After a terrific season with both bat and ball, the Campbelltown-Camden Ghosts have been named minor premiers of the 2017/18 NSW Premier Cricket first grade competition.
It is a truly amazing turnaround for the locals, who finished the last season in 20th place.
In a bizarre twist of fate in the final round of the season proper, the top three placed teams all suffered defeats – only the second loss of the season for the Ghosts.
Campbelltown-Camden lost to Sydney University in a one-day match at Raby Oval on Saturday.
Despite the loss, the Ghosts maintained their position at the top of the ladder, to claim the club’s maiden minor premiership after 33 years in the competition.
The outstanding performances of captain Jarrad Burke and senior batsman Philip Wells has been a major factor in the Ghosts’ success.
Without Burke and Wells, the average age of the side is 21 years and the youthful exuberance has been obvious.
Nineteen-year-old Englishman Ollie Pope was also a standout throughout the season.
The Ghosts will play Sydney Cricket Club in the qualifying final at home this weekend.
Sydney’s top order batsmen Matthew Rodgers and Harry Dalton have both averaged 50 throughout the season, while Ben Manenti has taken 42 wickets.
Burke is expected to field the same side he has backed all year when the clubs face off in the qualifying final.
Mitch Carruthers and Aaron Yabsley and Aaron Yabsley have been superb opening the Ghosts innings with an average of 56-run partnerships.
Carruthers heads into the finals series with the added pressure of wicket keeping due to Pope’s departure for the English County Cricket season.
Wells heads into the finals on 722 runs, averaging 51 and 13 slip catches to his name.
The Ghosts bowling attack will be led by Harrington Park’s Luke Webb. The quick will look to lead a young fast bowling attack into early wickets before ever-dependable skipper Burke takes the ball. The left arm orthodox spinner has taken 42 wickets this season.
The qualifying final will be played at Raby Oval 1 this Saturday and Sunday, from 10am. The ground has been in superb condition all year and local supporters are encouraged to get behind the Ghosts.