By Georgina Pembroke.
The re-commencement of the Sheffield Shield this weekend has limited SUCC of some key players, but this round will instead give SUCC's depth a keen test.
There are some big changes to the sides ahead of SUCC's clash with St George in Round 12 of the Sydney Grade Cricket Competition this Saturday February 7 and Saturday February 14.
Milestone reaching batsman, Greg Mail will captain first grade in their contest against the 13th placed St George; a team boasting former Australian Test bowler, Trent Copeland. Mail will be joined by the likes of NSW representatives Will Somerville and Tim Ley, as well as Liam Robertson, Mark Faraday, Jonte Pattison and Ben Joy.
The inclusion of off-spinner Somerville will be a welcome boost. Somerville dominated the bowling, building considerable pressure, to take nine wickets in NSW Second XI's crushing 8-wicket win over the Victorian Second XI in Melbourne this week.
A handful of experienced grade players will also step up to the mark and ply their trade in first grade. Openers Will Hay and David Miller, Adam Theobald, who scored 63 last weekend, and youngster Ben Trevor-Jones, who will take to the gloves. Fast bowler Nigel Cowell has also been included should he recover from injury in time.
Mail, and coach Gary Whitaker, have named a very good line up for this match and there will be lots of anticipation to see what this team can do in this 2-day match.
This showdown between two powerhouses of SCG has the holders of the previous seven Belvidere Cups up against each other, with St George having claimed four 1st grade premierships and SUCC three since the 2007/08 season.
First grade are currently ranked ninth on the ladder with 30 points and have three places to climb to reach the top six. Needless to say the boys will be chasing a comprehensive win to bring them one step closer to a finals berth! Manly-Warringah sit on top of the table with 56 points, with Bankstown (52 points) second and Mosman (42 points) third.
Second Grade continue to lead the Abert Cup with unchallenged superiority 10 points ahead of the rest of the pack. This team is in ‘tip-top’ condition and a few alterations to their line-up should cause little trouble as they take on their equivalent (ranked sixth) at Hurstville Oval.
Third grade, currently in eighth place with 36 points, will wear their hearts on their sleeves as they face the seventh placed St George (37 points) in what will be a tight contest at Allan Davidson Oval. Both teams will be competitive and pushing to eclipse one another to make the top six.
Fourth grade is well in the mix firmly well entrenched in second place with 48 points. We can expect a hard fought match from them in their clash against St George (seventh place with 37 points) at Harold Fraser Reserve.
Fifth grade are currently ranked fifth on their ladder with 38 points and are being closely followed by St George who are in eighth place with 36 points. Endowed with a home game, they will be looking to keep their finals hopes alive with a satisfying victory.
Meanwhile in the Triforce Sports Metropolitan Cup, Sydney University come up against ladder leaders Penrith in what is bound to be a cracking top-of-the-table match. Sydney University is comfortably placed in second place behind Penrith and both teams have shown fantastic form this season.
SUCC are running off a clean sweep from last weekend and hopes are high for all SUCC grades to prove themselves finals worthy as the business end of the season approaches.
Selected Team To Play St George in Round 12 of the McDonald's Sydney First Grade Competition
Greg Mail (c)
Jonte R Pattison
Ben Joy / Nigel Cowell
Ben Trevor-Jones (wk)