Milestone Monday

Nick Larkin's vital, unbeaten 162 against Sutherland was his fifth century in First Grade this season.  That sets a new club record - previously, Greg Mail (in 2009-10) and Johnny Taylor (in 1923-24) had each hit four in one season.  Nick's monumental innings took him past 1000 First Grade runs for the season in only 12 innings.  It's the third time he has passed 1000 runs in a First Grade season (after 1055 in 2014-15 and 1020 in 2016-17).  That places him just behind Greg Mail, the only player to pass 1000 runs in Firsts in four different seasons for the club.  His fifteenth century for the club in Firsts kept him second on the club's all-time list, and closed the gap (a little) between him and Greg Mail (32 centuries for University alone).  And, for good measure, during his innings he passed 6000 runs in First Grade, becoming the fourth player (after Mail, Ed Cowan and Ian Moran) to achieve this for Sydney University.  He has now reached 8276 runs in all grades, passing Adam Theobald (8191) on Sunday, so that he is now fourth on the club's list of all-time run-scorers behind Mail, Moran and Cowan.  A massive effort from an outstanding clubman.

Liam Robertson's unbeaten 68 in the qualifying final against Sutherland took his First Grade aggregate for the season to 656 runs, passing his previous best of 608 in 2015-16.  It was his sixth score above fifty this season.

James Crowley's fighting 76 in the qualifying final at Hawkesbury was his highest score in Second Grade.  In the same innings, Jono Craig-Dobson (44) hit his highest Second Grade score and Jack Lawson (47 not out) surpassed his previous highest score for the club by 41 runs.

 Liam Whitaker had an outstanding day in Third Grade's qualifying final win over Mosman.  His 4-12 was a career-best return in Thirds, and included his 100th wicket for the club.

Michael Robinson's 55, which turned the match after University had lost 6 for 115 against Mosman, was his first half-century in Third Grade.

The Third Grade qualifying final against Mosman was (by our count) Ash Cowan's 22nd appearance in a finals match for the club.  His captain's innings of 71 was his highest score in any of those finals.

Ash Cowan (with 5758 runs) now stands 14th on the club's list of all-time run-scorers, just ahead of Liam Robertson, in 15th place with 5687.

2018 Chairman's Trivia Night

2018 Chairman's Trivia Night

Get together with your friends, family, teammates and roommates for the 2018 Chairman's Trivia Night at The Nag's Head Hotel on Thursday 22nd March from 7pm!

As the final fundraising event of the season, this is a fantastic opportunity to get together for an entertaining evening of trivia over dinner and a few drinks.

Teams are limited to 6 members so make sure you get in quickly to secure your table!        

The 100-Club draw will also take place at the Trivia Night with over $5,000 worth of prizes to be won. With a limited amount of numbers still available, don't miss out on your chance to win one of five luxury prizes!

Purchase your tickets for the Trivia Night and 100-Club by following the link below. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Five things we learned from Round 15

Five things we learned from Round 15

Tom Pinson has nerves of steel

So here's the situation: Sutherland was defending a rather modest total of 217 against Sydney.  Sydney never exactly raced towards its target but at 5 for 169, seemed to have the chase in hand, needing about a run a ball from the last eight overs.  A Sydney win would knock Sutherland out of the top six, placing them behind the winner of the Bankstown-Easts match.  But Pinson, a Yass product who made his Futures League debut this season, kept calm and maintained his line and length.  He removed the dangerous Beau McClintock, caught by Jamie Brown.  Another catch by Brown accounted for Alex Glendenning (whose 4-31 in Sutherland's innings showed a welcome return to form and fitness).  The fall of wickets, and some tidy overs from Jake Wilson, meant that with two wickets in hand, Sydney needed 14 runs from the last over, with Nic Bills and Ryan Felsch at the crease.  Bills, who has often batted well this year, immediately skied the ball to Austin Waugh, who held the catch: nine for 204.  That gave the strike to Felsch, who kept Sydney in the hunt by smashing Pinson over the fence.  But he could manage only a single from the next ball, and Pinson's next delivery pinned Thomas Ortiz in front of his stumps.  Sutherland was home by six runs and the ice-cool Pinson (5-46) completed his second five-wicket haul of the season.  Sutherland faces Sydney University in this weekend's qualifying final.

Hayden Kerr is our rookie of the year

Sydney University clinched a top three place with a ruthless demolition of minor premiers, Campbelltown-Camden, at Raby Oval.  Campbelltown batted first, and never recovered after losing its first five wickets for only 69 runs to Lawrence Neil-Smith, Tim Ley and Hayden Kerr.  Some dogged batting by Jarrad Burke lifted the Ghosts to 8 for 155, but the Students sprinted past that target in only 19.4 overs, with Kerr smashing 53 from 32 balls.  His four sixes were impressive, but Ed Cowan went one better, clearing the fence five times on his way to an unbeaten 75 from 49 balls.  Jordan Browne's only over was taken for 24, with Cowan hammering three fours and two sixes.  Two seasons ago, both Kerr and Neil-Smith were members of the University team that won the Fourth Grade premiership, and before this season, Kerr had played only three First Grade matches.  Saturday's effort gave him 716 runs for the year across the three First grade formats, scored at the healthy average of 40, and at a very rapid rate.  Add to that 17 wickets with his left-arm seamers (on Saturday, he knocked out Phil Wells' middle stump, which is a feat not easily accomplished), and we rank him as the rookie of the year in the First Grade competition.  Certainly, there have been a number of impressive young players this year - Mosman's Lachie Hearne has been excellent, as have Manly's contingent of Jack Edwards, Oliver Davies and Joel Foster ad Easts' Baxter Holt.  But no other newcomer has made quite the same sustained impact on the competition as Kerr.  Last season he was 12th man for University in the finals -  this season, he goes into the play-offs as a key member of the side.

