Rams the team to beat as new season begins



After a successful City versus Country match last weekend where the association’s best players had a chance to get together and have a friendly hit, the TDCA now moves into the serious stuff as round one approaches on Saturday.

EX STUDENTS (Last season: runners-up).

In: Matt Dyke, Michael Warne.

Out: Joe Baker (UK).

Last season’s runner-up have a fierce focus for redemption this season.

Lee Stockdale again will lead the way with both bat and ball and the usual suspects in Jordy Gilmore, Jackson McMahon and Rick Battista will again provide great support in the top order for Ex Students.

Adding a gun in the form of Matt Dyke adds brilliant depth to the already strong batting list making it almost unfair on opposition bowling attacks.

The return of Michael Warne from retirement is also a huge plus for the Sharks, who now boast a superstar spin trio capable of ripping apart any team.

PREDICTION: Fired up and out for revenge Ex Students go into the 2019/20 season as raging premiership favourites and will no doubt feature in the last game of the year again.

GLENGARRY (Last season: 5th).

In: Al Jenkin (captain), Ruchira Perera (Sri Lanka), Iraan Indika (Sri Lanka), Hamish Busk.

Out: Sam Fox (UK).

Glengarry certainly look like the big improvers this season welcoming back Al Jenkin for a full campaign.

Sam Marks coming back from injury last season will also be huge while the Sri Lankans are class and have the whole league talking.

Frank Marks will no doubt be looking to mirror last season’s efforts.

Cam Graham is hitting his lengths early.

If they make the grand final expect to see the whole of Sri Lanka tuning in to watch the TDCA grand final live stream with former international Ruchira Perera featuring heavily.

Could he call in a favour or two and get a few one-off games from some of the more famous Sri Lankan cricketers during the season.

PREDICTION: Will slot up to third and challenge hard for the flag.

GORMANDALE (Last season: 3rd).

In: Jamie King (Scot).

Out: Adrian Burgiel, Matt Dowsett, Bodie Walker, Connor Little.

Despite losing some absolute superstar cricketers over the winter Gormandale are still shaping up nicely.

Jamie King is already making waves around the TDCA with his fast and aggressive bowling style and he is guaranteed to ruffle a few feathers.

New captain Chris Lehner will need to make the bulk of the runs but Matt Hibbs, Jeff Daniel and Shaun Barbour should never be underestimated as they are all capable of getting big scores.

Travis Switzer returning for a majority of the season will be very helpful for the Tigers’ chances with both bat, ball and leadership qualities as well.

PREDICTION: Hard to pick but shaping up to finish 4th and feature in the finals again.

IMPERIALS (Last season: 4th).

In: Ryan Foulkes, David Pryde, Nick Smith (UK).

Out: Tom Watson (UK), Danny Revis (UK), Nick Bulcock (UK).

Always the bridesmaid, Imperials can’t seem to make the next jump into where they need to be.

Brett Chapman returns as captain this year and has a bit of pressure on him as outgoing skipper Scott Aitken took Imperials to a semi-final last season.

Chapman and Ryan Morley are both hitting it sweetly at the moment and with the new firepower of Nick Smith coming in the Imps top order looks solid although it drops away pretty quickly.

For Imps to feature again in the finals players such as Ross Williams, Scott Aitken, Nat Campbell and new recruit David Pryde need to all find another 100 runs on top of last season’s totals which should be easier to do this year with bowler-friendly Catterick Crescent not available for play.

Ryan Foulkes will add good pace and something new into an already star studded bowling attack featuring Joel Randall.

PREDICTION: Playing away all season will take its toll and Imps will narrowly miss finals.

ROVERS (Last season: 6th).

In: Connor Little, Tom Orpe (UK).

Out: none.

Rovers will be aiming for a few more wins than last season.

Tom Orpe from the UK looks seriously good and on the batsman friendly Duncan Cameron Park wicket he could easily break the record for most runs from an international player in the TDCA this season.

The issue for Rovers will be the lack of an experienced bowler to stop teams being able to get on top and dominate their bowlers who are still learning their craft.

With Orpe in the team it will now allow the likes of Dougal and Ewan Williams, new recruit Connor Little and the hard hitting Hayden Willaton the chance to bat with a little less pressure which can only be a good thing.

Rovers will be hoping that last season’s rising star Jack Lynch is up to the challenge.

PREDICTION: Finals are just out of reach at this stage, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them win 3-5 games.

TOONGABBIE (Last season: premiers).

In: Anthony Scott, Daniel Lang, James Chalmers.

Out: Ben Gibbon (UK), Sam Ellis (UK).

Last season’s premiers are looking very good for this season and it wouldn’t be a surprise if they went back to back.

Losing Ellis and Gibbon are big outs but being able to secure Ant Scott and Daniel Lang, who is expected to land about Christmas, means that Toongabbie have maintained their list, if not improved it.

All-rounder James Chalmers returning from England is also a huge signing for the Rams.

Kevin Stoddart is the player to watch this year as his pre-season form has been amazing.

Inspired by England spinner Jack Leach, Kevin went and got his eyes checked and is now seeing the ball as clear as day compared to the blurry shapes he had to contend with for the last few seasons.

With the ball a full season from Keenan Hughes will do wonders, with the star quick sending it down very quickly at the moment.

PREDICTION: Will make Roger Ries Oval their fortress and could easily go back-to-back premiers.