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South West Cricket Preview

South West Cricket Preview

Our Full Preview Of Each Team Ahead Of The South West Cricket Season

We're finally going to see some local sport this weekend, with South West Cricket kicking off on Saturday - read our full season preview below before the weekend, as we look forward to what's set to be an incredibly close, exciting and very different summer of cricket.

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POMBORNEIT

The key for the reigning premiers if they're to successfully defend their title, is to fill the void left by departing star opening bowler Clinton Place.

Pomborneit Captain Grant Place says he will looking to some younger bowlers to fill the void for the two-time champions, who'll be looking to pull off the hat trick.

"We're gonna have to find another ten overs, there's gonna have to some younger guys who'll have to chip in here and there, but finding that extra bowler this year is probably our biggest challenge," Place said.

Thankfully circumstances have meant Pombo will keep a hold of its imports, while some younger players who missed out on making the 11 on grand final day will relish the opportunity to contribute to an always competitive lineup.

The Bulls won't be short of challenger's this season, in what is anticipated to be an incredibly competitive summer, with Mortlake always a tough team to beat, Noorat also come close to beating the champs in last years semi-final.

Expect Pomborneit to be incredibly strong again, but the loss of Clinton Place has depleted their bowling stocks - a top two finish is very achievable but will other sides around them set to improve, it'll certainly be no runaway for Pombo.

ROUND ONE: v Bookaar - Pomborneit Rec. Reserve

PREDICTED FINISH: 2nd

==

MORTLAKE

Similar to Pomborneit, Mortlake have lost a key player in Tyler Schafer who's jumped ship to play in Warrnambool for Russell's Creek.

Schafer scored a mountain of runs for the Cats last season, leading them as captain to a semi-final appearance where they were bundled out after a shock loss to up-and-comers Camperdown.

Mortlake's captain Todd Robertson is confident his side will improve on its early exit last season to be incredibly competitive once again.

"We set pretty high standards when it comes to training and performance wise so obviously our number one goal is to play off in a grand final," he said.

The acquisition of young gun Isaac Wareham who's committed full-time to Mortlake this season will ensure the club remains competitive.

"He's taken on the vice-captaincy role this year, so with a bit of leadership responsibility, I'm really looking forward to Isaac and what he can bring to the club this year," Robertson said.

Mortlake seem to be the team to beat this season, despite losing a key player, this side will have the fire in their belly to put a disappointing finals campaign behind them and take the title this summer.

ROUND ONE: v Cobden - D.C. Farran Oval

PREDICTED FINISH: 1st

==

CAMPERDOWN

The challenge is there for Camperdown to back up an amazing campaign last season.

The Lakers proved how talented they can be by making the grand final last summer and going down valiantly to a more experienced Pomborneit side.

Camperdown will lose opening batsman Jye McLaughlin who was solid at number one for the side last season, as well as all-rounder Jordan Riches.

"I think it is gonna be a tough season, it's more or less backing ourselves up from last year, and showing we can actually keep up where we are," newly captain Simon Richardson says.

Richardson has flagged the likes of youngsters Ethan Coates and Harry Sumner as players to watch this season, if the runners up are to prove the doubters wrong again.

With a lot of sides around them looking to improve, it seems it'll be a tough ask the Lakers to make finals again.

ROUND ONE: Camperdown will have the bye (Round Two v. Cobden)

PREDICTED FINISH: 6th

==

NOORAT

After being knocked out by Mortlake in a close semi-final last season, Noorat skipper Steve O'Connor says early wins are going to be critical for his side, in what he expects to be a close season

O'Connor expects star batsmen Jacob Fishwick to make an impact this season, after averaging over 60 with the bat last season helping the side to a close semi-finals exit.

"If we can get a decent season in I'm looking forward to seeing him (Fishwick) get going," O'Connor said.

While Fishwick looks like being the barometer for Noorat, expect their young players to step up and contribute to this summer.

"There's a few young kids, Isaac Kenna, Jimmy Moloney and another Kenna boy Daniel who looks like he's improved a fair bit over the off-season, so those younger kids coming through will be critical to us," O'Connor said.

Noorat will prove a tough team to beat this season, expect them to put up a good fight and really challenge the powerhouses of Pomborneit and Mortlake, a grand final appearance is not off the cards for this strong side.