Gordon timed its run to perfection

At the end of Round 10, only the most extreme optimist in the Chatswood clubhouse would have suggested that Gordon would take part in the First Grade finals this season.  At that points, the Stags had just lost their second game in succession, giving them the unpromising record of three wins from ten matches and a position on the table of meh.  Five straight wins later, and Gordon has been the biggest beneficiary of the even nature of this year's competition, leaping into fifth spot and heading into the finals with plenty of momentum and confidence.  A few weeks ago, spinner Scott O'Brien was winding down the season in a Second Grade side hovering just above the foot of the table - but since Matthew Parkinson's return to England, he's taken 4-58 and 3-37 in Firsts, so now he's an important member of a First Grade finals team.  Spearhead Charlie Stobo has regained fitness and form at the right end of the season, and young opener Axel Cahlin has hit two centuries in his last four innings in Firsts.  Gordon will have a tough challenge against Parramatta at Old King's, but arguably enters the finals as the form team of the competition.

Playing Randwick-Petersham will feel different next season

It was a tough weekend for Randy-Petes, who could have reached the finals in Firsts and Fourths if a whole bunch of other results went there way.  Both sides controlled what they could control and got the results they wanted, but the rest of the competition failed to co-operate, so their season's over.  This was harsh on Alex Kemp (83 not out from 81, with four 6s) and former Mosman player Greg West (whose 5-33 was his fist five-wicket return in Premier Cricket), who helped to pulverise Parramatta in First Grade, but it was also an anticlimactic end to two outstanding careers.  David Bourke and Rod Stafford helped to secure the points in Fourths - Bourke top-scored with 35, and Stafford then strangled Parramatta's innings, returning the absurd figures of 1 for 8 from ten overs (with six maidens), to clinch victory by only four runs.  Both Bourke and Stafford have been mainstays of the amalgamated club, and it won't be quite the same watching R-P's sides next season.

Revenge is sweet

Round 15, in the lower grades at least, is when the bowlers strike back.  By round 15, there are several dodgy lower grade pitches around; holes in covers seem to get bigger; and several teams seem under-strength, either because players are being shuffled into grades with better finals prospects, or because too many players have dropped out.  Anyway, this is when the bowlers get their revenge for the flat pre-Christmas pitches.  In Fourths, Manly happily defended a modest total of 116, blasting out Mosman for just 58 (Alex Bain taking 3-9).  At Asquith, a pitch which becomes vicious when even slightly damp, Northern District was knocked over for 108 but then routed North Sydney for only 48, with Nicholas Onslow grabbing 5-11.  As a bowler, you wait a long time for these days.  You need to enjoy them when they happen.

Round 15 Match Reports

Round 15 Match Reports


Sydney Uni 2-161: E Cowan 75*, H Kerr 53
Campbelltown-Camden 8-155: L Robertson 2-21, H Kerr 2-21, L Neil-Smith 2-23

The students arrived at Raby to play the table topping Ghosts knowing victory was required to progress to the finals. Fresh off a limited overs title, the white ball format suited the visitors in a high pressure encounter.

The Ghosts won the toss and elected to bat. The university bowlers were on the mark from the beginning, building early pressure with maidens before Neil-Smith accounted for both openers to leave the home side 2/27 after 10 overs.

Joy and Kerr were introduced to the attack and picked up where the openers left off. The control of length from the bowling group was simply superb, as the Ghosts batsmen struggled to find rhythm or rotate the strike.

The talented Kerr ripped out Phil Wells’ middle stump and then trapped Browne leg before wicket to reduce Campbelltown to 4/53. The top of the table side never recovered as wickets continued to fall throughout the innings. 

Robertson chimed in with a lovely spell to grab two wickets, whilst the ever hungry Tim Ley took his 54th of the season when Ben Joy held onto a stunning catch at long on.

Malone delivered arguably the ball of the day to bowl leading scorer and captain, Jarrad Burke, for 30. With that the Ghosts could only limp to 8/155 from their allotted overs.

Larkin and Kerr got the chase off to a quick start, before Larkin fell to Burke’s second delivery with the score on 46. Kerr was well into his work by this point, dismantling yet another attack with savage drives and pulls. Cowan joined him and the two looked intent on burying the game inside 20 overs. Kerr fell for 53 from 32 deliveries. Cowan took this as a signal to go harder, using his feet as only he can to smash anything and everything on his way to 75* from just 42 balls. His retirement from professional cricket a blessing for his club side.

