“Are we doing this?” – Simon Mackin, often.
Gee I sure hope so, Kingo.
It threatened at lunchtime and has held off since. No, that’s not a reference to Beefy’s appetite as he adheres to a strict protein cookie diet, rather the rain that has been predicted for today. Dry at present, we might just be playing some cricket tomorrow…
Now stop counting your chickens before you cross the bridge, keep your eyes wide shut for another malaphor and let’s pump each other up a little bit.
FIRST XI (Uni Main, 11am)
Though he declined to comment, it is widely believed that Outkast has come around to the fact that there is in fact one thing that is cooler than being cool, and that is when there are TWO First XI debutants in the one match. Although both Max Hatzoglou and Blake Reed have both had a run around in the First XI in practice matches in various parts of the country this preseason, tomorrow will be their first for Premiership points. Congratulations to both, we can’t wait to see how you go in caps 979 and 980.
A touch further down the batting order (but don’t tell him that), Fawad is flat that the coach said he couldn’t play in a bucket hat on the weekend. Happily for the Students, Fuzzy turns his mood around by bowling wrong’uns and making batters look silly, so goodluck Bombers!
Buckets is looking bronzed, JP is bowling fast and Simon Mackin is energised simply from not having had to bowl on the Junction Oval during the week, so how’s that for a triple threat?
Truly, it’s a ridiculously good side, and between Stafford’s slicked salad and Croey’s centre part, it’s by no means a follically challenged XI, either.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Fergus McKenna
Last week the skipper whacked his own stumps
Tomorrow, he’ll toss the coin with the Umps
However it comes down, be it tails or heads
McKenna will spend little time in the sheds
For he’ll be out batting, spending time in the sun
How many will he score? Most likely a ton!
SECOND XI (Windy Hill, 11am)
How quintessentially Australian. Jack ‘Floz’ Knightingale comes to Melbourne from Kent to play some cricket and we take him to a football ground for his first hit. In fairness, considering his penchant for the gym, Floz might feel right at home in the Windy Hill changerooms, as the Second XI look to get on the board under the leadership of James Bett.
Speaking of the changerooms, the expansive area will provide Harrison Emms with a great many places to hide an independent newspaper before play…
In any case, the Second XI will have an added spring in their step; Rolfsy set to bring his Pakistan Pepsi shirt – the second greatest sporting partnership between the Students and Sempre – Bettsy is sure to get some gag mileage from it.
With JB and TJ set to swing the cool mint at the top, the Students should have no trouble keeping up with the over-rate; a wealth of spinners to power through what Harsha Bhogle described as the “mutual ceasefire” overs 15 – 40. Keep an eye out for Singh, Rolfs, Bett and Barnes to “give it a rip, mate.”
PLAYER TO WATCH: Lucien Bienvenu
When he’s not managing the social committee, he’s sorting out Crown’s corporate partnerships with a VulnerabiliTEA TOTE bag effortlessly slung over his shoulder. You’d be forgiven, therefore, for thinking that Luc doesn’t have time to put bowling attacks to the sword. You’d also be wrong. Luc gives it a thump and after a preseason in the gym under the watchful eye of his brother, the Yakult Bowls Club could be in danger.
THIRD XI (PP3 11:30am)
The covers fixed in place by Lowery on Thursday evening (including honorary member Joel), a start is a certainty.
From there, the result might be as well considering the strength of the Third XI. Harry Thompson will make his MUCC debut (another quick and quirky leg-spinner? Oh, bugger) and if he troubles the Bombers half as much as he’s troubled his teammates in pre-season, then it could be a big bag first up.
Nick Ritchie will take a day off organsing the Australian Open to debut an illegal DSC bat. No, really it doesn’t fit through the gauge! In any case, Durrant and Barron-Toop will also reunite on Saturday, one can only wonder if it will be as eventful as their catch up in Berlin over the winter months!
Om Patel has added some extra pace to his each way swing, so that’s borderline unfair, while Hugo Bienvenu has added a new bat to his collection – here’s hoping it’s a touch worn by the end of Saturday.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Michael Forwood
His humour is dry and he is more than willing to give firm feedback. Already a potent combination, Forwood is a Geelong supporter, imbued with a bit of Selwood, so expect him to get the Third XI through any challenge on the weekend.
Three debutants headline the Fourth XI team sheet on the weekend, as they hope for a game at the low-lying Cross Keys Reserve.
Amongst the trio is another Hatzoglou, this time Leo. To celebrate, here is the Leo horoscope for tomorrow: Today you might be able to tune in to the thoughts and feelings of others, Leo, but you aren’t likely to know exactly how to handle the situation. This checks out.
Joining him, Harmes and McMannus will pull on the Baggy Black for the first time, best of luck to all three and go well!
Run Machine Raf Epstein has taken to recruitment for Hype DC of late. Still with plenty of time to Snapchat, he might have a bit less time tomorrow as he spends long periods in the middle. Similarly, Tom Uhr-Henry could trouble some unsuspecting Bombers the same way an “unexpected item” wreaks havoc in the bagging area during his shifts at Woolies.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Hayden Lim
Another impressive preseason, Limmy has also taken the chance to get a head start on Movember. Always a reliable contributor, look for Limmy to get in and go big this weekend, set to make a seamless transition from Winter cricket to the real stuff.
WOMEN’S XI (V Frankston @ Uni Main on Sunday)
Following a strong start to the season, the Students are sitting pretty in second spot on the table. Two wins (one through forfeit) and two washouts sees them behind only Holy Trinity as they prepare to play Frankston on Sunday afternoon.
A great chance to solidify a spot at the top-end of the ladder, fingers crossed the weather holds off for Cath Grant and her team to get amongst it once again on the weekend.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Jess Aquilina
Though she didn’t get much of a chance against Essendon a couple of weeks ago, Jess will be keen to get in and make it count this weekend, leading the Students to victory!
N.B It is now raining.