WASTCA- SEASON 2018-2019- SEMI FINALS
Well it’s now moved into the business end of the season for all clubs who have been consistent enough through the home and away rounds to finish in the top four in their respective grades. With the top 2 teams awarded the slight advantage of a home ground final let’s get into the review and my predictions for who will make the big dance next weekend!
GRADE 1- Wembley Districts CC v Swan Valley CC- Pat Goodridge Reserve
Wembley Districts finished clearly on top of the ladder and they go into the match as very hot favourites. The opening batting combination of Trent Ovens and Scott Marshall along with the middle order of Niall Penfold, Joshua Mangan and veteran Suresh Perera will give the Swan Valley attack plenty of headaches if they cannot make early inroads. Swan Valley’s batting has been inconsistent at best like their whole season - if they are switched on and bat first or even are required to chase they are more than capable of upsetting the ”giants” of the competition. Captain/Coach –Phil Adams is the team’s barometer- if he is focussed both he, Stan Harrison and enigmatic all-rounder Adam Faulkner, along with Zac McBride back into some form last week could cause an upset. Experienced campaigner Cameron Huckett will take the new ball for Wembley and along with Joe Pugliese will look for early wickets against the valley boys.
For me though consistency is the key to success - Wembley Districts CC to win and avenge last years shock defeat against Swan Valley in the semi final and progress to the Grand final in a relatively close match.
TIP- WEMBLEY DISTRICTS
GRADE 1- High Wycombe CC v Bentley CC- Scott Reserve
This semi final is much closer which is attributed to where both teams finished on the ladder this season and if their last encounter a couple of weeks ago is to be an indication this one could go down to the wire. High Wycombe’s form earlier in the season as a team coming up from 2nd grade as premiers last season has been very underestimated by the competition. Jamie Scardifield has lead the team from the front with the bat, dominating bowling attacks this season with control and aggression and along with Aron O’Conner beside him throughout the year they have combined for a formidable partnership. Bentley Skipper Brendan Daye has once again had a stella season predominantly with the ball and will be required to accumulate a high number of overs with both Hiten and Ishfaq Khan also playing a key role in controlling the High Wycombe batmen. Bentley stalwart Tim Horan will need to again shoulder the bulk of the innings along with Matt Lockyer and the Fanayan brothers can post or chase a solid total if required. Reece Jones has been the pick of the bowlers for High Wycombe this season with his consistency at hitting a line and length and has been well supported by left arm off spinner Ranil Damminka.
The match could go either way however Bentley’s form has certainly much better than an inconsistent High Wycombe on the back half of the season. My Tip is Bentley to turn the tables on High Wycombe in their last encounter even though High Wycombe have the home ground advantage.
TIP - BENTLEY
GRADE 2 - Subiaco Marist CC v Tuart Hill CC- John Lucas Oval
Subiaco Marist have been the bench mark of the competition in 2nd grade this season losing just 1 match this season whilst Tuart Hill started the season disastrously loosing the first 3 matches however recovered mid season and finished off with just enough wins to squeeze into the 4. With the bat, Subiaco Marist will look to Jake Steed and recruit Nayana Palamandadige to build a solid semi final total and put pressure on Tuart Hill’s batting this year which has been guided at the top by Jamie Rasmussen. Jake Prendergast and Daniel Stimpson need to stand up in this big semi final for the club if they are to figure next week. Tuart Hill Captain Matt Cecins will need a big performance with the ball whereas Subiaco Marist have been well serve this year by their key bowlers of Adam Wray and Josh Richards and they will look to put pressure on the Tuart Hill batsmen who have been very inconsistent with posting or chasing a score. Very hard to tip against Subiaco Marist.
TIP- SUBIACO MARIST
GRADE 2 - Kalamunda CC v Ocean Ridge CC- Kostera Oval
Kalamunda started the season in a blaze of glory and held the top position for much of the year until the last 4 rounds where the wheels had nearly entirely fallen off until recovering in the second last round to hold second spot. Ocean Ridge on the other hand have travelled well under the radar this season picking up enough wins to stay with the pack and then striking when the time was right to secure 3rd position. Kalamunda will look to their stars - Koshan Jayawickarama and Jonathan Clifton to shoulder the load as they have done most of the year for the club with the bat and club veteran Tim Overton to steady the middle order. Ocean Ridge will look to their key contributors with the ball in Nicholas Ling and Michael Boyers to get the job done with both bat and ball- The additional of classy all-rounder Chris Stone will make for a great contest. For me once again consistency is the key and Ocean Ridge if they can gain the ascendancy early my trouble the home side in front of what will be a huge local crowd.
