Perfect season up for grabs
Saturday, 8th March, 2014
By Square Leg
While it is an achievement to win a cricket premiership in any grade it is an outstanding feat to go through a full cricket season undefeated in all formats of the game at the highest level.
Central get that opportunity today when they take on shock winners from last week’s preliminary final North at the Alma Oval.
Central has been the yardstick in A Grade all season and, while it has not all been plain sailing, they have had the happy knack of being able to produce a couple of match winners in every game to enable them to get over the line in all their contests.
Big occasion players Justin Heath, Jarred Paull, Paul Rosenbaum and Cameron Wells have the experience needed to be prominent in this game while the promising youngster James Hale could provide the x-factor in what should be a fitting end to a great season of cricket.
North bats fired and put together multiple partnerships for the first time for the season last week.
They must repeat that effort again today, and perhaps build on that even further, as a score under 200 is unlikely to concern the Magpie batting line-up too much.
Tobias Hack looked in good touch last week and he must go on with that new found form today.
Codie Howard, Mick Moritz and Brett Johnson are experienced bats and must provide Hack with solid support. Lachlan Harvey and Judd
Carpenter are talented Under 17 players that could also contribute with the bat for the Bulldogs.
Rosenbaum and Heath represent a real threat to the top end North bats as they are big occasion players and save their best for the major round.
Both figured prominently with the cherry in the Magpies’ premiership last season.
Hale is an emerging talent who has only started bowling ‘offies’ in recent weeks in A Grade but he well and truly announced his arrival with a six wicket haul against the Bulldogs in their last encounter.
The Central batsmen have all been a little inconsistent throughout the season with perhaps Heath the most stable of the lot.
The Magpies always seem to have a couple of bats stand up and make over fifty runs in a game and it could be Paull’s turn today.
He has not made many scores over fifty this season but looked to be in a good vein of form with a short undefeated cameo innings against South a couple of weeks ago.
If James Morrison returns to the Magpie side he will bolster an already impressive batting line up.
McEvoy impressed with the new ball for the Bulldogs last week and Chase Johnson bowled with fire although was erratic at times.
It would be good to see Jordan Vella given greater opportunity with his skidding offies today as I thought he swung the game in the Bulldogs favour last week.
Unfortunately, the quality of the North bowling attack appears to lack the class and penetration of the Central attack.
I expect this to be the area where the Magpies will establish an edge and they should go on to record back-to-back premierships and complete the perfect cricket season in the process.
Play begins at Alma Oval at 10am.