It's that time of the year again, Grand Final time, which of course means previews! Let's cover the top 3 grades, looking at the key performers and stats, and tips for each flag and MVP.
NEWEY Plate sees Norwood Cricket Club 2nd XI take on North Ringwood Bulls 2nd XI. The last time they met was in the Qualifying Final where despite a Glenn Ibbott 87, Norwood defeated the minor premiers with a D.Mutsaers 5/22 the big role.
Both sides are extremely similar with the bat, both having just four players with over 200 runs for the season. David Raggett (217@ 54.25 ) and Brendan Redfern (email@example.com) top the batting charts respectively. Both sides also have multiple bowling options as five Bulls and six Norsemen have 10+ wickets. However Liam Sweeney (35 wickets) and Brendan Leis (29 wickets) far outshine the top two wicket takers for Norwood Bruce Sansom (19) and Luke Barber (15). Add into the mix the inform L.Rigby who took 7/21 in their preliminary final victory and the Bulls have some firepower with the ball.
TIP: The only glaring difference, as stated is the Sweeney and Leis combined wicket-taking ability (64 this season). Hence the NORTH RINGWOOD BULLS should take the chocolates.
MVP: Brendan Leis
The Last Time They Met: Qualifying Final - Wonga Park Ire in early trouble chasing Montrose's 159 before Sanasha Fernando struck 82 to claim a free pass to the grand final.
Wonga have sat atop the ladder from day dot, and have found a way to win from almost every situation. However the common denominator in their game play is Coach Sanasha Fernando. The Sri-Lankan has struck 541 runs @49.18 and taken 21 wickets @13.38.At closer examination this comes to 25% of Wonga Park's total runs, and 20% of their wickets.
Montrose aren't without their dependency. Despite having 5 bowlers that have taken 15+ wickets, wily medium pacer Daniel Dimitriou has taken 35 wickets, 12 more than second in line Cheyne Van Koll (23). Dimitriou also took 5/69 as Wolves defeated Mooroolbark in the preliminary final.
With the stick again, Montrose have four 200+ run makers, but Michael Edwards(496 @45.1) has over 150 more runs than his closest counterpart Jake Crowe (firstname.lastname@example.org). Edwards too made a vital 62 in last week’s prelim.
TIP: Wonga Park are evidently reliant on Fernando who is almost performing the role of 3 men, and will need him to be on song to claim victory. However WONGA PARK deserve favoratism to end their wait to get back into the top division of the RDCA.
MVP: Sanasha Fernando.
TROLLOPE Shield has been one of the tightest run things in recent history with the top 3 teams all finishing on 60 points. Reigning PremiersWantirna South Cricket Club take onAinslie Park Cricket Club for the Trollope Shield.
2nd v 3rd in the big dance this year. It’s a battle of two very even sides, with no absolute standouts carrying them, throughout the year. Ainslie Park had no batsmen in the top 10 overall run scorers, but have a consistent pool of players around the 200 run mark, headlined by Trent Sier (263 @ 20.23) and Max Moss (261@ 26.1). Moss is the Parkers only centurion of the season however. The Devils seem to have more batting strength with 7 players ranging from Cameron Smith (307 runs) down to Sean Barnes (191 runs) around that 200 mark.
The bowling partnership of Tristain Webb (31 wickets @20.13) and Drew McKay (34w @14.26) is a well-known weapon in the RDCA circles. McKay coming off 4/47 in the Qualifying Final.
It will take on the overly stingy 3 prong attack of Mark Arnot (30 wickets @ 10.83), Leigh Jones (25 wickets @ 13.68) and Jake Tucker (25 wickets @18.64). Arnot and Tucker are coming off extremely impressive figures of 4/19 and 5/29 respectively last week.
TIP: The Devils have the experience of last year’s final in their pocket, but that does not grant them the right to be favourites alone. However their superior batting strength may just trump the Ainslie economy. WANTIRNA SOUTH to go back to back.
MVP: Troy McGown