TIP- OCEAN RIDGE
GRADE 3- Wembley Districts CC v Balcatta CC- Alderbury Reserve
Wembley Districts are clearly the best performing side in 3rd grade this season and will be hard to hold out coming into this semi final. Balcatta have had to work extremely hard for all their wins this season and with momentum and several senior experienced player coming into the fold post Christmas they are a sneaky chance to challenge this season’s top side. Players to watch in this crucial final for Wembley Districts Rex Fleay- outstanding with the bat this season and youngster Samuel Oldfield who has dominated with the ball for his club. Balcatta will rely heavy on their outstanding all-rounder Gaurav Tawari to get the job done with bat and ball and a contribution from all 11 players. For me a great effort from Balcatta to make the semi final but Wembley ooze class.
GRADE 3- High Wycombe CC v Murdoch University Melville CC- Lilac Hill No.3
High Wycombe had been outstanding early and middle season winning games at easy then the xmas/Australia day break appear to cause disruption and they lost momentum only to gain it back at the end to finish clearly in second position. Murdoch University Melville has had a better than even season with a win loss ration of 7/4 and done enough throughout the season to be considered a genuine chance to win through to the GF. Bowling has been the key to high Wycombe’s success with Daniel Ward again leading the charge and with brothers Tim and Ben Hort using their years of experience will look to restrict the MUM batsmen. Murdoch University Melville’s strength is definitely their batting and will look to their season stars Daniel Lake and Ben Duggan to control the innings. High Wycombe will call on Hamish Anderson and Rhys Nickisson to build the top order platform. For me there form is solid enough to push into the grand final next week.
TIP- HIGH WYCOMBE
GRADE 4- Swanbourne CC v Fremantle Mosman Park CC- Allen Park
In a relatively even competition in 4th grade this season Swanbourne have edged their way to minor premiers and earned the right to host a final on their home deck at Allen Park. As was the evenness of the competition Fremantle Mosman Park finished only 1 win behind the top side and have performed strongly deserving of their spot in the semi. Lachlan Scully and Toby Anderson have been the top performing batsmen for the Swanbourne team and for the Fremantle ‘pirates’ Tim Bott has been their most solid contributor this season with an outstanding 333 runs for the season. Brad Wishart and David Walser will take up the attack for Swanbourne whilst club legend David Sheppard who once again has lifted the Fremantle Mosman Park attack this season. A really tight game but I’m going for a minor upset here.
TIP- FREMANTLE MOSMAN PARK
GRADE 4-Western Suburbs CC v Subiaco Marist CC- College Park West
Western suburbs has been my tip as the great improvers in both 2nd and 4th grade this season and unfortunately their top side failed to deliver- It is this team to prove they have what it takes. Subiaco Marist as with nearly every team in the 4th grade competition have been consistent with the key to their success this year being their strong bowling attack. Players to look for in this do or die match for Western Suburbs will be Clinton O’Neill and Michael Davis with the bat and Andrew Dennis and Peter Richer with the ball to do the damage. Subiaco Marist will play to it’s strengths and the well performed Brendan Byrne and Alex Zulberti will plan to wreak havoc with the cherry and the consistency of Mohit Bajaria and Michael Spiteri with the bat to build an inning or chase down a total. In a match that could really go either way I stick with my gut feeling.
TIP- WESTERN SUBURBS
GRADE 5- Murdoch University Melville CC v High Wycombe CC- Murdoch University West
Murdoch University Melville deserve their minor premiership status finishing the season at 10/1 win/loss and go into this match at home as nearly hotter favourites than the champion horse WINX.!!! High Wycombe have scraped together more wins than losses and go in as clear underdogs in this semi final. MUM have done it all this year in this grade with both bat and ball and will look to Darren Wilson and president Nick Gohrt ( who have both had outstanding seasons) to gain the early ascendency. High Wycombe will look to Griffin Snell and Callum Williams as their keys with the ball. Tristram Emrich will be the key for Murdoch with the bat and High Wycombe will look to Cam Pryce to set-up with a big performance. Murdoch with too much fire power in the bowling stock should win.
