After an offseason that felt like it went forever and doubt when the season would start, the opening weekend for Central Coast Cricket is upon us. Lets check out the season preview for First Grade.
Last Season – 8th (Second Grade)
Key Players – Shaun Eaton and Phil Tree
Preview – The Bluetongues are back in the top flight competition after a few seasons down in Second Grade. The signing of Shaun Eaton was one of the biggest stories coming from the off season and he will add plenty with bat, ball and professionalism. Phil Tree has been one of the top players in second grade the last two seasons and will be good to see how he goes in the jump in grade. Alex Searle and Dante Otto will also be key players in the success of Brisbane Water.
Rd 1 Matchup – vs Southern Spirit @ Col Gooley Oval
Last Season – 6th
Key Players – Dylan Robertson and Jack Heuston
Preview – The Griffins wouldn’t have been happy with how they went last season, missing finals and unable to defend their premiership from the year before. But they will shrug that off and look to a return to finals action. Dylan Robertson was superb last year and won the Alan Davidson Medal and he’s a player who can win a game with bat or ball. Jack Heuston has been a mainstay in First Grade for a number of season and he is projected to have a big season. The return of Dan Hueston from injury will improve the middle order while Harry Woodhead continues to be the best keeper in the competition
Rd 1 Matchup – vs Northern Power @ Harry Moore Oval
Last Season – 7th
Key Players – Scott Burkinshaw and Matt Sunshine
Preview – After making the grand final the previous season, the Magpies failed to make the finals in a disappointing 2020/21 season and will be eager to get back into the finals. The loss of Ben Cohen is major for their batting with the likes of Ryan Fenning and Ben Sunshine needing to step up after quiet seasons last year. The Magpies bowling will once again be their strength with the form and fitness of Scott Burkinshaw and Matt Sunshine being big influencers on how they end up this season.
Rd 1 Matchup – vs Narara Wyoming @ Fagans Park
Last Season – 4th
Key Players – James Smith and Tom Owen
Preview – The One Day Premiers from last year, the Lions will once again look for an all round team performance to hopefully improve on their fourth place finish last year. James Smith is the reigning captain of the year and his leadership skills always means his team is in the game no matter what stage of it. Kyle Jordan and Keiran Lawson will lead the attack again and both have shown they can knock over good batsman consistently. Tom Owen had a breakout year in 2020/21 and will look to cement himself as one of the best bats of the competition and push for representative honours.
Rd 1 Matchup – vs Lisarow Ourimbah @ Fagans Park
Last Season – 3rd
Key Players – Chris Archer and Jeremy O’Connell
Preview – The Power are a side who keep defying the critics and putting themselves in positions to win. Chris Archer will lead the side once again and will be keen to get his players to another final’s appearance. Reports from preseason suggest Jeremy O’Connell is in for a big year with the powerful opening bat key to his team’s successes. Both Josh and Zac Abel have x-factor ability to turn a game while Mitch Howarde comes into the season injury free.
Rd 1 Matchup – vs Kincumber Avoca @ Col Gooley Oval
Last Season – 9th
Key Players – Daniel Friend and Harrison Jaenke
Preview – The Spirit showed growth last year and will want to improve that potential into results on the field. Ross Watson has taken over the captaincy and give a fresh look on things while Daniel Friend will see a more relaxed approach after giving away the captaincy. Harrison Jaenke was impressive with the ball last year and will want to repeat that performance while the three Lachlan’s, Cork, Bayliss and Bull, will want to show they can be reliable players in the top competition.
Rd 1 Matchup – vs Brisbane Water @ Col Gooley Oval
Last Season – 2nd
Key Players – Alex Patterson and Josh Bridge
Preview – The Bellbirds fell short in their quest to claim a premiership last year but will take great confidence of making all three finals. Alex Patterson made his NSW Country debut last year and will once again lead the side, while Josh Bridge was voted by his peers as the best bowler in the competition and is capable of going through any batting lineup. The loss of Ryan James leaves a dent in their batting lineup and they will be looking for a Josh Toohey to step up and could be smokey for the Rep side with good performances early in the year.
Rd 1 Matchup – vs Warnervale @ Duffys Rd
Last Season – Premiers
Key Players – Jake Hardy and Adam Taylor
Preview – The Entrance were highly rated last season and they showed why claiming the 2020/21 First Grade premiership. The Seagulls will once again be the premiership favourites which is led by their formidable batting lineup. Adam Taylor and Jake Hardy could make a strong case to be the best bat in the competition while Luke Diserans and Mitchell Starkey can bamboozle any opposition into a batting collapse.
Rd 1 Matchup – vs Wyong @ Jubilee Park
Last Season – 8th
Key Players – Chris Sheppeard and Daniel Hill
Preview – The Wildcats have been a side who look like they are about to take the competition by storm but still seem to fall short. Simon Keen will be his usual destructive self but he will need help with Chris Sheppeard returning again can add that class to the top order. The Wildcats bowling has been one of their weaker spots and someone like a Daniel Hill who has plenty of First Grade experience, needing to step up and lead the attack from the front.
Rd 1 Matchup – vs Terrigal Matcham @ Duffys Rd
Last Season – 5th
Key Players – Harrison Townsend and Jack Harris
Preview – The Roos have been very active in the off season with some of their favourite sons returning to the club. Harrison Townsend returns and will enjoy the slower turning wickets of the Central Coast while Jack Harris also comes back from Sydney will plenty of experience and will no doubt be improved from when he left. Hayden Murphy will still be key players for the Roos while Callum Rainger showed last year he can be a First Grade bat for many years to come.
Rd 1 Matchup – vs The Entrance @ Jubilee Park
For any interviews please contact Scott Burkinshaw on 0409 662803