Mildura Weekly : Friday January 2 Vol 9 No 8 2015
26 SPORT MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, JANUARY 2, 2015 SUNRAYSIA cricketers are enjoying a well deserved break following an intense opening half of the 2014/15 season, with five out of the seven teams well and truly still in the hunt for a finals berth. This week the Mildura Weekly takes a look at each club’s best per- formers to date, while also looking at who needs to step up in the second half of the season. 1. Merbein South (60 points) The ever consistent boys from Mer- bein South have continued their form over the past few years, with last season’s runners-up currently sitting atop the Division One ladder. Jarrad Armsden, who returned to Merbein South after a couple of seasons in Mildura East colours, has been a standout with the bat, amass- ing 184 runs at an average of 61.33. Armsden, who is hoping to over- come a persistent wrist injury in the New Year, has been well supported by Shannon Bowen (174 runs) and Anthony Shaw (164 runs), with the team’s lower order also firing at im- portant times. The likes of captain Adam Thom- son and brother Mark have been disappointing with the willow, and need to find form over the Christmas break. A firing top order is key to Mer- bein’s premiership chances, with the club finding itself too reliant on bot- tom-order revivals. Merbein’s bowling attack has, as always, been at the top of their game, with Mark Thomson stepping up following the retirement of club stalwart and workhorse Matt Walder. Thomson has 17 wickets for the season, with Shane and Tony Trinick close behind with 13 and 12 wickets respectively. Shaun Mathews has also been a welcome addition to the side’s bowl- ing stocks, taking nine wickets at an average of 8.44. 2. Mildura Settlers (50 points) The 2012/13 premiers have slowly and quietly gone about their work over the first half of the season. Veteran Richie Wyld has found his touch with the bat, scoring 220 runs at 31.43. Another veteran in Ben Erskine is also enjoying some quality time in the middle, amassing 143 runs to this point of the year. Youngster Braidyn Turner, stal- wart Mark Cleary and Angus Perez have also chipped in with the wil- low, with Setts boasting arguably the most settled line-up in the SCA. First-year captain Mitch Smith has led the bowling attack well with 17 wickets, with Wyld’s off-spin also claiming 11 wickets. ‘Mr Consistent’ Mark Kerr has also been impressive with the ball, with good support coming from Cameron Douglass. Setts’ premiership key lies with Cleary, who when fit is a proven match-winner with either bat or ball. Cleary’s battle with injuries has hampered his bowling over the last few years, with seven wickets for the season well below his high standards. 3. Coomealla Wentworth (45 points) Coomealla Wentworth have proved the surprise packets of the 2014/15 season, clawing their way into the top four on the back of some in- spired performances. The Blues top order have been in ominous form, with Alex Mellor (319 runs at an average of 53.17) and Jason Morrison (308 runs at an average of 61.6) topping the SCA batting aggregate. Thomas Maddocks has also been in decent touch with the willow, with Coomie’s batsmen well and truly do- ing the job for their bowling brigade. Young fast bowler Justin Free- man has been in solid form, taking 18 wickets for the season, with Myl- es Wade also performing well with eight wickets. Continuing to put big totals on the board is key for Coomie Went- worth heading into the second half of the sea- son, with their young bowlers, while talented, enjoying the re- duced pressure that comes with having runs on the board. Sides that underestimate the Blues could do so at their peril, with this team, on form, more than ca- pable of walk- ing away with the silverware. 