Round Six of the Men’s Premier Cricket saw some upset results and some strong performances with the bat on a day that could have done anything with the weather.
Standout performers with the bat last weekend included Fitzroy Doncaster’s Jack Rudd (122*), Prahran’s Nick Blaich (120) and Adam Bull (81) in a 206-run opening stand against Melbourne, Camberwell Magpies second-gamer Hamish Burrell finished with 99* against the Greenvale Kangaroos and Northcote’s Mark Phelan (93) continued to tick up the runs this season.
With the ball, the pick of the bowlers was Carlton’s Eddy O’Sullivan (5/24), with other strong efforts on the day being Kingston Hawthorn’s Harvinder Singh (4/35) and St Kilda’s Wil Lovell (4/45) from the same game and Casey-South Melbourne’s Callum Dodson (4/46) while Ringwood’s Ian Holland (3/18) completed a hat trick against Dandenong.
With a third of the season now completed, only 1 point on the ladder currently separates 7th and 13th on the ladder, thereby keeping a large number of clubs in contention for Finals and with the upcoming long weekend ahead will certainly shake things up.
The games in Men’s Premier Cricket this long weekend will see games on Saturday 23rd January (all grades) and Tuesday 26th January (1st & 2nd XI only). Below is a quick summary of each match and prediction for each round:
Saturday 23rd January
Ringwood (9th) vs Geelong (8th) at Russell Lucas Oval – both sides well and truly in the hunt. Current form suggests the hosts with the edge in the bowling department being the difference in the game. Gut feel says the Rams to keep the points in a tight game.
Prahran (6th) vs Melbourne University (3rd) at Toorak Park – both sides very similar at present and could go either way. Home ground advantage may be the difference in this game. Prahran just to start as favourites based on last week’s quelling of Melbourne.
Carlton (1st) vs St Kilda (2nd) at Princes Park #1 – easily ‘match of the round’. Will be keen to see how the Saints’ bowlers go against the Blues top order – if they quell them early they can win but Carlton at home are hard to beat anytime and will go in with the advantage.
Footscray (11th) v Dandenong (7th) at Mervyn G Hughes Oval – both sides dropped last week but capable of anything on their day. The difference in this could be the Panthers’ bowling line-up if they break through the Dogs top order. Dandenong with the advantage if the bowlers fire.
Kingston Hawthorn (15th) vs Greenvale Kangaroos (18th) at Walter Galt Reserve – the Hawks will still be on ‘cloud nine’ after upsetting St Kilda last week but don’t want to drop this one, while the Roos need to get on the board. Current form suggest the Hawks at home with the advantage.
Essendon (14th) vs Melbourne (4th) at Windy Hill – both sides are keen to break losing streaks and will see this as a prime opportunity to get back on track. The Bombers need to find some runs from those batting below the top order if they want the points. Current form suggests the Demons.
Frankston Peninsula (16th) vs Fitzroy Doncaster (12th) at AH Butler Oval – The Lions are on a 3-game win streak and keen to make it 4 but the Heat will be keen to rebound after a disappointing performance vs Geelong. Current form suggests that the Lions are running hot and will continue.
Casey-South Melbourne (13th) vs Northcote (5th) at Casey Fields #4 – big game for the Swans as they need to win to stay in touch while the Dragons have won their last two. Big battle will be between which bowlers fire first, with recent performances suggesting the Dragons with the advantage.
Richmond (10th) vs Camberwell Magpies (17th) at Central Reserve North – The Tigers won 2 of the last 3 while the Magpies broke their drought last weekend. If the Magpies’ bowlers can bowl the Tigers out they may be a chance, but current form suggests the Tigers with the advantage.
Tuesday 26th January
Greenvale Kangaroos vs Ringwood at Greenvale Reserve #1 – Current form suggests the Rams on the road should have enough strength but this will be a good test for the Kangaroos to see how quick they may bounce back of if they can pull off an upset.
Fitzroy Doncaster vs Melbourne University at Schramms Reserve #1 – This game has the makings of a close result if the Lions can keep their recent form going against Uni’s bowling attack. Current suggestion is Uni to win but won’t be surprised if an upset occurs.
Prahran vs Carlton at Toorak Park – On paper both sides appear to be in good form but will depend on Saturday’s results as to how good that form is. Current indication appears that the Blues are playing a strong brand of cricket and may be too experienced for the True Blues here.
Northcote vs Frankston Peninsula at Bill Lawry Oval – The Dragons have been going well in recent rounds and will be keen to make another game count while the Heat will be keen to put another big scalp in the kit bag. Current form however suggests the Dragons at home should win.
Camberwell Magpies vs Dandenong at Camberwell Sports Ground – On paper, the Magpies are still gelling together and will find this encounter a challenge but if they can get things right then anything is possible. Current form however suggests the Panthers should win this game.
St Kilda vs Melbourne at the CitiPower Centre – another top end clash for the Saints after Carlton on Saturday, while the Demons will be keen to keep in touch of those at the pinnacle. I feel whoever’s bowling attack adjusts to conditions first should win, with the Saints having the advantage presently.
Footscray vs Kingston Hawthorn at Mervyn G Hughes Oval – On paper you would think that the Dogs should win this game on their home deck but if the Hawks get their 3rd win on Saturday then this game could be one to watch and may see the Hawks with the potential of another upset.
Geelong vs Casey-South Melbourne at Geelong Cricket Ground – both teams need to keep winning to keep their chances of finals alive. The big battle will be the batting line-ups of both sides, with the winner being whoever can keep the pressure on. Current bowling form suggests the Swans.
Essendon vs Richmond at Windy Hill – both sides will be subject to Saturday’s performances as to how they appear on Tuesday. If the Bombers can find the firepower with the bat that has gone AWOL in recent games they could have enough experience to take the points at home.