TIP- MURDOCH UNIVERSITY MELVILLE
GRADE 5-Applecross CC v Wembley Districts CC- Murdoch University East
Both clubs have performed well throughout the season and are evenly posed on paper- The advantage for Wembley Districts is have both their higher sides still in the finals race. With very little separating the two clubs look for Applecross’s Ian Cooper and Eddie Swan to play a key roles with the bat and James Birbeck a big job to do with the ball. Wembley Districts will look to their best seasons performers of Paul Stobie and Ashley Lombardo with the bat and Jake Swallow with the ball. With the game in the balance I’m tipping the strength of the biggest club squad playing semi finals to prevail.
GRADE 6- Bassendean CC v Swanbourne CC- Jubilee Reserve (synthetic)
With the Bassendean turf wicket not up to the required rating the top side of the season Bassendean loose a slight advantage here. Swanbourne did enough through the season to secure forth position however would need a lift from all 11 to challenge the minor premiers. Bassendean will look to their star batmen Nicholas Mony de Kerloy and Daniel Markley who has had a superb season with the ball (25 wickets). Swanbourne need a solid performance from Lenin Pervin with the red cherry and key batsmen for the team will be Paul Anderson. Form is too hard to fault for the home side.
GRADE 6- Subiaco Marist CC v Murdoch University Melville CC- John Lucas Oval (synthetic)
Two relatively even teams with a slight advantage to Subiaco Marist with the strength and depth of their bowling line-up. Murdoch University Melville however did have a standout with the ball this season in David Wright taking 32 wickets. Subiaco Marist players who will look to perform on the big stage are Udaya Fonseka with the bat and Travis Wray with the ball. MUM will need assistance for David Wright from the opposite end with the ball and Peter Kennelly could be the man to do the job with both bat and ball. In a tight match the home team for me.
GRADE 7- Fremantle Mosman Park CC v Western Suburbs CC-Gil Fraser Reserve (Turf)
Fremantle Mosman Park have been the slightly better team through the 7th grade competition finishing 2 games clear on top. In a three way battle for fourth position Western Suburbs scraped in by their greater net run rate. Playing at home on the turf will be a significant advantage for the pirates and Mark Snedden should take full stock of the opportunity. Western Suburbs Tim Kendell and Steven Hawkins should also enjoy the opportunity to bat back on turf in what should be an entertaining match. With Western Suburbs Luke Evan being the grades chief wicket taker (22 wickets) and Fremantle’s Mike Tremble not far behind him (19 wickets) all in all it makes for a very entertaining contest. With a big home crowd support expected the pirates to prevail.
GRADE 7- Curtin Victoria Park CC v Applecross CC-Kent St (Turf)
There is absolutely nothing between both sides finishing the home and away season locked in at 5 wins and 4 losses a piece. A slight home ground advantage to CVP but that’s it. For the home side they will look to Myles Jordan to repeat his century earlier in the year and for Applecross Joshua Dawson for a solid contribution with the willow. The best performed bowlers this season who will need to perform again for both clubs will be Ryan Sinclair for CVP and Ryan Hutton for the red legs. This one is almost too close to call and will depend on which team has the most even contribution.
TIP- CURTIN VICTORIA PARK
GRADE 8- Subiaco Marist CC v Swanbourne CC- McLean Park (Synthetic)
A powerhouse performance from minor premiers Subiaco Marist saw them finish 3 games clear of the next team. Swanbourne in a workman like manner put together 6 wins to make the 4 and a shot at a title. David Palmer (285- 1 x century), Angus Duncan (272- 1 x century) and Chris Olley (240-1 x century) make for a formidable batting line-up for the top side. However an outstanding season for 15 year club stalwart from Swanbourne’s Matthew Cronin (488 at an average of 162!!!!!) will send alarm bells into the Subiaco Marist bowling attack. With Swanbourne’s Paul Perriam in stella form with the ball (26 wickets at an average of 15) I am predicting a boil over here. Subiaco Marist will need their key bowlers of Jack Nicholson – yes that’s correct!!!!! and Chris Olley to make inroads.
GRADE 8- Bassendean CC v High Wycombe CC- Lilac Hill No.4 (Synthetic)
Not much separates these two eastern suburb teams with Bassendean loaded with experience which could be a key factor in the finals. High Wycombe having their fourth team into grand finals contention does also work to their advantage. Bassendean have been really solid with the bat all season with Michael Seagar and Anthony Collopy leading the way. High Wycombe have relied on Trent Jose to control games with the bat. Daniel Williams and Geoff Hodgson will be the key to Bassendean’s success with the ball and High Wycombe will rely on Riley Neill and Kyle Mclean to make the necessary in roads into the Bassendean batting line up. In a match that is evenly poised a tip is difficult to predict. Experience wins out here.