Victory was achieved in the 20th over, for the loss of only two wickets, leaving the good guys 3rd on the table and taking on Sutherland at University number 1 in the QF.



Sydney Uni 7-282: D Holloway 72*, R Danne 67, M Powys 54
Campbelltown-Camden 176: J Craig-Dobson 3-43, R Danne 2-25, J Lawson 2-44



Sydney Uni 127: AJ Grant 42, C Litchfield 30
Campbelltown-Camden 122: AJ Grant 4-25, A Cowan 2-12, L Whitaker 2-17, K Tate 2-29

In a return to 1-day cricket the Units travelled down the M5 to the Campbelltown Nursery aka Raby. A few changes in personnel meant that there were some new (i.e. old) faces in the team, and we had compiled the cream of the crop in terms of Nash across both young and Old. The pre-match showers (not to be confused with the post-match showers, which are obviously much more pleasant) juiced up the track and with the extra man and plenty of talent across the park young were a force to be reckoned with.

What followed was an outstanding display of the game they play in heaven, and young cantered around the park creating many opportunities for your scribe to put his sloppy rig behind the ball with great success. Of course, Old had the class, with Dele Alli (Shaw) and Wayne Rooney causing absolute havoc up front, creating many opportunities for Robbo to put his sloppy rig etc and so on. A closely fought encounter went the way of the good guys, and young were taught another lesson.

It is hard to be certain which is higher this season, the number of tosses your scribe has won, or the number of games of Nash that young have won. Both are 3 or less, and it will surprise no-one that those respective totals did not increase on Saturday. Upon losing the toss we were sent in to bat on a pitch that looked like it would play pretty well but also give a fair bit of assistance to the bowlers.

Openers Litchy and newly promoted Hayden Storey went out and we got off to a satisfactory start. After Storey departed Shawry joined Litch and put together our best partnership of the day, battling against the conditions and consistent bowling from the Ghosts’ young attack. After the partnership was broken there was a flurry of wickets as we struggled to deal with the off-spinner/mental demons. The big bustler was a shining light in this, and his 42 was well compiled with a good mix of solid defence and positive intent. The 33-run partnership between AJ and Robbo is also worth noting, as Robbo somehow managed to contribute 0 of these.

All out 127 in 37 overs was quite disappointing, however given the strength of our bowling attack and with a home final on the line, the Units were confident of turning the game around and securing the points. Tate and Wood bowled well without reward, and the Ghosts’ openers came out aggressively so at 0/43 we were in some trouble. The turning point came with the introduction of Grant and Whit, who bowled together in a match winning partnership of seam and spin.

Whit, pining at his separation from his rare twin Leggie, was back to his best and his 2/17 off 10 straight was a class above. The big boerewors was even better, and showed why he has led the player of the year all season with accurate seam bowling that asked questions every ball. 4/25 off 10 and could’ve easily bagged Michelle, in a man-of-the-match effort that locked up the trophy from a gallant Jazzy Rinka.

The reintroduction of Tate yielded further wickets and with the 1s boys wrapping up their game and assembling a cheer squad the match was heading to a tense conclusion. Your scribe gambled with his top 4 bowlers however it was rapidly becoming clear that at least one more bowler would be needed. Therefore, the shoulder was oiled up and set into action, with some onlookers no doubt questioning the method of bowling given the lack of velocity. Nevertheless, 2 deceptively slow seam-up deliveries (not slower balls, just slow) yielded the same results, with the young tyro and Lloyd Pope’s twin spooning catches to the mid-wicket for the good guys to get home with 5 runs to spare.

In the end, a very satisfying win and while it didn’t matter in terms of our eventual finishing position, it certainly mattered in terms of momentum going into the finals. Unbeaten since round 7 with 7 wins in a row, once again we are where we need to be and as luck would have it the first fixture is a repeat of the last from last season.

Fraternisation $$$ may well be at a peak as for the 6th time in 3 seasons we lock horns with Aadil and his Whales and attempt to continue our run into the semis. Can’t wait.



Sydney Uni 1-81: V Umbers 32, B Dilley 25*
Campbelltown-Camden 80: S Canagasingham 2-9, T Fullerton 2-11, R Browne 2-17, J Rinka 2-18



Sydney Uni 144: A Kirubanandan 28, T Draca 26
Campbelltown-Camden 116: M Miles 3-18, A Wilkinson 2-9, E Jamieson 2-14



Sydney Uni 161
Randwick-Petersham Gold 188

Join the 100 Club!

Join the 100 Club!

There is just over 1 week to go til the 2018 Chairman's Trivia Night and with the 100-Club draw also taking place that evening, tickets are selling fast!

Don't miss out on your chance to win a beautiful meal at one of Sydney's premier seafood restaurants, Flying Fish by Dede's Waterfront Group, with a voucher valued at $500. After taking in the stunning waterfront views, enjoy an entertaining evening at the theatre with two Royal Box tickets to see the Jersey Boys! 

The Trivia Night will be held at The Nag's Head Hotel on Thursday 22nd March from 7pm. To purchase your tickets for both the 100-Club and Trivia Night, follow the link below.

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