Narrandera Carpheads stalwart Brodie Perram is anticipating his side can give the Ardlethan/Barellan cricket competition a shake as they prepare for their round one bout against Kamarah.
The Carpheads last year had a torrid time with injuries and had a problem with a consistent chopping and changing of the starting eleven.
It took Narrandera Carpheads until the end of November to get their first win last season.
Perram believes Narrandera will be a force to be reckoned with if they can fix their squad.
“First half of last season was very woeful for us,” he said.
“I don’t think we had many good performances before Christmas which is unusual for us.
“It’s hard to get consistent performances if you’ve got five or six guys swapping out every week. We had a few of our better players swapping out a lot last season.
“We start this weekend, it looks like we should have a reasonably strong side. I reckon its hard to say in a new competition so you don’t know, but we will give it a fair shake.”
Perram himself is a tough bowler to come up against.
He is aiming for 20 to 25 wickets for the season, a goal he says is consistent with his past performances.
Asked who will be the stars to watch for the season, Perram wastes no time in naming opening bowler Mark Tillyard and Jonathan Doyle, who he says is “our best batsman”.
It is the Narrandera side’s first season in the Ardlethan/Barellan competition after the Leeton District Cricket Association disbanded their senior competitions.
Despite community discussion involving Cricket NSW, senior competitions were discontinued under Leeton District Cricket Association after the governing body said it had “exhausted all avenues”.
Both Leeton Soldiers and Leeton District Cricket Club folded, meaning Narrandera and Yanco were left searching for a new home, and both sides were welcomed with open arms by ABDCA Leeton and District Cricket Association Treasurer, Brian Rotherham, was disappointed that there wasn’t a local competition running.
“We had both Leeton teams drop put. It started way back at the AGM and they indicated they would struggle to put any teams in this season,” Rotherham said.
“A few of their players went to play cricket in Griffith and they just didn’t have enough players, so Yanco and Narrandera left and have joined the Ardlethan/Barellan competition.”
Rotherham admitted it would be hard to see the Leeton competition back up and running any time soon.
“The way things are going with numbers, it’s not looking good,” Rotherham said.
“There haven’t been the young players coming through and the older players are retiring.”
Narrandera Carpheads president Connor Veering was sad to see the Leeton competition fall by the wayside, but he explained that the challenge of playing in the stronger ABDCA meant his club would field their strongest team for some time.
“The Leeton competition had been struggling for a few years, so we had to make the move,” Veering said.
“Numbers have been really good. I was talking to our captain Brodie (Perram) the other day and he said we have about 25 names at the minute.
“We have about 10 or 11 regulars and after that, everyone else is hit or miss when they play.
“We were really handy towards the back end of the year, and I expect to have the same side.
“It looks like they all want to front up for the new competition, so I think we will shape up pretty competitive.”
A T20 competition will kickstart the season before the 45-over competition commences later on.
“It starts out as a T20 competition and the 45-over over competition will commence in January,” Veering said.
“I’ve not heard much more than that.”
Veering admitted it will be a daunting prospect playing new teams for the first time, with the ABDCA expected to be a tougher assignment compared to the LDCA of recent years.
“I haven’t seen much of the cricket in Ardlethan but the Leeton competition was dying, so we’re expecting this comp to be a lot tougher,” Veering said.
Veering is in his first year as President of the Carpheads, taking over from Rohan Rehwinkel, and he explained that he was looking forward to a return to community sport, especially after the football season was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is my first year. Rohan wanted to step down and I thought I’d put my hand up,” Veering said.
“It’s been a while of us really for any sort of sport, and a lot of us are footballers too and it’s something for us to do over the summer months.”
For anyone interested in joining the Carpheads family, training is on Wednesday and Friday at 5pm.
This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 4 November 2021.