Wandies open season with a win

Wandearah's Matt Thornton was in top form early on in the clash with South Port.
Wandearah's Matt Thornton was in top form early on in the clash with South Port.

A Grade

Wandearah v South Port

Last year’s beaten grand finalists Wandearah opened their 2017/18 campaign with a comfortable 68-run victory over South Port.

Wandearah made a promising start with the bat moving to 1 for 76 with Matt Thornton in good early form. When Thornton was dismissed for 57 bowled by Hamish Connor, Wandies suffered a mini collapse to be 5 for 95 just after the drinks break. Some handy contributions from Chris Crouch (21) Todd Baker (17) and Bailey Congdon (14) supported Rhys Gillett (32 not out) saw the Rams finish their 50 overs at 9 for 186.

Hamish Connor was outstanding with the ball for the Pirates taking 4 for 20 from 10 overs. Telea Alofa swapped his keeping gloves for the ball to take two late wickets. The other wicket takers were Robert Anderson and Casey O’Niell with one wicket each.

Wandearah got their bowling off to a great start as new South Port captain Toby Connor was caught and bowled by Matt Thornton for a duck with the score on 1.  Wandies applied great pressure with the ball and did not allow South Port to score freely as they were reduced to 8 for 68.  Some late hitting from Telea Alofa (20), Casey O’Neill (19) who did a great job considering he played B grade earlier in the day and Ben Bunting 15 helped South Port reach 118 before they were bowled out.

Chris Crouch spun up a web with his leg spin claiming 4 for 33 for the Rams. Opening pair Matt Thornton and Todd Baker combined to bowl 12 overs 2 for 15.  Jamison Murphy claimed 2 for 17 and Scott Gray and Marc Congdon both took a wicket each. In an eye towards the future Wandies played four under 16 players with Kynan Crouch and Fergus Tod making their A grade debuts in the PPCA.  South Port seem to have much to look forward to with a strong bowling line up that will be bolstered when David Shahzad returns in the coming weeks.

Proprietary v Solomontown-North

Proprietary gave Reece Fowler the perfect start to his captaincy career with a three wicket victory over last year’s premier Solomontown-North.

The Cats batted first and struggled with a number of big guns out to be bowled out for 80.  One of last year’s grand final heroes Ash Johnson only made two before being dismissed.  He was quickly followed in the sheds by Ben Brown (6) and Olly Cosmai (0).  From there the Cats never recovered.  Seb Goldsmith making a guest appearance (15), Graeme Noll (12) and Mick Tresize (11) were the only players to make double figures. Westley Wyatt made a great start to the year with the ball for the Panthers taking 4 for 13 from 10 overs.  Cory Stephenson 3/13 and Reece Fowler 2/18 were the other multiple wicket takers.  Tyler Thorpe also deserves a mention for his five maidens while bowling 10 overs 0/8.

Props made heavy work of the run chase as they lost wickets at regular intervals taking 31 overs to chase down the required total.  Reece Fowler delivered a captain’s knock top scoring with 21. Cory Stephenson was the other batsmen to reach double figures making 14. Dylan Johnson was the pick of the bowlers taking 4/28 from 10 overs.  The other wicket takers for the Cats were Ben Brown and Ash Johnson with one each. Both sides will be better for the run with Sollies to welcome back premiership players in the coming weeks.  Props also have numbers to come back in.  Early victories are crucial to set you season up and the Cats will look to bounce back strongly next week.

B Grade

Warnertown v Risdon

The Tigers started the season with a tight three wicket victory over Warnertown.  The Wombats made 8/158 from their 35 overs with Dylan Brooks carrying his form from last year making 80.  He was well supported by Adam Rontaunay (32) and Jarryd Anderson (19).  Peter Reed was the pick of the bowlers taking 3/16 from eight overs.  In reply Risdon chased down the total with two balls remaining and three wickets in hand.  Nathan Marwick was the main stay finishing on 53 not out.  Jesse Bertoldi was the next best making 31.  For the Wombats Adam Rontaunay and Matt Taylor took two wickets each.

South Port v Proprietary

South Port demolished Props by 99 runs at Complex one on Saturday morning.  Nathan Hooper smashed 52 runs in boundaries out of his score of 62.  Ray Allen (44) and Casey O’Neill (24 not out)  helped boost the score to 185 before the Pirates were bowled out. Surender Singh was expensive with the ball for the Panthers taking 4/47 from six overs.  Props didn’t get close in the run chase being bowled out for 86.  Mick Watts top scored with 23 not out, Elliott Sumner (21) and Caileb Wyatt (20) were the other major contributors with the bat.  Craig Massner took 4/21 from eight overs for the Pirates.  Casey O’Neill and Madhan Murasoli both claimed two wickets each.

