With lockdown over, it is instead time for Uni to lock in and take the points off the Pies.
Stop start from the first, season 20/21 took another detour last week, as the Students found themselves back on Strava – recording runs, rides and trips to the fridge – for the first time since October.
Circuit broken, cricket will return tomorrow…
Playing at the spiritual home of the ‘Emu Farm’ – Camberwell Sports Ground, the First XI will be looking to knock the Inner-East Magpies from their perch on Saturday, as the Students move to get back on the winners’ list.
With a pile of runs behind him this season that grows like compound interest every innings, Harrison Emms has been selected for his first game in the First XI for the year. Just reward for a wealth of hard work and the scores to match, Emmsy will open the batting, keen to ‘withdraw’ yet another big score. Sorry, this poor Arts student is officially out of finance gags, but go well, Larry. Joining Harrison back in the team, Steven Reid will take the morning off saving lives, preferring to hit stumps and shins instead. Not having played in more than a month, I pity the first Magpie that finds itself between ‘Dos and a wicket tomorrow.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jarrod Martignago
Jarrod has a great deal going for him at the moment. Not only are his Utah Jazz clear favourites in the NBA, MUCC’s resident Serbian also has a new puppy. Little Boxer, Reggie will keep Jazz on his toes – incidentally a good position to be in order to play his famed cut shot. The stars are aligning.
Back at the Main for the first time in a while, the Second XI will play for the Daniel Hutton cup against Camberwell on the weekend. Having represented the Pies in the past, Diesel traded Juventino’s for the Clyde a long time ago and will be keen to lead his side back towards the top four on the weekend. Welcoming back Lucien Bienvenu, Jacob Stevenson, Doug Warren and Andrew Young, the Second XI will be covered in the French, medical, and hard-rubbish collection departmnets; success is almost assured.
It shapes as an important contest for Uni, who currently sit five points outside the top-four. A strong showing against Camberwell will give them the best chance to launch coming into the back end of the season.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jacob Stevenson – The Australiana Special
“I came back to Melbourne and I flashed my inswinger at her” A modern take on an Australian classic, Jacob Stevenson has been back in Wangaratta of late, and while the residents of northeast Victoria might feel safer when he’s there, the Students rejoice when he’s in metro Melbs. Look out for the inswinger, Pies.
“Double, double toil and trouble;
Outswinger EDGE and Stock pot bubble.”
After an impressive start to the season, Tama ‘Stock Pot’ Stockley will return to the Third XI side this weekend as they take on Camberwell at Watson Park. Joining him, Ben Rolfs will also return from a finger injury, to play as a batsman. With a brand new and already re-stickered bat, Rolfs cricket Nuff-O-Meter is already off the charts in 2021.
Currently a couple of games outside the top-eight, the Students will be keen to gather some momentum against Camberwell on the weekend, as they look to mount a finals tilt.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Raf Epstein
Having clocked up 50 games for Uni, Raf continues to do it his own way. Proudly wearing his sweat band on the ‘wrong’ (personal preference is entirely subjective and therefore can it ever be ‘wrong’?) arm, Raf continues to churn out runs as a Student. Moreover, a tennis aficionado, Epstein thrives in Australian Open fortnight.
Whichever way you want to look at it, the Fourth XI have an incredibly exciting day ahead of them. Head coach and new father, Antony Keely will skipper the side; and his parental instincts may kick in, as he leads a youthful XI. Khush Talati returns after an extended absence due to medical reasons and we can’t wait to see him stand the seam up at PP3.
Keen to regain some winning form after a string of tough losses, the Fourth XI could well kick start a big run towards the finals on the weekend.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Ram Nayak
Boasting profound intimidation factor, Ram has become something of something of an X-factor since joining the club. Also famous for donning the playing kit of his net victims (he debuted in McNeil’s pants), Ram shows no mercy with the ball, and will certainly bring the heat on the weekend.