4. Mildura East (40 points) The reigning premiers sit just two games off top spot, and have enjoyed a relatively solid start to the season. Evergreen club champion Tom Vadlja has continued to prove why he is considered one of the best all- rounders in the game, amassing 202 runs and 10 wickets to the midway point of the season. Another veteran in Brett Hig- gins (153 runs) and wicket-keeper Josh Berry (128 runs) have also been impressive with the bat, with more needed from the likes of Jason Bruhn and Jason Harris. Both batsmen have experienced below par starts to the season, and are both capable of rediscovering their best heading into the business end of the competition. Young quick Jhy Berry has been the pick of the bowlers with 16 wick- ets, while all-rounder Lionel Sexton has also been good with the ball in hand, taking eight wickets. East look the goods heading into the second half of the season, and will be keen to put some early wins on the board to se- cure a top four spot. 5. Workers Gol Gol (35 points) Sitting just half a game outside the top four, Workers Gol Gol will feel slightly disap- pointed with the start of their season, and will be looking to turn things around quickly in the New Year. Former captain Andrew Petrie has again been a star with the bat, amassing 299 runs at an incredible average of 74.75, and is a big key to Workers’ finals aspirations. Youngster Aidan Calarco (191 runs) has also enjoyed a promising start to the season, and is also ca- pable of making an impact with ball in hand. The rest of Workers batting bri- gade has failed to fire, with the likes of Jesse McGinty and Brett McPher- son needing to find form to help take the pressure off Petrie and Calarco. Workers’ bowling stocks also need to improve, with veteran Ste- phen Gribble the best of the bunch with nine wickets from five appear- ances. Captain Matt Cameron also needs to find his rhythm with the new ball, while tearaway quick Jor- dan Birch is capable of taking a big bag when on song. Workers are by no way out of the premiership hunt, and still have a team capable of beating the very best in the competition. 6. Irymple (10 points) The Swallows have endured another horrendous start to a cricket season in 2014/15, claiming only one win – coming in Round One against Mildu- ra West – to this point of the season. Their biggest problem lies with the willow, with the team as a whole failing to put impressive totals on the board. Jordan Payne (225 runs) and Matt Button (154 runs) have proved the only players to find any groove with the bat, while captain Rhys Webb and club stalwart Brandan Payne have been thereabouts with- out setting the world on fire. More is needed from young tal- ent Jesse Marciano, who is desper- ately trying to establish his spot in the Swallows’ top order. While disappointing with the bat, Irymple have been impressive with the ball, with the club’s young brigade of fast bowlers more than holding their own. Chase Stone (12 wickets) has come of age over the past few weeks, while Webb has also been good with nine wickets. Those two have been well sup- ported by Damon Morrish and Bren- dan Payne (eight wickets apiece), while Simon Innes is also playing a role. Irymple have the talent to at- tempt a climb back up the ladder this season, with improvement from the top order – and essentially more runs on the board – sure to take the pressure off an improving bowling attack. 7. Mildura West (0 points) Mildura West are another team that would be disappointed with their output in the first half of the 2014/15 season, and will be looking for improvement across the board in the New Year. Kevin Healy (155 runs) and Brandon Dixon (152 runs) have been the best with the bat, while Dixon has again been a revelation with the ball, taking 15 wickets at an average of 18.27. Healy has also chipped in with eight wickets for the season, with the pair clearly their side’s best to this point. Brayden Pitt, Greg Lewis and Jayden Zanoni have also been solid performers with the bat, but need to start producing big scores to help West take that next step. Callan Humphreys has also been OK with the ball in hand, with the rest of West’s bowling brigade need- ing to step up. West, like Irymple, are slowly un- covering young talent, and need to keep working on their craft to begin their climb up the SCA ladder. They are capable – at their best – of causing a few upsets along the way, and will be keen to ‘break the duck’ early in 2015. MILDURA WEEKLY FRIDAY, JANUARY 2, 2015 SCA competition tight as season reaches midway point • Mildura Settlers Cricket Club stalwart Richie Wyld, ABOVE, and talented Mildura East bowler Jhy Berry, RIGHT, have been in scintillating form to this point of the 20154/14 Sunraysia Cricket Association season, leading their respective sides to dominant positions in the competition. Merbein South Cricket Club captain Adam Thomson, BELOW, has been below his best, and is among a large number of players looking to improve in the New Year.
Friday December 19 Vol 9 No 7 2014
Friday January 9 Vol 9 No 9 2015