This weekend we see Helderberg hosting a rampant Van der Stel team, Maitland hosting Thislte and Lansdowne hosts Battswood.
Maitland vs Thistle.
It is true that Thistle doubled up on their points for the season, last weekend, but that was due to the Pirate forfeiting the game. This would be a good opportunity for Coach Moses to try out some combinations and local pitchers who certainly need game time if they are going to try compete in the ML next year. It is clear that Maitland have done enough to be the main contenders for promotion to the ML next season, but I think the real issue at hand for them is the coaching and game style of Maitland this year. The coaching crew has opted for focusing on the short bunting game and it has worked with the dominant pitchers they have and the fact that the promotion league defense is nothing like the ML defense. It would be interesting to see what they will do without the bullpen that can pretty much defend a 2 or 3 run lead. Thistle still has a huge mountain to climb to get themselves out of the bottom of the pile, but we still contend that once they get it worked out, they will be tough and a middle of the log team. There is very little doubt that this game at 14th Ave will be a mercy rule in favor of the Giants.
Van der Stel vs Helderberg.
The bold strategy of The Pirates to not play last weekend will do one of two things for sure; they will either come back rested and hungry and make life for VdS tough or they will be a bit rusty and struggle to find the venom they are well capable of showing, as they have at home on many occasions. VdS is now a well tuned machine and there are very few surprises. Coach Bles has a bit of a “Rugby flavor” in his development of the team. They come at you, they come at you hard and they come at your ALL THE TIME. Sometimes it is not pretty but it is very effective and well done to them, they are deserved of their position on the log. Helderberg are proving to be a bit contradictory this year with some strong outings and some weaker performances. If the Pirates do arrive, they will make it tough for the rampant VdS team. They would make it tough for any team in the league. So it depends entirely on the mood of the Pirates how this will turn out. Not for a minute are we saying that a good performance from the foreign pitchers at Coach Bles’s disposal will not effect the game but the level of influence is up to the Pirates. The term “why the Rum” springs to mind here…. This is likely to go the way of Vds by 2-5 runs.
Battswood vs Lansdowne
This is going to be quite a match – two evenly matched teams – two equally passionate teams that are going to go at each other not just for log points but for bragging rights. Nelson cracked his head at VdS last week and we do not know if he will be able to pitch, that will significantly influence Battswood as it seems he has carried the bulk of the work on the hill for Battswood. Last week Lansdowne used the wily veteran Trevor Jonathan and reliever Gareth who is also a master (these two should probably be called veterans) on the hill to completely tie up Devonshire Rovers. They did give up 12 hits in the game, but 6 of them went to just two player. They also ,and this is the more important point, they gave the Lansdowne pitchers a week off to rest from the excessive amount of pitching they have been doing. Both teams have similar hitters so once more this is going to go down to who is doing what on the hill. Our thoughts are that Battswood have the upper hand here, but if the “mega masters” play up in the 1st team and assist again, the odds must go in favor of the home team. It is indeed tough to choose a victor here without knowing who will actually be in the squad. either way, with a win a piece they are going to go at each other for the whole game and then will do what worthy adversaries should do after a match, spend a fair amount of time afterwards reliving the game and more.