ROUND ONE: v Simpson - Noorat Rec. Reserve

PREDICTED FINISH: 3rd

==

BOOKAAR

Bookaar Cricket Club will be hopeful it return to finals this season after a disappointing finish to last season.

The Pelicans looked solid all summer, remaining in the top four hunt, but a couple of crucial matches dropped towards the back end, meant Bookaar finished a spot outside the top four.

Captain Tim Fitzgerald says he's excited to see what the Pelican's young players can produce this summer.

"We've got a good young three or four kids there who are gonna be fighting for spots in the Division One side," he said.

"It's gonna be an exciting year for them and hopefully they take the next step up."

Bookaar are always a solid side, and without much personnel change, the players will feel last season was a missed opportunity for them, expect them to return to finals action this season, the first matchup against the reigning premiers will give us a good idea as to whether the Pelicans are up to the challenge.

ROUND ONE: v Pomborneit - Pomborneit Rec. Reserve

PREDICTED FINISH: 4th

==

TERANG

Terang Captain-Coach Sam Munroe says the club will be looking towards its youth to improve the side who missed finals last season, sighting consistency as a key to more success.

Munroe says he hopes his young side can be competitive and build some early confidence.

"We'd just hope to take a few scalps here and there, we knocked off Bookar and stopped their finals chance," he said.

"We've been in the hunt most games but just lacked a little bit of maturity, some experience and a bit of fortune as well but I think in cricket you make your own fortune."

Terang's youth and confidence will hold the club in good stead to pull off a few upsets this season, but the side look like they'll need a few more seasons under its belt before it becomes truly competitive.

In saying this if there's going to be a surprise package this season, it won't be surprising to see the Goats bat above their average.

ROUND ONE: v Heytesbury Rebels - Timboon Rec. Reserve

PREDICTED FINISH: 7th

==

COBDEN

Cobden Cricket Club captain Jono Benallack says he hopes his side can come out on top in the closer contests, after some unlucky results went against the club last season

Benallack says he's hopeful his young side push for finals and step up in the absence of off-season departure Angus Uwland.

"It's exciting to see the likes of Matt Clarke get a good opportunity, with Angus leaving he'll open the bowling for us," Bennallack said.

"Probably the aim this year is to try and win the closer games and that'll give us a better shot of being there at the end I guess," he said.

Cobden perhaps have some of the best young players in the comp and the side isn't short on confidence.

The loss of Uwland who has departed to Warrion is a big one and it might take some time for Cobden to adjust to losing their star opening bowler and have a very tough start to the season, playing three of last seasons finalists in their first four games.

ROUND ONE: v Mortlake - D.C. Farran Oval

PREDICTED FINISH: 8th

==

SIMPSON

Simpson are looking ahead to its second season in the top tire of the association after making a move to division one last summer.

The Tigers found the the rise up the ranks tough, finishing the season with just the one victory against a struggling Heytesbury Rebels side.

The inexperienced side will have their work cut our for them this season as well, with improvement predicted across the board.

Captain Brad Salmon and star all-rounder Nick Harding will be crucial for Simpson if they are to improve on last season, expect a more competitive outfit this summer, but another season in the highest division will be needed before the side can reach its full potential.

ROUND ONE: v Noorat - Noorat Recreation Reserve

PREDICTED FINISH: 9th

==

HEYTESBURY REBELS

Heytesbury Rebels have a lot to prove after a winless campaign last season, this side has been historically strong and with a raft of players coming back into the side, expect the Rebels to be the most improved team this season.

Captain Simon Harkness says early form will give his side a good idea of whether it will improve on its winless season last summer, saying returning to finals is the goal for this team.

"There's a bit to play out before then so for us the challenge is before Christmas it always is, we don't ever have a full list before then because of harvest," he said.

"So if we can get off to a good start I think we'll be pretty right to make finals but I think just looking at the talent we've got we should be really competitive."

Harkness says his side will find it tough to find its way into the top four this season, but remains confident they'll improve.

"It's gonna be tough to squeeze into that top four, it could come down to a game or two, the little things really will add up this year," he said.

The Rebels are the hardest side to get a read on this season, early wins will be critical.

PREDICTED FINISH: 5th

ROUND ONE: v Terang - Timboon Rec. Reserve

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