In Women’s Premier Cricket, Round 8 is now here. With the halfway point now reached in the season, the fight for the positions in the Top 4 are now increasing with intensity as the weeks dwindle down.
The two standout performances of the weekend were from Melbourne’s Rhiann O’Donnell, who finished with 105* against Dandenong (and notched her maiden Premier 1st XI century in the process) and Carlton-Brunswick skipper Addy Campion who took 5/17 against Plenty Valley. Others to perform well last weekend were Ringwood’s Olivia Henry (4/25 vs EMP), EMP’s Jess Field (4/34 vs Ringwood), Melbourne skipper Teagan Parker (60* vs Dandenong) and Dandenong’s Lucy Cripps (53 vs Melbourne).
With the rounds available flying by, there is significant pressure on sides currently outside the Top 4 to keep in touch with those in Finals contention.
On Saturday, Essendon Maribyrnong Park (5th) host Melbourne (1st) at Aberfeldie Park. The Bombers found themselves outside the Top 4 after their loss to Ringwood at home last weekend, while the Demons are the form side after dominating Dandenong. The Bombers are currently 5 points behind 4th place and if they are to be a genuine chance of breaking the Demons’ winning streak will need their best team available and find a bowling combination that can take wickets as their attack has taken the fewest of any side this season. On current form, the advantage goes with the visitors.
On Sunday, Ringwood (2nd) host Dandenong (3rd) at Russell Lucas Oval. The Rams jumped to 2nd after defeating EMP on the road, while the Panthers were simply outclassed by Melbourne when defending a score of 182. Both sides have been fairly similar in performances with bat and ball and I feel that this game will potentially come down to the experience levels of both sides and how they deal with the pressure. Based on this, I feel the Panthers with the likes of Applebee, Garth and Gallagher might just have the advantage here and guide the visitors to the points.
Carlton-Brunswick (6th) host Prahran (8th) at Princes Park #1. The Strikers returned to the winning circle with a tight 3-wicket win over Plenty Valley, while the True Blues again were competitive but ultimately fell short by 5 wickets against Box Hill. While the Strikers came away with the points, the True Blues could only be a couple of strong performances by their young squad away from coming away with some reward for their efforts. On current form, the Strikers should have the advantage but I would not be surprised if the True Blues can break their winless duck.
Finally, Plenty Valley (7th) host Box Hill (4th) Yarrambat War Memorial Park. The Bats nearly pulled their match against Carlton-Brunswick out of the fire but fell 3 wickets short, while Box Hill survived a scare from Prahran to win by 5 wickets. The Mustangs have been fairly strong with the ball but haven’t been tested too often with chasing big scores, while the Bats have nearly been All Out in each match this season, while their bowling so whoever can adjust the quickest will win the game. On current form, the advantage would be would the Mustangs if their top order can fire.
Congratulations go to the following members within Premier Cricket:
MEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 7 – SATURDAY 23 JANUARY (11:00am Start)
RINGWOOD V GEELONG at Russell Lucas Oval
Umpires D Ireland & M Wood
PRAHRAN V MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY at Toorak Park
Umpires T Medina & M Muthugounder
CARLTON V ST KILDA at Princes Park #1
Umpires B Davies & L McCabe
FOOTSCRAY V DANDENONG at Mervyn G Hughes Oval
Umpires W Downey & C Grant
KINGSTON HAWTHORN V GREENVALE KANGAROOS at Walter Galt Reserve
Umpires S Brne & M Nolan
ESSENDON V MELBOURNE at Windy Hill
Umpires V Calabro & J Wyatt
FRANKSTON PENINSULA V FITZROY DONCASTER at AH Butler Oval
Umpires A Ali & S Olufson
CASEY-SOUTH MELBOURNE V NORTHCOTE at Casey Fields #4
Umpires G Bawa & M Malmberg
RICHMOND V CAMBERWELL MAGPIES at Central Reserve North
Umpires R Birch & A Hind
ROUND 8 – TUESDAY 26 JANUARY (11:00am Start)
GREENVALE KANGAROOS V RINGWOOD at Greenvale Reserve #1
Umpires R Birch & J Wyatt
FITZROY DONCASTER V MELBOURNE UNIVERSITY at Schramms Reserve #1
Umpires S Pitts & M Wood
PRAHRAN V CARLTON at Toorak Park
Umpires G Bawa & B Sheahan
NORTHCOTE V FRANKSTON PENINSULA at Bill Lawry Oval
Umpires V Calabro & M Nolan
CAMBERWELL MAGPIES V DANDENONG at Camberwell Sports Ground
Umpires T Medina & T Wendelken
ST KILDA V MELBOURNE at CitiPower Centre
Umpires S Brne & D Ireland
FOOTSCRAY V KINGSTON HAWTHORN at Mervyn G Hughes Oval
Umpires A Hind & M Malmberg
GEELONG V CASEY-SOUTH MELBOURNE at Geelong Cricket Ground
Umpires C James & J Leonard-Scott
ESSENDON V RICHMOND at Windy Hill
Umpires C Grant & L McKay
WOMEN’S PREMIER 1STS
ROUND 8 – SATURDAY 23 JANUARY (11:00am Start)
ESSENDON MARIBYRNONG PARK V MELBOURNE at Aberfeldie Park
Umpires D Brigham & L McKay
ROUND 8 – SUNDAY 24 JANUARY (11:00am Start)
RINGWOOD V DANDENONG at Russell Lucas Oval
Umpires G Azzopardi & B Sheahan
CARLTON-BRUNSWICK V PRAHRAN at Princes Park #1
PLENTY VALLEY V BOX HILL at Yarrambat War Memorial Park
Umpires S Pitts & T Wendelken