Round 24 Preview: CTPL

There’s no one more surprised to find the Greater Northern Raiders in the men’s top four than the Raiders themselves. 

The Raiders have been sitting in the bottom two all season and with just five wins, have two victories less than any other side. 

But thanks to some big victories and results going their way, the Raiders have jumped into fourth with just two rounds to go.. 

Playing-coach Alistair Taylor – one of three Raiders century-makers in a first-innings win against Lindisfarne last round – said his squad has been rewarded for going back to basics in the second half of the season. 

“We have surprised ourselves somewhat, but the ladder has been pretty even throughout the season,” Taylor said. 

“We knew we would have to get some good results on the board and we've managed to do that. 

“It has been a relatively new group this year so it was going to be an adjustment for a lot of players coming into the CTPL, but since Christmas the focus has been keeping it simple. 

“You can get caught up in doing so much on the cricket field and forget the basics can work.” 

There is no doubt the form of Sam Omahony has been instrumental to the turnaround.  

New-ball bowler Omahony leads all CTPL wicket-takers with 43 at just 17.1 runs each as well as posting 432 runs at an average of 29, including one century and two 50s. 

“Sam's been building for a long time and it's great to see him get some reward,” Taylor said. 

“He had a massive workload pre-Christmas and wasn’t getting much support. 

“He was one potentially trying to do too much and now he's stripped it back and is looking for more consistency and it's certainly working.” 

The Raiders form will be tested this Saturday and Sunday in the two-day round 24 game against Clarence at Kangaroo Bay. 

The Roos are coming off an outright pummelling of the previously first-placed Kingborough and are looking to shore up a top two finish. 

Clarence has a formidable bowling attack that will include Sam Rainbird, Riley Meredith and Kieran Elliott. 

Taylor said the Raiders were ready for the challenge. 

“We are excited for the challenge of coming up against a team with the calibre of bowlers they have,” he said. 

“We will speak a little bit about their bowlers but making sure our batters have clear plans about how they want to go about their game is important.  

“We will back our batters in to play their natural games.” 

North Hobart can consolidate first-place when the Demons host an underperforming Lindisfarne at the TCA Ground. 

The Lightning are coming off last season’s title victory, but, with a bye in the last round, need a miracle to make the finals. 

New Town and Glenorchy meet at New Town Oval with both desperately needing a win to keep their finals hopes alive, while University will cross the road to take on South Hobart-Sandy Bay at Queenborough Oval. 

In the CTPL women’s one-day competition, while all eyes will be on the Tigers chasing a hat-trick of WNCL titles at Blundstone Arena on Saturday, it is an equally fascinating battle in the grade competition. 

New Town sits atop of the one-day ladder on 26 points, with North Hobart (second) just two points behind and the Raiders (third) another four behind the Demons with just two games to go. 

The Raiders host the Demons at Invermay Park, with the winner going a long way to reaching the final, while the Bucks should lock in top spot when winless Clarence visits New Town Oval.  



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