An exciting season awaits..

Keysborough captain-coach Christo Otto. 231956 Pictures: ROB CAREW

By Nick Creely

There’s plenty of reason for excitement across the Dandenong District Cricket Association’s Turf 2 and Turf 3 competitions with another monster summer of cricket set for the local region. Here’s how the clubs are shaping up..



Beaconsfield narrowly missed out on finals despite big seasons from Tyler Clark, Michael Vandort, Callan Tout and Nathan Goodes, and under new coach Brendan Johnson will be hoping it can shake off the disappointment with a big campaign. Remaining consistent will be the key for the Tigers.


The Mick Sweeney- led Cranbourne is looking to build on its third-place finish last season. The Eagles have gained Matt Collett from Dandenong West, with the dangerous wicket-keeper batter a handy addition, while have lost Craig Hookey and Jordan Margenberg to HSD. There’s plenty of talent in the ranks within this group to inflict some more damage in the competition this season.


The Westers have certainly lost a few, namely gun spinner Riley Siwes to Berwick, Matt Collett to Cranbourne, as well as Dylan Diacono and Ethan French, but will back in its depth to stay in the hunt after finishing as runners-up. With Anthony Brannan set to take on the mantle as coach, there is optimism that despite some losses an ingrained winning culture and strong recent form in one-day cricket can yield some strong results.


There’s been no club that has recruited as heavily as Heinz Southern Districts after being relegated from Turf 1 after a tough 2020/21 campaign. It’s truly the beginning of a new era for the club, with Craig Hookey coming across from Cranbourne as captain-coach. The Cobras have lost some quality, namely Udara Hettige to Hallam but have welcomed Jordan Margenberg (Cranbourne), Jason Ward (Richmond), ex-Victorian underage all-rounder Triyan De Silva (Dandenong), Maheesha Gamage (Casey South Melbourne), Ethan French (Dandenong West), Liam Jansen (Buckley Ridges) and Matthew Blanch (Frankston Peninsula) to bolster the list as they roll out a virtually new side.

Jordan Margenberg has joined HSD. 204257


Keysborough have moved up from Turf 2 after a magnificent premiership in Turf 3 last year. The Knights have kept their premiership side together as the club takes the step up in grades, but have recruited nicely with Stephen Hennessy from Springvale South added to bolster the batting. Christo Otto has also stepped up as captain-coach with his group looking to make a splash.

Christo Otto on the attack for Keysborough during his match winning performance. 213956


Lyndale would be disappointed with its seventh place finish last season, but remain in Turf 2 and will be hoping to nudge for a finals position. The club has bolstered its list with the addition of Surien Silva from Donvale, but have lost Owais Rashid, however it’s a steady group under skipper Ben Montgomery, who will be hoping the likes of Silva, Brendan Ash, Priyan De Silva and Harish Rao can fire the Dales up the ladder.


Parkfield captain-coach Steve Cannon will be hoping that his club can take another plunge in Turf 2 this season and return to the finals, and have kept the majority of its group together, bar leading run-scorer Tahil Dehegaspitya who has moved to South Australia. Zaron Chanel joins the club and will add some depth with the ball, but it’s a pretty steady ship and one that will expect to compete.


The Pirates are an interesting group, full of talent but not quite able to bridge the gap and clinch that Turf 2 title over the last few seasons. The Pirates have addressed some needs in the batting department, with Abhinav Bhatia crossing from Coomora and ex-Frankston Premier batter Jaime Brohier signing on, and if both can fire with the blade will make the side a very dangerous prospect. Madhawa Fonseka, Ammar Bajwa and Mohomad Safras also loom as crucial cogs in the Pirate machine.




A third-placed finish from Coomoora last season gives optimism it can take another step. The Roos have lost Abhinav Bhatia to Parkmore, but the addition of Malan Madusanka and Dean Krelle plug some gaps in the list, while new non-playing coach Andrew O’Meara will be hoping for vast improvements across the board.


It was a 2020/21 of great promise for the Doves, and now it’s time to take the plunge from fifth into finals cricket. Coach Troy Hancock has brought in ex-Emerald captain Mitch Daley who will add firepower with the bat, while having the likes of the great Ryan Hendy,, Dale Jose and Ken Smart firing will go a long way.


There’s a bit of change for Fountain Gate ahead of Round 1 against Hampton Park – David Sime has taken over as coach and life member Stephen White as captain. Rising quick Jas Singh returns from Premier level after a brief stint and will lead the attack, while the Gators have added to its batting stocks with Dylan Diacono from Dandenong West.


Turf 3 newcomers Hampton Park will be hoping for a big win to start its season after a memorable Turf 4 premiership. The Redbacks were the standout side in their division last season and under recommitted coach Phill North will be confident it has what it takes to compete in the step up in grade.


Lynbrook is another side who would’ve expected better last season, but will back in its culture to push hard for finals. Jay and Jesse Walia were excellent last season, as was Shane D’Rozario and Varun Singh, so there is enough quality to suggest a return up the table is possible.


Narre North ventures down to Turf 3 after relegation from Turf 2 and will be desperate for a big round 1 win. The club has experienced a tough few seasons and have had to back in its youth, and struggled with the bat in particular so will be hoping for improvement in that area.


Captain-coach Simon Beshara will be hoping for rapid improvement after a sixth-placed finish last season, and with the addition of Dilum Weerarathne from Lilydale and Rob North (Hampton Park) will be hoping it’s found the missing pieces. Selva Tharaka will once again be crucial for the Bakers if they’re to return to finals action.

Silverton will be hoping for a swift bounce back this season. 223928


Springvale were so close to achieving premiership glory last season, and were for so long the benchmark side. But the Demons just fell short and will be hoping it can swiftly move on and challenge again. Nuwan Mendis was extraordinary with almost 600 runs and will be relied upon again, while the likes of Harmandip Sahota and Sachintha Rajapakse will need to be at their best once again with the ball.