cricket Ground
Umpires R Birch & R Hubbard
WOMEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 10 ONE DAY – SUNDAY 9 FEBRUARY (11:00am Start)
PLENTY VALLEY V ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK at Yarrambat War Memorial Park
Umpires J Walker & M Harris
MELBOURNE V RINGWOOD at Beaumaris Secondary College – North Oval
Umpires M Muthugounder & M Rose
CARLTON-BRUNSWICK V DANDENONG at AG Gillon Oval
Umpires M Wood & P Welbourn
BOX HILL V PRAHRAN at Box Hill City Oval
Umpires S Olufson & S Awekar