POWERHOUSE Wendouree sits atop the Ballarat Cricket Association club championship standings after round four.
The Red Caps (268) are a massive 90 points clear of their nearest rivals Mt Clear (178), with Golden Point (172) currently in third. Club championship points are allocated on results across all senior grades, with points weighted from firsts down to fourths.
First eleven points are multiplied by five, seconds by three, thirds by two and fourths by one.
Wendouree 268, Mt Clear 178, Golden Point 172, North Ballarat 164, Ballarat-Redan 146, Brown Hill 132, East Ballarat 114, Darley 102, Napoleons-Sebastopol 60, Coronet City 48.
Senior squad talks
PRELIMINARY discussions for Ballarat’s senior representative squad have taken place ahead of the upcoming Kenmac Shield opener against Gisborne next month.
“We had an initial selection meeting and drafted out a rough squad and then we are going to get together after this weekend’s game and a pick a team for the Gisborne match and also pick a country week squad of 20-25 players,” selector Heath Pyke told The Courier yesterday.
Pyke will team with Mt Clear’s Matt Goonan and umpire Neil Lee to form the selection committee. Ballarat will meet Gisborne in Bacchus Marsh on December 16 before hosting Maryborough on January 13 next year.
This will be followed by the annual clash with Bendigo on February 3, and then Melbourne Country Week between February 18-22.
WENDOUREE V BALLARAT-REDAN at Wendouree (two-day match)
Last time they met: Ballarat-Redan 191 lost to Wendouree 5-420
The important Tim Beacham and Liam Brady have been forced to work their way back into the first eleven through the twos this weekend. Beacham and Brady both missed last round, but have failed to regain their place for the clash with the Combine. One player that does return, however, is quick Eamon Johnson. After completing district cricket duties with North Melbourne, Johnson replaces Brandon Weatherson in the side.
Opening bowler Simon Allan will miss the crunch clash with Wendouree. Allan is unavailable for the round five encounter, but his absence is somewhat timely after tweaking a groin in the win over Coronet City on Saturday.
He is replaced in the first eleven side by red-hot Justin Marson. Marson’s call-up follows a cracking start to the year, which has seen him take 16 wickets in the seconds.
He returns to the team after featuring in the firsts against North Ballarat in round three.
DARLEY V GOLDEN POINT at Darley
Last time they met: Golden Point 222 d Darley 99 and 4-95
Allan Steenholdt makes his return to Darley official this weekend. The experienced top-order batsman was granted clearance from Coronet City via appeal earlier this month and has been picked to play against Golden Point.
His inclusion is an important one for Darley, which has struggled in the early part of the season.
Second last on the ladder after the round four loss to Napoleons-Sebastopol means victory here is vital for the Lions.
Plain and simple, the batting department is letting the Pointies down.
A poor display with the willow cost captain Josh White and his men any chance of success against Mt Clear last round
“We’ve got to be more consistent with our batting. 105 is just not enough runs against a good side,” White said.
“We had them 6-110 just after they passed us and if you had 150 on the board we would be still in the game.”
NORTH ballarat V MT CLEAR at Northern Oval 2
Last time they met: Mt Clear 5-291 d North Ballarat 6-181
The Roosters will be desperate to bounce back from their loss to Brown Hill and make an impact against one of the competition yardsticks. And to do that, players outside of captain-coach Bobby Hind and veteran bat Scott Wright have to stand up. Hind and Wright have been vital in North Ballarat’s two victories this season, but more assistance is needed if the Roosters are to challenge the top teams.
Things are ticking along nicely for the Mounties in 2012-13. Undefeated and in second spot on the ladder behind Wendouree, captain Lincoln Blake and his charges are sitting pretty moving into round five. There is a significant out for the Mounties this weekend, however, with boom recruit Daniel Hopkinson to miss the game. The match was set to be Hopkinson’s showdown against his former club, where he is a premiership player and EJ Cleary Medal winner. Hopkinson will be replaced in the Mt Clear side by Grant Trevenen, who was unavailable last round.
NAPS-SEBAS V coronet city at Napoleons
Last time they met: Coronet City 167 lost to Napoleons-Sebastopol 183
Nathan Doonan’s good form has been rewarded with a return to the first eleven. The Naps-Sebas selectors have named him in the A-grade team for this weekend’s clash with Coronet City after making 98 in the seconds against Darley. Doonan will be keen to better his previous effort in the firsts this season following a duck against Golden Point in round three.
He comes in for Justin Ringin, who slides back to the twos.
It has been a tough few weeks for Coronet City.
After a couple of creditable performances against East Ballarat in round one and Golden Point in round two, City’s efforts against Mt Clear and Ballarat-Redan have been below par.
City was outrighted by the Mounties and then just avoided the same result against the Combine on the weekend.
Joint vice-captains Stuart Squire and Chris Kinna are back in, while Daniel Forbes has been promoted after a couple of scores in the twos.
East ballarat V Brown Hill at East Secondary College
Last time they met: Brown Hill 201 lost to East Ballarat 235
The Hawks let slip a golden opportunity to upset Wendouree last Saturday and now must refocus on the next task at hand.
An in-form Brown Hill line-up, which has just jumped into the top four, poses a big threat to the young East side.
Rob Ryan has been picked to play his first game of the year while Jeremy Collier returns to the senior line-up.
Weeks don’t get much more hectic for the boys at Brown Hill. By this Sunday evening, the Bulls will have played five days of cricket from the past nine.
The second day of play against North Ballarat last Saturday was followed by Twenty20 clashes on Tuesday and last night before this weekend’s Saturday/Sunday fixture.
Just one change will be made to the team that easily accounted for the Roosters last round, with the unavailable Tim Knowles replaced by left-hand top-order bat Nathan Northcott, who is promoted from the seconds.