Rivergum off to a flyer

Rivergum’s Liam Henkel. (Shawn Smits) 201635_08

Tara Murray

There’s bad news for Rivergum’s rivals in the North Metro Cricket Association Jika Shield.

After four rounds the Kookas have had their best start in a number of years and are yet to be at full strength this season.

Kookas captain-coach Matt Perri said they were happy with their performance so far.

“We’re pretty happy with it,” he said.

“We’re normally slow starters, so to be 3-1 is good for us. It’s probably been three or four years since we started this well. We had one hiccup, but we were able to bounce back.

“We’re getting games into players now which is good.”

Perri said everyone had been keen to get back on the field after being in COVID-19 lockdown for so long and that showed in the early rounds and at training.

The skipper, who made 74 in the last outing, said the key for the Kookas had been getting an even contribution across the board.

He said everyone was playing their role and having a number of high quality bowlers continued to be a strength.

But he said batting collapses in each of their first three games was one area that needed work.

In their last game, The Kookas moved Scott Morley up to number three, where he made 50.

“Scott Morley had made a few not outs coming in at number seven or eight,” Perri said.

“We thought we would give him a shot at number three and he did the job.

“He used to open the batting, but has slotted down the order as he’s got older. We had him up our sleeves.”

The Kookas, last season’s premiers, are only going to get stronger in the coming weeks, with a number of premiership players still to return.

Kyl Ewart has played just one game this season, while James Bonnici and Kasey May are yet to feature.

Corey Altis has returned to bowling the past couple of matches, after being restricted in the first rounds.

Nathan Bourke, a junior at the club, has returned from sub-district cricket, and is one player to step up in their absence.

He took three wickets at the weekend.

Morley is the other major addition after playing in the lower grades last season.

Perri hopes they can continue their good form in the two rounds remaining before Christmas.

Rivergum played Holy Trinity on Saturday.

“Those games before Christmas are important to win,” he said.

“We’ll go one week at a time and tick them off.

“If we continue to play our cricket the results should take care of themselves.”