WITH a bye this week in Mount Gambier and District cricket and just one round to go before the Christmas break, it is the perfect time to reflect on the season so far.
Now at the midpoint of the minor rounds, both the standout teams and players of 2018-19 have become evident, with some impressive statistics across all grades.
In the Barber Shield competition there is no denying the dominance of both Penola and North Sportsman’s.
The sides sit one and two on the ladder respectively and rightly so, as last year’s finalists carry their solid form into this season.
For the Eagles it has been the consistency of its lineup which has ensured success, with a relatively even contribution across the board.
Of course there are standouts, such as David Somerfield, who currently ranks second in the A Grade run-making tally.
He has 218 runs to his name going into Round 6 of Barber Shield cricket, second only to the in-form Tiger Jake Schutz.
Schutz has been a dominant presence at the crease for North in 2018-19, with a total of 329 runs to his name.
A century of 116 in Round 4 against West Gambier is his best result, with a 96-run game against East Gambier in Round 2 next best.
Teammate Mitchell Lewis joins Schutz among the best with the bat and sits in fourth on 156 runs.
Despite his impressive 125 runs in Round 3, South Gambier’s Dylan Clough did not make the cut, with the Demon unable to come close to the total since.
East also has personnel ranked among the top five with the bat, as Dion Stratford sits third in the standings on 186 runs for the season and Ash Dumigan is in fifth on 142.
After the Bulldogs’ Round 1 upset which saw a draw with reigning premier Penola, they appeared to be somewhat of a dark horse early on.
However, that result is East’s best to date and it now sits as the only Barber Shield side without a win.
Mil Lel has also struggled to compete with the top sides, with a win over East its best result.
It is the only side not to have a player featured in the top five batters or bowlers.
With the ball, the Tigers are again among the front runners.
Declan Kenny’s wicket total of 11 sees him in equal first with South Gambier’s David Vine, with both bowlers starting the season off strong.
Penola’s Michael Waters also features with 10 scalps, while South’s Camron Jorgenson and West’s Ben Hentschke sit equal with that total to share third place.
Other noteworthy statistics across the five minor grades in the MGDCA include an impressive 339-run total for Glencoe Crouch Shield player Tory Weaver.
The bulk of that score came from a massive 244 runs recorded in Round 3 against Kongorong, the largest score recorded across all grades this season.
Mil Lel Under 14 Kaidyn Weber has also fared well with the bat, with a total of 201 runs so far.
The youngster has tasted some A and B Grade action this season, but it is in his age group where he has excelled.
His best result was a 74-run haul in the first innings against the Bulldogs in Round 3, while he came out in the second innings for another good total of 64.
In a solid family effort, West Gambier brothers Connor and Jayden Prior both lead the run count in their respective age groups.
Connor leads the Under 16 runs with a total of 132 from the just three rounds played, while Jayden sits at the top of the Under 12 count with 122, also from three games.
A 63-run haul against the Bulldogs in Round 2 is Connor’s best this season, while Jayden trumped his older brother’s top score with an impressive 85 in the opening round.
With the ball, the top score across all grades comes from Yahl C Grader Robert Courtney with 12 wickets from the four rounds of Cox Shield which have been played.
A two-wicket game in Round 2, backed up by two five-wicket hauls in the past two rounds sees him with the solid total.
There remains plenty of time for new leaders to emerge, whether it be with bat or ball and all teams will take to the second half of the season with vigour as they continue their fight for both individual and premiership glory.