Still yet to click as a whole club on the one weekend, the Students will be keen to make it happen this Saturday against a typically strong Essendon. The last two Club Champions are both strong throughout the grades, meaning there will likely be plenty of high quality cricket played in Melbourne’s inner North West in Round 3.
Unchanged and with winning form, the First XI will be out to build on the momentum they found last weekend, as the play at home against the Bombers. While Essendon have not lost more than two wickets in an innings thus far in season 20/21, Uni will be confident that their all-star attack will be able to penetrate what is certainly a strong top order. Moreover, the Students are building a reputation as hard to beat when playing at the ‘Library.’
While the top and middle order have all looked good at different stages this season, there is some serious hunger for a couple to get in and make a big score. On what will be a lovely day for cricket, could Round 3 be the chance for the first Student to reach ‘trip diz?
Player to watch: Liam Scammell
While Mark Stafford is Uni’s resident real estate agent, Liam Scammell is hot on his heels when it comes to turning a profit through property. After a successful acquisition during the week, our ‘humpy horse’ now officially owns half of Albury, and will enter the weekend’s clash with a real spring in his step and wobble in his shoulder. With his hard-hitting power and ability to move the ball through the air, Scam has the potential to break this one apart.
*STOP THE PRESSES – MCLAUGHLAN RETURNS*
Finally, after suffering an injury at training on the Thursday before Round 1, John McLaughlan will make his first appearance for the season. The off-spinner will add some invaluable experience and cricketing nous to a youthful Second XI, and with the ball he will prove a real challenge for Essendon’s batting line-up. Great work, Dawyne on sticking fat and getting back into it, we can’t wait to see you get amongst it again.
Though they are yet to record a win for the season, the Second XI have not been far away, and under the leadership of Daniel Hutton, look out for them to explode on to the winners’ list in a big way. James Browning may also find an extra couple of km’s with the ball, bowling at the spiritual home of his beloved Essendon Football Club, don’t be surprised if the fearsome left-armer really turns the dial on the weekend.
Player to watch: Elliott Durrant
Kevin is a certified star. More than that, he will arrive at Windy Hill with happy memories of the last time he was there – with a Premiership medal around his neck in the Third XI. The ever-stylish opener understands his game exceptionally well, and should he get to 10, you can just about put another 0 on the end of it. Safe hands in the cordon and a handy spinner to boot, KD is a complete player.
Hen’s teeth, blue moons, Savill and Skinner both playing on the same weekend. It’s a special day when the best in the business lead the Third XI, and while they are both all-time good guys, their inclusions will bolster a Third XI who will be keen to bounce back after a tough outing against Footscray.
Dominant in Round 1 and comfortably beaten last weekend, the Third XI will be looking to find a happy, winning medium as they settle into their work in the lead up to Christmas. One of the flattest wickets in the Third XI, PP3 can be lovely place to bat, and should a few of the top order get themselves set, the Students will be keen to post a big score in favourable batting conditions.
Player to watch: Jeremy Peacock
Jeremy is quickly establishing himself as one of the most valuable bowlers in the Third XI. Incredibly economical last week, Jez is not far away from breaking a game apart with the ball. Moreover, an expert in rolling out flat wickets, he enjoys batting on a good pitch, too. So should he get the opportunity, he is a big chance to send a few to the rope batting in the middle order.
Youthful and full of talent, the Fourth XI will head to Cross Keys Reserve for their Round 3 clash against the Bombers. With club coach, Antony Keely donning the captain’s armband once again, he will be out to build on his promising 25* from last week, his “annual hundred” perhaps just around the corner.
A promising first two weeks of the season, the Fourth XI are building nicely and another couple of wins headed into the break would see them well-placed at pudding time (That’s Christmas, for those playing at home). As predicted, Raf Epstein was the star of the show last week, and he will be looking to lead the middle order against the Bombers.
Player to watch: Khush Talati
Despite suffering a break to his glasses on Tuesday night, Khush remains full of life, and my word he can hit a length. If he can find his rhythm on the weekend, he will pose a real challenge to the Essendon top order, and he will not hesitate to provide some feedback, either. Bonus.