The cricket season begins in earnest this weekend with the opening of the Forbes Services Memorial Club local competition and the first game of the Grinsted Cup for the season.
Sunday’s Grinsted Cup game sees the arrival of Molong to challenge for the 98-year-old trophy.
The Cup was established in Forbes in 1919 and each year the local club invites others within a 100 mile radius to challenge for it.
Forbes won the Cup in the last game of the challenge last season.
Pictured right are the thrilled winners (back) Jacob Reid, Nick Greenhalgh, Jason Hoswell, Mark Stirling, Mark Simmonds, Jamie Hoswell, Jarrod McDean (front) Corey McDean, Jarrod Nicholson, Abel Bernardi, Gus Coles all set to bring the Cup home to Forbes in March.
But Molong took the cup from us in the first challenge of the year four years ago and Forbes is hoping not to see history repeat this weekend.
Forbes’s bowling attack, although untried this year, will be led by Jarrod Nicholson, Jacob Reid, Jarrod McDean and the dangerous Abel Bernardi.
The hosts will also be relying on last year’s player of the year Jamie Hoswell to put some much-needed runs on the board as well as a possible stint with the ball.
Hoswell dominated last summer’s Saturday competition as well as some vital half-centuries in town cricket.
Isaac Vale will debut with the Cup side on Grinsted Oval on Sunday. His big hitting could be valuable towards the end of the innings.
Play starts at 10am, 50 overs a side.
The local competition also starts this weekend, with the much-anticipated return of the Trundle Ducks.
Led by previous Forbes representative Adam Hall, the Ducks will be looking to continue Trundle town’s winning run following their Woodbridge Cup league triumph.
The Ducks are an unknown quantity however they will be led by the Hall brothers and the fast-bowling, hard-hitting Cameron Skinner, also a former Forbes representative player.
Trundle meets last season’s premiers, Masterstroke, now known as Home Timber and Hardware, at Grinsted Oval.
HT and H have maintained their strong side from last year, led by Jarrod McDean, but the loss of his brother Corey will put a big hole in their batting and keeping.
Gossip suggests HT and H have dug deep into the retirement ranks and redrafted the likes of the West and Hurford brothers to boost their title defence.
HT and H have to be favourites, but this week will be a good test to see where the Ducks stand.
The other game sees a replay of last year’s B grade grand final. You can be certain that VC Reid will not take the Golfie Tigers as lightly as they did in last year’s decider.
Your correspondent has heard rumours the Tigers have recruited far and wide including the Sydney competition and could be this year’s dark horse for an A Grade grand final spot.
However, VC Reid does contain numerous current town players and should take this one easily at Hughie Wilson Oval on Saturday.
Saturday games start at 1pm.
Postie have the bye due to team members’ HSC commitments this week and in preparation for their trip to Trundle next week.