By TYRON BRAMWELL
AFTER what seemed the longest ever pre-season, Round 1 was called off due to unplayable conditions.
All Traralgon and District Cricket Association clubs were very keen to get back out and play on Saturday, but will have to wait another week to get the season underway.
Imperials vs Rovers
IMPERIALS, still hurting from last season’s outright loss against Rovers, will be seeking revenge in Round 2 action.
Rovers, being a young side for the last three seasons, have had enough time to bond and form a mature, high-quality cricket team.
Rovers will be one to watch out for this season under the captaincy of Dougal Williams and newly appointed coach Col Scammell.
The raw pace of Kayleb Pearce and the quality line and length bowling from Ewan Williams and Jack ‘the finisher’ Lynch could cause trouble for the Imperials top order, the likes of Ryan Morley, David Pryde and Dean Jones.
Imperials have lost quite a few players from their A Grade team from last season so this will now give plenty of opportunity to some younger players to have a good run of batting in A Grade, as well as giving Pryde the chance to show what type of batter he can really be, following last season where he was in and out of the side.
It will also give young players like Ryan Bosh and Josh Twite the opportunity with the ball to get some wickets and get their name out there in the TDCA as bowlers to watch out for.
Rovers will come out firing and look to keep their winning streak alive against Imperials, but with wet weather again forecast there could be a few interesting twists to this match
Prediction: Even though Imperials have the home ground advantage, Rovers will prove too strong for them, and keep their winning streak alive.
Glengarry vs Ex Students
LAST season’s grand final rematch is set to be a ripper.
Both clubs will be looking to get their first win under their belt for the season, and considering it’s a grand final rematch this could have huge ramifications for the rest of the season whichever way this game sways.
Ex Students, having lost gun batsman Jordan Gilmore, will leave big shoes to fill for the Ex Students top order who move into the position.
Glengarry, who appear stronger than last season with the addition of Nick Grainger, will look to keep their momentum from the last outing with Nat Freitag leading them from the front.
The three Marks brothers will look to hold the Glengarry top order strong, and post enough runs for Cam Graham and Freitag to skittle the likes of Ex Students captain Lee Stockdale.
Prediction: Ex Students will get over the line and defeat the reigning premiers.
Toongabbie vs Gormandale
AFTER last weekend’s wash out, Chris Lehner will hopefully play his 200th A Grade match, alongside returning TDCA gun
batsman Kent Hammond, who has come out of retirement.
Lehner has been incredible for Gormandale over the years, as one of the best wicketkeeper-batsman to not only play for Gormandale, but to play in the TDCA.
Gormandale will rely on the likes of Matthew Hibbs, James Jacobsen, Hammond, Dylan Freitag and Lehner to post a decent score, and with a very potent bowling line-up should make it difficult for Toongabbie to chase down.
But making a big score won’t be done easy, as Keenan Hughes returns back from a stint in Western Australia and has been bowling rockets in the lead up to the season.
Toongabbie’s batting will be reliant on Rob Wheildon and Zac Russell to make a bulk of the runs but with ever dependable contributors such as Jason Veneman, Shippen and James Chalmers, Gormandale’s bowlers will need to be on song to make sure none of the Rams get on top.
Prediction: Toongabbie may have the home ground advantage, but Gormandale will prove too strong, as they rise to the occasion to make Lehner’s 200th one for the ages.
Yarram and District has the bye.