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Pies' depth test

Saturday, 11th January, 2014

The return of Shayne Staker is sure to be a welcome boost for North when they take on Central at the Jubilee Oval today. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel The return of Shayne Staker is sure to be a welcome boost for North when they take on Central at the Jubilee Oval today. PICTURE: Darrin Manuel

By Square Leg

A Grade cricket resumes after the Christmas break today with the Central and North contest at the Jubilee Oval likely to be the match of the round and certain to provide plenty of highlights.

Undefeated Central will have its depth of reserves tested today with several of its key players, who are school teachers, away from the city on leave during the school holidays.

The Magpies will be banking on the availability of James Morrison who has proven to be a massive gain for the black and whites, both with bat and ball, along with the consistency of Jarred Paull with the bat and ball and the excellent form of David O’Malley with the new ball.

North produced their best form of the season in their last game before Christmas against West and they will be looking to go on with the job now and secure a place in the Preliminary Final in March.

Their form today will hinge on the availability of Codie Howard who is averaging over 80 runs with the bat this season.

Tobias Hack found form with the bat in his last game and the return of Shayne Staker to the senior side also has given the Bulldogs added spine in the batting department.

Chase Johnson bowled with fire and good line in the Bulldogs’ last outing and if he can get good support from the likes of Davey, Harvey and Brett

Johnson the Bulldogs could be in with a real chance of causing an upset in this game.

One must select Central to open their winning account after the Christmas break based on their undefeated run prior to Christmas.

However, this game looms is a real danger game for the Magpies and they will need to work exceptionally hard to extend their unbeaten sequence for the season.

I expect them to ‘fall over the line’ in what seems certain to be an entertaining contest.

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