How far can the Swans take their season post-break?

January 2, 2022 BY

South Barwon remain undefeated in GCA 1 with five wins from five games heading into the mid-season break. Photos: MARCEL BERENS/SPORTS MEDIA IMAGES

NOT even the South Barwon Cricket Club thought their GCA 1 side would be in the position they are in now as the only undefeated side after the first half of the 2021/22 season.

South Barwon currently sits head and shoulders above the pack with five wins from five contests with a hefty 33 ladder points next to its name.

“I suppose you could put a pass mark on the win to loss ratio to this point,” South Barwon First XI coach Brad Hauenstein said.

“If you’re 4-2 you are probably pretty happy, if you are 3-3 you are still in the game, but of course we certainly did not think we would be in this position at the start of the season.

“Obviously though, only half the season has gone and there is another half still to go. We have got to continue to play good cricket to try and secure a top four spot.”

East Belmont, who sits unopposed in second position on the ladder, were the first victims of South Barwon’s white-hot start to the season back in mid-November going down to the Swans by a whopping 85 runs.

According to Hauenstein, the standout factor for his side’s success has been its production with the bat.

Three out of five games South Barwon has hit for more than 250 runs, four out of five for more than 200, and last-minute acquisition prior to the season’s start date Patrick Richards leads the competition in runs scored with 304 and an average 76 per game.

“Our batting has been a real positive so far, we have a really strong top five or six in the order and each game we have at least a couple individuals each game that make a decent score,” Hauenstein said.

“In one-day cricket, which we have adapted to tremendously, it gives us a great advantage.”

Hauenstein’s son Harry and South Barwon’s captain Joel Davies are the next highest contributors for the side on the bat with 205 and 185 runs accumulated respectively.

 

South Barwon knocked off top four contender Lara back in Round 5 by 41 runs, a testament to the Swans’ skill with the bat to this point in the GCA 1 season.

Following the holiday break, South Barwon needs to maintain composure according to the head coach heading into the second half of the season.

The glaring threat to the ladder leaders remains the logjam of mid-table contenders vying for a top four finals position, which includes sides like Murgheboluc, defending champions North Geelong and Grovedale. Closely behind them sits St Joseph’s, Lara, and Newtown & Chilwell.

“It’s simple, we’ve got to return after the break as hungry as what we are at the moment,” Hauenstein said.

“Winning games of cricket is what everyone aims for, but we cannot afford to be complacent in this competition given the level of talent across this league.

“If we can maintain a good mindset, we are definitely capable of winning a big handful of games and lock up that finals slot.”

South Barwon heads to King Lloyd Recreation Reserve to face third placed Murgheboluc in what will be a pivotal return to play on January 15.

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