Towns favourite in Geraldton men’s cricket at halfway mark, Wanderers hard to beat in women’s

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
Jai Russell is one of Towns’ many strengths.
Camera IconJai Russell is one of Towns’ many strengths. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography/Supplied

It is halfway through the 2021-22 Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket Season and the unbeaten Towns are favourites.

Their attack, which has taken all 110 possible wickets, gives captain Sam Crouch quality options, especially with Ringo McKenna back.

Only Jai Russell and Brady Collins are among the competition’s best batters, but they have several players who make 20s or 30s which usually adds up to enough. Prediction: Premiers.

Sportsmans are last but, with a game in hand, are still in finals reckoning. They’re rebuilding with supervets Nic Rafanelli and Adriano Paradella needed to shore up what Riley Barham has to work with.

Clint Yeates is nearing 10,000 A-grade runs while Jarrod Jupp’s pace bowling has come along well. Prediction: Second.

Wanderers’ mostly young side has shone under 18-year-old Kade Gillingham. They have off days but will make the finals.

Jason Partington has led with the bat, Gus Heberle with the ball, Alex Solomon is increasingly worthy and no one ever discounts Shayne Bidwell. Prediction: Third.

The top three play finals and Bluff Point is third, but Jay O’Brien’s work means he will more often be out than in and he’s their best bat.

Aaron Thomas scored a dazzling ton against Sportsmans while Brett Marendaz keeps taking wickets. Prediction: fourth.

Chapman Valley-Northampton at their best are solid, but as always, battle to find a settled side.

They need Nigel Routledge, Hayden Dawson and Bobby Gibson to make more runs. Between them they have a top score of 35.

None of their bowlers feature in the averages — another issue for captain James Billing. Prediction: Fifth.

In the Young Motors Women’s Cricket League, Wanderers are a red-hot tip.

Sam Biddiscombe, Ashlyn Thompson and Olivia Bidwell have a combined 43 wickets at a crazy 4.60. An opposition batter might survive one or two of them but all three?

Bidwell and Biddiscombe have 318 and 236 runs respectively and Linda Rose is a fine leader. Prediction: Premiers.

Sportsmans have beaten Wanderers though in a 30-over game on turf, as opposed to the T20s on carpet the rest of the season will feature.

Sarah Prickett and captain Jo Walker are key players who love a challenge. Their bowling is better than their batting with Hayley Criddle, Tia Hatch and Walker capable. Prediction: Second.

CVN has played some good cricket under co-captains Kylie Bremner and Kate Clarkson who have also been their stars. Kim Mawer and Tarni Screaigh have also shone. Prediction: Third.

2020-21 premiers Towns have fallen hard, which is no surprise with Janelle Phillips missing the season with injury. But to her credit, Pam Micke has led a happy side.

Micke, Ruth Vorster, Dirranie Kirby and Shannon Stubbs have impressed while Anzel Van Niekirk is a quick learner. Prediction: Fourth.

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