Wimmera-Mallee A Grade mid-season review

AS Wimmera-Mallee Cricket Association A Grade teams prepare to pad up for the first game of 2014 tomorrow, Wimmera Mail-Times sports journalist NICK DUXSON takes a look at the 2013-14 season so far and each team's progress.

St Mary's

Position: First

Stats: Six wins, no losses, 36 points

The St Mary's bowling attack has been on fire in the first half of the season, claiming 58 of 60 available wickets.

The Saints, who are undefeated after six games, bowled out Jeffcott and Charlton for less than 60 runs.

Thirteen bowlers have made contributions, with Justin Knorpp and Ryan McKenzie leading the way with 15 and 10 wickets respectively.

With the bat, Nicholas Germano and Paul Rowe have both scored half-centuries.

Run home: St Arnaud, Brim-Kellalac-Sheep Hills, Marnoo, Jeffcott and Charlton.

Brim-Kellalac-Sheep Hills

Position: Second

Stats: Five wins, one loss, 30 points

despite a first-round loss to the ladder leader, Brim-Kellalac-Sheep Hills has had a near perfect start to the season as it looks to taste finals action for the first time in four years.

Christopher McPherson has been one of the side's stars, claiming 18 wickets in six matches, including best figures of 6-12 as the Eagles tore through Marnoo for just 38 runs.

He has also scored two half-centuries in his 134 runs, while opening batsman Cameron Rattray's 171 runs at an average of 42.75 have been pivotal.

Run home: Charlton, St Mary's, Wycheproof-Narraport, Marnoo and Jeffcott.

St Arnaud

Position: Third

Stats: Four wins, two losses,

24 points

With four wins, St Arnaud is keeping pace with the top two teams despite losses to Donald and Brim in the lead-up to Christmas.

The team's batting power clicked against Jeffcott in round two, with middle-order batsman Bruce Hando scoring 107 runs in the team's 5-293.

Hando has been the pick of the batsmen, scoring 221 runs in six innings, and he is also St Arnaud's equal leading wicket-taker with 10 alongside skipper Jacob Patching.

Run home: St Mary's, Marnoo, Jeffcott, Charlton and Wycheproof-Narraport.

Donald

Position: Fourth

Stats: Three wins, three losses,

18 points

Donald has been hit and miss in the first half of the season, securing an important win against St Arnaud but suffering a big defeat to Charlton.

Andrew Bayles has been the team's star performer his five innings has consisted of three half-centuries and 230 runs in total.

Wimmera Mallee under-17 representative Eddie Landwehr has impressed with both the bat and ball, compiling 118 runs and collecting six wickets.

Run home: Marnoo, Jeffcott, Charlton, Wycheproof-Narraport and Marnoo.

Marnoo

Position: Fifth

Stats: Two wins, four losses,

12 points

It HAS been a challenging start to the 2013-14 season for Marnoo, and despite conceding four defeats, they sit just a game outside the top four.

The side scored back-to-back wins against Jeffcott and Charlton in rounds four and five after being bundled out in round three for just 38 runs by Brim.

The shining light has been young keeper-batsman Brylie Cameron, who scored 109 runs in his first five matches.

Robert McAllister has been the pick of the bowlers with 14 wickets, which included a five-wicket haul.

Run home: Donald, St Arnaud, St Mary's, Brim-Kellalac-Sheep Hills and Donald.

Charlton

Position: Sixth

Stats: Two wins, four losses,

12 points

After winning its first two games, Charlton has suffered four consecutive defeats, including big losses to Jeffcott and St Mary's.

Brett Schofield has been the Blues' main contributor with the bat and his 140 runs puts him 55 above his team-mates.

The wickets have been shared, with Nicholas McCallum and Luke Sarre tallying seven apiece.

Run home: Brim-Kellalac-Sheep Hills, Wycheproof-Narraport, Donald, St Arnaud and St Mary's.

Jeffcott

Position: Seventh

Stats: One win, five losses,

six points

It HAS been a tough season on the field for Jeffcott, but a win against Charlton before the Christmas break will have the side in better spirits heading into 2014.

Top-order batsman James Heslop, who top-scored with 41 runs in that match, is leading Jeffcott's run tally with 103 runs.

With 11 wickets, Daniel Atkins has started the season well with the ball.

Run home: Wycheproof-Narraport, Donald, St Arnaud, St Mary's and Brim-Kellalac-Sheep Hills.

Wycheproof-Narraport

Position: Eighth

Stats: One win, five losses,

six points

IN A similar position to Jeffcott, Wycheproof-Narraport lost its first five games before recording a win against Marnoo just before Christmas.

Demons skipper Dale Crawford has led his side from the front with both the bat and ball.

In his first five matches, the all-rounder scored 154 runs at an average of 30.8, and he leads the Demons' wicket-tally with eight.

Run home: Jeffcott, Charlton, Brim-Kellalac-Sheep-Hills, Donald and St Arnaud.

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