Cricket: Mariners to start title defence against Willetton and with new coaches at helm

ROCKINGHAM-MANDURAH will begin its premiership defence against last season’s semi-finalists Willetton in round one of the 2016-17 WA Premier Cricket season following the fixtures release.

Among the features of the draw is a round five grand final rematch between the Mariners and Fremantle at Lark Hill.

The Mariners are away to Wanneroo in round two, before another home clash with Claremont-Nedlands in round three.

The fixture release comes after the departure of flag-winning coach Mark Atkinson, who has been replaced by Kris Kennedy and Mark Wasley.

Both have served apprenticeships as assistant coaches at the club and are looking to replicate the Mariners’ drought-breaking win last season.

Although still a while away, the Premier Cricket First Grade grand final is locked in to be played at the WACA Ground across two days on Saturday and Sunday March 25 and 26 2017.

The One Day League grand final will be played on Sunday March 5.

First and Second Grade fixtures include 15 games, with eight one-day fixtures and seven two-day fixtures.

The season will run in five blocks; four one-day matches, four two-day matches, three one-day matches, three two-day matches and a final round of 50-over matches before finals.

Round 14 has been tentatively scheduled as a ‘Past Players’ Round’ across the competition.

Third and Fourth Grade fixtures include 13 games, with six one-day fixtures and seven two-day fixtures. Rounds Three and Nine are general byes.

The Colts fixtures include five rounds, with 17 teams competing including the Country XI.