Maybe it was wishful thinking on the part of Kookaburras captain Shayne Riordan – the belief that their opponents for a one-day clash at Kitchener Park on Saturday, Albion, would be without lethal quick Brad Jenkinson.
But in truth, Riordan had been out of town until recently, and admitted he didn’t “know much about much at all, really”.
Still, the prospect of facing Albion without Jenkinson gave him hope that Kookaburras could cause the upset.
“They tell me the fast bowler Jenkinson has gone to Tamworth cricket,” he said. “That will make Albion be a fair bit more weakened. We’ll have a chance of beating them, hopefully.”
Jenkinson, in fact, was appointed Albion captain after Andy Mack was ruled out for the season with a knee injury.
When told that, Riordan said: “Well, if Jenko’s there [on Saturday] it will make it hard, because our young fellas get a bit worried about him, because he’s a bit faster than the others. So they’ve got to toughen up a bit.
“But if he wasn’t there, I’d be thinking, ‘Oh well, we’ve got a chance’. But if he’s there, that just makes it a bit harder.”
The round-two clashes this weekend will mark the start of first-grade action this season, following the washout of the opening round last Saturday.
Reigning two-time premiers Court House and their arch-rivals, Albion, were again the dominate sides last season.
Riordan has called on teenage Kookaburra quicks James McGowan and Trent Winsor to find a higher gear, as the side looks to bridge that gap.
“A couple of the young fellas will hopefully play a bit better this year, James and the young fella, Winsor,” he said. “If they knuckle in a bit more we’ll have a better bowling [attack] – a bit better in the field.”
Riordan wants the youngsters in the side, who were blooded in first grade last season, to grow as cricketers in 2018-19. “Hopefully after last year they’ll have an idea that it’s not as scary as they think, and hopefully they’ll do a bit better,” he said.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Mornington and Court House meet at Wolseley Oval.