Magpies look for even spread

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
All-rounder Ryan Gaerth will captain Denmark this season.
Camera IconAll-rounder Ryan Gaerth will captain Denmark this season. Credit: Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

New Denmark Cricket Club captain Ryan Gaerth believes a more even contribution will be the key to the Magpies climbing up the Albany Cricket Association A-grade ladder this season.

The Magpies lost a finals place from their grasp in the final round to Collingwood Park last season and, because of the closeness of the competition, dropped to sixth.

Their task of recapturing that form to be in finals contention again will be made harder without two of their key players from last season — English all-rounder Jujhar Johal and speedster Hayden Collard.

Replacing the output of Johal will be a challenge for the Magpies, with the young all-rounder enjoying a sparkling season which saw him finish runner-up in the ACA’s captains player of the year, while the enigmatic Collard spearheaded their pace attack.

Gaerth, who takes the captaincy reins from batsman Dan Robson, said it was crucial that his side find more regular run scorers.

“We will try and produce a consistent effort and share the load,” he said.

“JJ and Hayden as individuals did a fair bit with bat and ball in a lot of games so we will need everyone to play their part.”

Johal’s 454 runs as an opener will require the Magpies needing to find a new opening combination after the import partnered well with veteran Cary Green.

In his third season at the club, Gaerth said he was looking forward to the captaincy challenge.

“Quite a few of the older guys have done a lot for the club for a long period of time,” he said.

“Hopefully with Dan not having the captaincy we will get more out of him with the bat.”

The Magpies’ seam bowling stocks will be boosted by the return of medium pacer Brad Stewart, who has sat out the past two seasons with a knee injury, while Gaerth predicted youngsters Oliver Pluckhahn and Aden Montague to play more regular A-grade cricket after getting a taste last season.

No matches will be played at the Magpies’ home of McLean Park this season because the ground is being redeveloped.

The Magpies get their campaign under way against Mt Barker on October 20.

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