Grand final rematch
Saturday, 20th October, 2018
By Tyler Hannigan
The Demo Club A Grade cricket season gets underway today with a T20 double header at the Jubilee Oval starting with a blockbuster grand final rematch between Central and North.
Last time they met:
North 7 for 135 (C. Howard 48, T. Hack 25, J. Vella 24; J. Paull 2-9) defeated Central 9 for 126 (A. Rhodes 43*, T. Smith 34; T. Davey 2-16, J. Vella 2-19) by nine runs
These teams squared off in the A Grade grand final last season with North coming away with the win after a hard-fought contest.
North batted first and posted a competitive 7-135 on a tricky batting pitch, Codie Howard showing his class with 48, before reducing Central to 8-83 in their chase.
Adam Rhodes then launched a counterattack, striking the ball to all parts of the Alma on his way to an unbeaten 43 and threatened to steal the game for the Magpies. Eventually though Central ran out of overs and North claimed a nine run victory.
J. Vella (c), B. Shepherd, B. Martin, B. Bergman, T. Kube, M. Letcher, D. Ter Braak, K. McEvoy, J. Savage, B. Victory, A. Tidball, E. Thomas (12th)
North are without their skipper and last season’s A Grade leading run scorer Tobias Hack, as well as Howard, leaving their batting depth tested. Jordan Vella will lead the side today with fellow premiership players Brendon Martin, Matt Letcher, Josh Savage and Ben Victory also in the side.
Junior Taylor Kube makes his A Grade debut, while veteran Bill Bergman makes his debut for North after switching from the Warriors. Anthony Tidball also makes his return to the club having played for the Warriors last season.
The biggest inclusion is that of Daniel Ter Braak who only recently played a pair of ODI’s for the Netherlands against Nepal, scoring 1 and 39, whilst also playing a first class match against Ireland with scores of 32 and 23. He makes his debut today and could be a huge addition for the defending premiers.
D. O’Mally (c), D. Smith, T. Smith, R. Elvery, C. Jones, A. Rhodes, R. Casey, M. Maalste, J. Carapelotti, L. Ralph, D. Pettitt, J. Bressanelli (12th)
Today marks the first time that Dave O’Mally will lead the side with the young seam bowler having taken the reins for the 2018/19 season.
Central are without big name players Jarred Paull and Jon Carrett but still have a power-packed batting lineup with the likes of Dave and Tristen Smith, Riley Elvery and Adam Rhodes.
O’Mally, Michael Maalste, Ross Casey and Tristen Smith are the main options with the ball with Damon Pettitt able to chip in as well.
Jordan Vella - North
Vella missed the early part of last season but enjoyed a prolific 2017/18 with 25 wickets at a brilliant bowling average of 5.72 to be A Grade’s leading wicket-taker.
While Vella doesn’t gain a lot of turn with his off-spin, he uses changes of pace and great control to get his wickets and also keeping down the runs. His best returns last season were 4-21 and 4-14, both against West, and an incredible 5-2 against South.
He’ll lead the side today which presents its own challenges and he’ll look for a greater return with the bat this season.
David O’Mally - Central
O’Mally enjoyed another very successful season with the ball, taking 17 wickets at 7.29 including a 6-11 against West in round 11.
O’Mally uses immaculate line and length with occasional swing and seam movement to make up for a lack of genuine pace. Just scoring off him proves to be a challenge, leading batsmen to take risks and losing their wickets more often and not.
Taking over as full-time captain this season will test O’Mally but the senior players in the team will offer great support.
The absences of Hack and Howard are counterbalanced by that of Paull and Carrett but Central do look to have a better team, on paper at least.
Rhodes is especially dangerous in the shorter format, as are Dave and Tristen Smith with their ability to clear the boundary. Central also have a deeper bowling attack.
For the Bulldogs, a lot rests on Vella with both ball and bat and he’ll need support from senior players Martin, Letcher and Savage. Bergman could be dangerous but this is his first A Grade appearance in a number of years.
WHAT: Central v North T20
WHEN: Today, 12:30pm
WHERE: Jubilee Oval