Cricket season chaos

 GCA - The Grampians Cricket Association has been thrown into disarray on the eve of 2012/13 season opener, with Chalambar informing the GCA executive they can no longer field a team in the A grade competition. 

GCA president Anthony Martin was disappointed by the news, but understood the position the Ararat-based side found itself in as they look towards building a successful B grade team. 

"They lost a couple of players from last year and they only won two games. Hopefully they'll have a bit more success in B grade," Mr Martin said.

"Our promotion and relegation system allows us to try and keep the grades as even as possible. We are endeavouring to avoid the lopsided competitions that exist in some of the local football competitions. No-one enjoys those - neither the winner or the loser." 

B grade sides Halls Gap and Navarre were offered the opportunity to step up to fill the void left by Chalambar. 

Halls Gap expressed its interest, but decided to stay in the B grade competition following talks on Wednesday. 

The GCA will proceed with a bye, with the A grade team Pomonal, who was to play Chalambar, to have a week off. 

Chalambar will also have a week to settle into B grade. 

The amended 2012/13 A and B grade draw is now available on the MyCricket website. 

As for the rest of the competition, there will still be plenty of young talent on show as well as a few familiar faces taking to the field again tomorrow. 

The highlight of round one will be the grand final rematch between Tatyoon and Swifts/Great Western, with the Combine seeking revenge following an upset loss in last season's premiership decider. 

Swifts/Great Western will be missing batsmen Wayne Walton (Melbourne), Dale Hurley (not playing), Ben Iseppi (Ballarat), Rick Peters (retired) and Jarryd Harrison (Queensland). 

However, talented all-rounder Jackson Dark is set to return from injury and Louis Martin has swapped over from Youth Club. 

The Combine will be relying on their group of 18 to 21 year olds, with Jesse Eckel, Tom Eckel, Jamie Bach and Jacob Seeary ready to lead the charge. 

There hasn't been much movement at Tatyoon over the winter, with Joel Fitzpatrick (Geelong) the only player missing from a successful 2011/12 campaign.

Tatyoon all-rounders Ashley Maconachie and Jarrod Blandford, as well as premier bowlers Tim McDougall and John Coghlan, are to feature once again as their side looks to secure back-to-back premierships. 

Youth Club is set for a big season after missing out on a chance of reaching the 2011/12 grand final due to rain. 

The loss of A grade all-rounder for season 2011/12, Nic Baird (Mt Clear, Ballarat) as well as Cam Kimber (overseas), Todd Matthews (ankle injury) and Rob Scott (achillies) will hurt Youth Club, who will now be relying on Jamie Solyom and Zac Marrow to lead the side this summer. 

With a mix of experience and youth, the Clubbers should be able to overcome the losses and expect to have a solid season. 

After struggling for numbers last year, Pomonal has added a couple of players with Willaura pair Luke Robertson and Lynden Brewis joining the side. 

All-rounder Nick Maddison is back with support to come from Lee Oliver, Scott Sparks and Matthew Grinham as Pomonal looks to avoid relegation again. 

Aradale has added to its squad John Butler (Chalambar), Nathan Costello and Vern Cann (both from St Andrews), Eyan Habab (Melbourne) and Matt Stasse (Ballarat), but has lost Jake McCartney (not playing) and Stuart Calder (Marshall, Geelong). 

Buangor has one definite out, losing Nathan Hargreaves, while St Andrews has lost Costello, Cann, David Hosking and Ryan Bates. 

Tomorrow's draw

A Grade

Tatyoon v Swifts/Great Western (GW) G Goldsmith

Buangor v Youth Club (BG) T McKinnis 

Aradale v St Andrews (ARA) P Syrad 

Bye - Pomonal 

B Grade

Navarre v Elmhurst (NAV) G Miller 

Swifts/Great Western v Youth Club (NP) G Russell 

Halls Gap v Pomonal (HG) A Farish 

Bye - Chalambar

 C Grade 

Willaura v Aradale (WIL) 

Rhymney/Moyston v Chalambar (MOY) 

Pomonal v Buangor (POM) 

Navarre v Halls Gap (OL) 

Wickliffe/Lake Bolac v St Andrews (WIC)

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