Friday, 19th October, 2018
By Tyler Hannigan
The 2018/19 Broken Hill cricket season gets underway tomorrow with a T20 double header and today we take a look at each of the four A Grade clubs and how they’re shaping up.
Last season: Premiers
2017/18 leading run scorers: Tobias Hack 544, Codie Howard 134
2017/18 leading wicket-takers: Jordan Vella 25, Tom Davey 16
North were the feel good story of last season when their young side made the grand final and defeated the Central juggernaut to deny the Magpies a historic sixth premiership in a row.
Skipper Tobias Hack led the way for the Dogs as he enjoyed a career best season with the bat, making nearly 550 runs at an average of over 60 which included two centuries and another score of 97.
His second ton, 118 not out in the semi-final, was his most brutal as he scored a sluggish 21 from 55 balls before unleashing in the final 10 overs to score 97 off his next 47 deliveries including 34 from the final over of the innings.
Jordan Vella was North’s other most valuable player, claiming 25 wickets at an incredible average of just 5.72 per wicket.
North will now be out to defend their title and will be favourites to do so with a strong playing list. Hack, Vella, Howard and Ben Victory are reliable senior players while juniors Logan Berryman and Austin Wilson proved their worth at different stages last season.
Anthony Tidball is set to rejoin the club as he and veteran Bill Bergman come across from the Warriors.
While their bowling had an even spread of contributors throughout last season, their batting struggled. As good as he is, Hack cannot do it all the time and other batsmen will need to step up if they’re to go back-to-back.
Predicted finish: 1st
Last season: Runners up
2017/18 leading run scorers: Tristen Smith 219, Jon Carrett 204
2017/18 leading wicket-takers: Jarred Paull 18, David O’Mally 17
Central won the minor premiership last season but fell to North in the grand final, ending an historic run of five consecutive A Grade premiership wins.
They had several contributors with the bat with five players scoring over 150 runs but none could really kick on to a huge season. Tristen Smith led the way with 219 which included a blistering 96 in the T20 final against West.
Jarred Paull underlined his elite status by taking 18 wickets and scoring 161 runs to again win the Denis Watts medal as A Grade player of the year.
There’ll be a new man in charge this season as seam bowler Dave O’Mally takes on the role as captain with Paull stepping down from the job. O’Mally will still have plenty of experienced players to lean on for guidance such as Paull, Adam Rhodes and Jon Carrett.
Central’s bowling stocks are plentiful with Paull, O’Mally, Ross Casey and Michael Maalste, and the batting looks in good shape once again with Carrett, Rhodes, Smith and Riley Elvery. If they can convince Justin Heath to make more appearances then they’ll be a red-hot chance to claim another flag.
Predicted finish: 2nd
Last season: 3rd
2017/18 leading run scorers: Max Everuss 252, Clint Pearce 117
2017/18 leading wicket-takers: Nathan Waterhouse 19, Peter Christos 17
All up, 2017/18 was a disappointing season for the Robins. They fell to Central in the T20 final in convincing fashion and failed to make the A Grade grand final, losing to North in the semi.
Max Everuss, who has been installed as captain for the upcoming season, was their leading run scorer with 252 at an average of 28 with Clint Pearce (117 at 9.75) and Liam King (111 at 12.33) the other batsmen to clear the 100 run mark.
Bowling-wise, left arm quick Nathan Waterhouse took 19 wickets at 12.32 and Peter Christos claimed 17 scalps at just 9.41.
Things were better in B Grade as they claimed the premiership, defeating South in the final.
West will need to deal with a number of players leaving as Waterhouse has defected to South during the off-season, and leg-spinning all-rounder Matthew Handberg has elected to spend this season as an umpire.
They’ll be hoping their crop of promising rookies can step up with the likes of Colby Stenhouse, Casey Ferguson, Lachlan Kaye and Paddric Attard and get a taste of senior cricket while Nick Schofield, who looks to be the pick of the bunch, has yet to make his A Grade debut.
Depending on how many games Everuss and veteran Paul Attard can play, West should still win enough games to finish third but it’ll take something special for them to challenge Central and North.
Predicted finish: 3rd
Last season: 4th
2017/18 leading run scorers: Sheldon Hall 66, Cody Scorn 65
2017/18 leading wicket-takers: Jason Harvey 9, Sheldon Hall 9
It was yet another disappointing season for the boys from over the hill as they won just the single A Grade game, albeit against eventual premiers North in round 10 at the Jubilee Oval under lights.
Again it was the batting that let South down with the team only passing 100 once during the season.
Jason Harvey enjoyed a successful return to regular A Grade cricket and, along with Sheldon Hall, led the wicket takers with nine apiece. Laurence Hebbard was again fantastic with eight wickets and a whopping 15 maiden overs from 34 overs bowled.
As well as the batting, getting a consistent side on the field was a struggle. The Roos used 36 players with RV Kumar appearing in the most. They’ll hope to get more cricket out of the likes of Paul Nicholas, Simon O’Brien and Cody Schorn.
Former B Grade skipper Ben Franklyn has taken on the A Grade captaincy having led South to the B Grade premiership in 2016/17 and another grand final last season. Alex Page will be vice-captain.
At this stage, South have recruited Waterhouse from West to bolster their bowling stocks as well as some new players from out of town.
Improvement looks on the cards but the hardest thing that any team that’s struggled for a long time is learning how to win and how to finish off games. That can only come from consistently putting yourself in positions to win and building that belief.
If South can do that this season then finals aren’t out of the question but their goal should be 2 or 3 wins for the season and more competitive efforts with the bat.
Predicted finish: 4th