OD 1 GRADE- Western Suburbs CC v Murdoch University Melville CC- College Park (Syn)
The top four sides in this competition have cleared out from the rest of the field this season with some very talented cricketers playing in the top one day comp. Western Suburbs boasts a strong batting line up with Chad Paull and Robert Brierley the keys in this match. Murdoch University Melville have a more even batting line up with Robert Franich the main contributor this season. The burb’s Stiven Divich will be one of the players to watch out for with the ball and for MUM Simon Franich will be the strike bowler in the best form this season. There is absolute nothing between these two teams statistically so for me a punt on the home side to win.
OD 1 GRADE- Curtain Victoria Park CC v Wembley Districts CC- Fraser Park (Syn)
Once again two evenly poised teams shaping up in what will be a battle of the batsmen. CVP’s Glenn Norris- 645 runs for the season up against WD- Rod Wheatley- 976 runs both outstanding performances this season. In the bowling stocks CVP has Shaun Wait ( 25 wickets) and Wembley will rely on Jason Hewson (28 wickets) to do the most damage. No real ground advantage or much to splitl both teams but who can handle the pressure the greater.
OD 2 GRADE- Bedford Morley CC v Fremantle Mosman Park CC- Grand Prom Reserve (Syn)
Bedford Morley finished two wins clear on top and deserve the billing of minor premiers with Fremantle Mosman Park creeping into the finals courtesy of a strong percentage. Trevor Rossiter and David Wallis have been solid contributors throughout the season for Bedford Morley and will be required to step-up again. FMP have been well serviced by David Lawrence and Jeremy Rogerson. In the bowling stocks with BM having the services of Alan Kynaston (23 wickets) and Cameron Hinchcliffe (16 wickets) as their go-to strike bowlers. The Fremantle ‘pirates’ will look to Darryl Courtney to shoulder the lion haul of the work with the ball. With a bit better depth in their team this year the home side for me.
TIP- BEDFORD MORLEY
OD 2 GRADE- Wembley Districts CC v Bentley CC- Grand Prom Reserve (Syn)
The second of the Wembley districts one day teams and the depth of players the club has on hand incredible to say the least. Bentley appear to almost be a 1 man show here with once again Daniel Arcaro content to play a lone hand compiling 654 runs for the season. For Wembley Callum Murdoch has been solid with the bat this season along with his team mate Oliver Judd- both will be required to be significant contributors to the teams success. In the bowling stocks for both teams WD will look to Nick Incerti and Jack Quenby whereas Bentley will rely on Rodney Duncan and Les Saxon to combine to control the Wembley’s batmen. Not much splitting these two teams so for me it’s a toss of the coin perhaps. Heads- Wembley- Tails- Bentley.- heads it is....
OD 3 GRADE- South Perth CC v Whitfords CC- George Burdette Park (Synthetic)
The top two teams cleared out from the rest of the competition this season with South Perth stamping their authority early and continuing the solid form all the way through to finish with the minor premiership. Whitfords finished the season with an even par 8 wins 8 losses but still would consider themselves an outside chance at knocking off the top dog. Dean Jones (WHO.????) not the real one but a proud local product of South Perth has been in solid form with the bat and will be a key in building a foundation or a run chase if required. Whitfords will look to Nathan Alder who has also been solid throughout the home and away season to step up on the big stage. Key bowlers for both sides with be South Perth’s Brodie Taylor and Jason Cook- who have both been in outstanding form and Whitfords will turn to Thomas Cannon and Nathan Alder again to perform.
In what looks to be close contest- the home side in front of a huge crowd to take the chocolates this time.
TIP- SOUTH PERTH
OD 3 GRADE- Western Suburbs CC v Balcatta CC- Dave Cruickshank Reserve (Syn)
Western Suburbs will go into this match with the confidence that they are potentially the second best performed team in this grade so far this season. Balcatta will taking into the semi-final the fact that the season presents an opportunity to gain one up on WS as the ledger is 1 win each this season. Key players to watch in this knock-out semi final are Brodie Sherring and Nicholas Bell-Ward for the Western Suburbs team and Balcatta’s father/son combination of legend Troy Rudrum and Jamie- both in great form. The crucial bowlers to look out for are WS Tim Belby and again Nicholas Bell- Ward and for the ‘cattas’ Chris Wallace and Jamie Rudrum. For me a strong family blood combination is good enough to tip them.