Solomontown-North v Wandearah

The Rams made the perfect start to the season by defeating and under-manned Cats unit by five wickets.  Sollies struggled to 8/96 from their 35 overs.  Kain Wallace top scored with 28, Cody Finlayson was next best with 19.  With the ball for the Rams new player Kashif Shahzad claimed 8/13 from eight overs and was well supported by captain Rob Jeffries who took 3/21 from eight overs.  Wandies chased down the total in the 27th over to claim the important bonus point.  Luke Davis made an impressive start to the season finishing 57 not out.  Jeffries and Darcy Puddy both score 14 to be the next best with the bat.  The only multiple wicket taker for the Cats was Darren Guy who finished with 2/13.

Preview – Round 2

A Grade

South Port v Proprietary

Props will look to continue their winning form when they take on South Port at Port oval on Saturday afternoon.  Props impressed with the ball last week and the key bowlers will continue to be Reece Fower, Tyler Thorpe, Westley Wyatt and Fraser Wyatt.  Cory Stephenson adds good variety with his off spin.  With the bat for the Panthers Riley Fowler and Plugger Bessen will look to make a quick start to allow the middle order of Reece Fowler, Tate Bradley and Cory Stephenson to settle in and build a big score.

South Port have what could be an impressive bowling unit this season with Ben Bunting, Rob Anderson, David Shahzad and Hamish Connor capable of ripping through the top order of any side in Port Pirie.  With the bat a lot will rest on the shoulders of the top order of Toby Connor, Rob Anderson and Jaryd Thorn.  I think the Panthers will continue their winning form, but if the Pirates can get early wickets look out.

Solomontown-North v Wandearah

Last year’s grand finalists clash for the first time this season and very little can be taken away from last week’s matches as Solomontown-North were short on players.  Olly Cosmai, Ben Brown and Ash Johnson will be looking for more time in the middle and Mick Tresize will hope to recapture his form from last year.  Dylan Johnson made a great start to the year taking four wickets last week and is always hard to get away.  Ben Brown is a class act with the ball and Ash Johnson and Mick Tresize performed well with the ball last year and will be looking for wickets this weekend.

Wandearah blooded more youth last week and may need to do so again this week with players unavailable.  Last year’s Grewar medallist Matt Thornton made a good start with the bat and ball last week and will be a key player for the Rams this season.  Runs will need to come from Matt O’Shaugnessy, Scott Gray and Chris Crouch.  With the ball Todd Baker made a solid start last week but was unable to take a wicket.  Gray and Marc Congdon will need to bowl tight in the middle overs which might allow Chris Crouch to spin up a web.  With both teams having players out it will be a toss of coin to see who will win.

B Grade

Proprietary v Risdon

Risdon should make it two form two when they take on Props at Globe Oval on Saturday morning.  At this stage they do not seem to have suffered from the loss of star Rob Anderson to South Port’s A grade.  Peter Reed made a good start to the year with bat and ball last week and will look to continue this.  Nathan Marwick and Jesse Bertoldi will also look to boost the runs total.  With the ball evergreen veteran Lachlan McAuliffe and Andrew Thorsteinsen will look to continue their wicket taking form.  Props need Elliott Sumner and former Recorder medallist Terence Pellegrini to fire with the bat.  Mick Watts claimed three wickets last week so could be a danger to the Tigers batsman.  Surender Singh with four wickets last week also made an impressive start.  Tigers to win this one.

Port Germein v Wandearah

B grade power house Port Germein will open their quest for a three-peat against Wandearah at Port oval this week.  Port Germein have stars with both bat and ball lead by Cam Hoare, Lachie Pole and Jeff Twigden.  Wandearah will rely on Luke Davis, Darcy Puddy and Dean Anderson to make the runs.  Kashif Shahzad bowled well last week and Rob Jeffries is always consistent.  The Sharks should get their season off to a start with a victory over the Rams.

South Port v Warnertown

I am tipping the Pirates to continue their winning form and upsetting Warnertown this week.  There are some impressive options with the bat with Nathan Hooper and Ray Allen already in good form.  Craig Massner has been consistent over a number of years and knows how to take wickets.  Madhan Murasoli should also take wickets in the B grade this season.  If Dylan Brooks fails to fire with the bat for Warnertown they may struggle.  Jarryd Anderson, Matt Taylor and Adam Rontaunay will need to step up if Brooks fails.  Brooks will also be one of the keys with ball and should be supporting by Rontaunay and Taylor.