Railways’ dynasty at risk
The new Albany Cricket Association A-grade competition kicks off this weekend and it should be one of the closest in years.
Railways will be out to make it seven consecutive premierships but the loss of key players could bring them back to the pack.
Prolific batsman and premiership skipper Zane Marwick is among the departures for the Tigers, making for an intriguing title defence. The loss of Marwick and their other top run-scorer, Mark Natale, will provide plenty of opportunity for others in their line-up to step up.
Their premiership defence will start on Saturday against last year’s wooden-spooners, Denmark.
The Magpies, who will have to cover the loss of experienced pair Ryan Gaerth and Cary Green, will be chasing a return to finals in 2019-20. Manypeaks will be looking to shed their bridesmaids tag after losing three of the last four grand finals.
They will be desperate to go one better and are coming into the new season with their line-up virtually unchanged.
Peaks have Collingwood Park as rivals in their round one encounter on Turf South.
Mt Barker will have to contend with some key omissions but they boast plenty of young talent to again be a finals contender.
Jeremy Wood and Nathan Crosby, both WA Country XI players, will lead the Bulls’ flag tilt, which begins at home at Sounness Park with a rematch of last year’s elimination final against Royals.
Royals again appear finals challengers, but the loss of Englishman Sam Hughes is a question mark on their bid to go deep.
The Lions, now led by Mitch Green, will have some fresh faces on debut in the season-opener.
Park missed the finals last season but have the firepower to regain their spot in the final four.
Key duo Nathan Dovey and Ben Grey will again be central to Park’s finals aspirations.
Round 1 kicks off on Saturday, with the two games in Albany to be played on turf. The weather forecast, which in the early part of the season can be a problem, appears fine this weekend.
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