Saturday afternoon... at Petersham Oval

Saturday afternoon... at Petersham Oval

By James Rodgers

On this ground in November 1926, 18 year old D G Bradman of St George scored a masterly 110, his first 1st Grade century, as he announced his prodigious talent to Sydney Grade cricketers.

Today, if you stand under the T J E Andrews Memorial Scoreboard on the eastern hill of the ground, you can’t quite see the score. The old Andrews scoreboard looks forlornly out of action. Well-tended hedges in front of the grandstand on the western side just cut off a view of the portable scoreboard. So, walk south near families spread out on the grass in the shade near the rotunda.  From here, there’s a clear sight of University players taking the field after lunch and of the scoreboard. Randwick-Petersham are 3 for 98 from 32 overs. Interest among the picnickers seems minimal. Would they sit up and watch if more well-known players were in the middle? After all, in this match, there’s no Warner, no Sangha, no Cowan, no Larkin. But there’s absorbing cricket in a game that flows to and fro.

This is pleasantly suburban cricket in Sydney’s inner west where things always seem a little closer. Houses packing into Station St are only a decent six hit away from the middle. Four suburbs surround the ground: Leichhardt, Stanmore, Marrickville, Lewisham. Aeroplanes winging their way to Sydney airport fly low enough for their undercarriages and identity of the airline to be clearly visible  from the ground. If you’re bowling on Petersham Oval, boundaries look forbiddingly short. If you’re batting, they look invitingly close. So three times, Randwick’s Eaton hits uncharacteristic full tosses from Malone over the shorter leg side boundary. A prelude to Sunday’s onslaught by Kerr? Fielding on the boundary is Varun George, the most recent 1st Grader, cap no. 760. He is the ‘Bradman scholar’ for 2018-19. Does he know that Bradman scored his first Grade hundred on this ground 93 seasons ago?

In the middle, Eaton and Ayre prosper against strangely inconsistent bowling. The score mounts. Robertson places the field thoughtfully. Left and right hander hit thoughtfully to other parts of the field. The partnership advances to 118 until Kershaw tests Eaton’s patience and induces the snick to Cummins. But in half an hour Singh hits four effortless cover drives to the nearest boundary.  Malone before and after tea, however,  is a different prospect. Control and guile return as he takes his tally of season’s wickets to an extraordinary 46. And it’s only January! He skids one on to Singh who is LBW despite using the front pad. ‘Jubilate omnes gentes’ as we used to say. Everyone rejoice!

An involuntary look up to where the score used to be recorded on this ground sends thoughts back to T J E Andrews who trod the paths of this ground until he was 54, from  1909 until final retirement in 1944 (having unsuccessfully tried to retire when his scoreboard went up in 1936, only to be lured back for more in the War years). The leathery faced Tommy Andrews, son of TJ Andrews of Funeral Parlour fame. (You get to know these things when you get to a certain age!). Andrews, scorer of 11,699 runs in 1st Grade with Petersham in addition to his 504 wickets with leg breaks, bowled with an action that caused him to be called for throwing against Queensland in 1914. 8095 runs in 1st class cricket. 16 Tests between 1921 and 1926. University players of the 1920s would never forget him. He lashed them with his highest score, 271 in 1923-24.

In fact, there’s a little bit of this ground that contains memories of distinguished men who served the University with great fidelity:

Somewhere at the southern end of the park is Wentworth Street. Petersham Park was fashioned out of the subdivision in 1857 of one of William Charles Wentworth’s estates. It was Wentworth who moved in the NSW Legislative Council in 1849 for the establishment of the University of Sydney and who was then on the governing body of the University for its first 22 years.

Sydney University’s Hayden Kerr celebrates a maiden 1st Grade ton against Randwick-Petersham at Petersham Oval

Sydney University’s Hayden Kerr celebrates a maiden 1st Grade ton against Randwick-Petersham at Petersham Oval

Sydney University cricket’s President, Bruce Collins, had his name up on the scoreboard for most of one 2nd Grade game in 1977. He scored a blistering century on the first day and took 5 for 0 in his first two overs on the second day when Petersham collapsed from 1 for 59 to 8 for 61.

And in 1993-94, John Saint’s 173 included 11 sixes, five in one over from an increasingly perplexed Wayne Mulherin.

But this is 2019. Petersham has become ‘Petersham-Marrickville’ and now, since 2001, ‘Randwick-Petersham’ (even though a sign in the park proclaims that ‘Petersham-Randwick Cricket Club’ now plays here).

And University marches on. Another victory as Hayden Kerr, who played at Bowral where Bradman learnt his cricket before coming to Sydney, hits nine sixes on Sunday, in his 133 on pleasantly suburban Petersham Oval.

Round 10 Teams Announced

Round 10 Teams Announced

Round 10.jpg

2nd Grade
University Oval
10:00am start

Nick Walker +
Steven Hobson
Ryan Danne
Nicky Craze
James Larkin ©
Matt Moran
Tim Ley
Dave Miller
Max Hope
Charlie Cassell
Kieren Tate

3rd Grade
Coogee Oval
10:00am start

Ben Larkin ©
Jack Hill
Charles Litchfield
Alex Shaw +
AJ Grant
Will Masojada
Tom Kierath
Josh Toyer
Nihir Gandhi
Brodie Frost
Lewis McMahon

4th Grade
St. Paul’s Oval
10:00am start

Matt Powys
Hayden Storey
Ed Arnott +
Michael Robinson
Ash Cowan ©
Liam Coelho
Ned Barnett
Henry Clark
Dom O’Shannessy
Jazz Rinka
Murray Watts


5th Grade
Marrickville Oval
10:00am start

Brayden Dilley
Hugh Kermond +
James Robertson
Tom Fullerton
Billy Barge
Lewis Ansell
Zohirul Islam
Andrew Wilkinson ©
Aiden Peek
Tom Hill
Shehan Canagasingham

Metro Cup
St. Paul’s Oval
10:00am start (Sun)

Rakin Rahman
Saarangan Arvind
Azhar Saeed
Sudarshan Arvind
Cullen Hathurusinghe
Robert Browne
Greg Cade © +
Darshan Choudary
Max Shanahan
Tom Crawford
Cameron Pereira
Matthew Johns


ICYMI: Top of the Table Match-Ups + Head Coach Interview

ICYMI: Top of the Table Match-Ups + Head Coach Interview

Uni Triumph in Heavyweight Clash

While SUCC has been immovable in its position atop the club championship ladder, a regular contender for 2nd has been Bankstown Cricket Club. And, in their match-up this week, the round promised as good a test for the Students as any this season.

At Bankstown Oval, 1st Grade set about restricting the hosts as a lost toss saw Uni with ball in hand. Early strikes from opening duo Joe Kershaw (2-32) and Ben Joy put the Students on top early, before a brief but potent rebuild from Bankstown’s middle order. This was stifled by Devlin Malone, who was clinical in his 10 overs, as he claimed 3-33– aided by skipper Liam Robertson (3-30) – to see Bankstown bowled out for 231 in the final over. For Uni, Hayden Kerr started positively with 29 from 26 – his departure bringing Ed Cowan to the crease. Cowan partnered with Damien Mortimer (44) in smashing 85 from 63 deliveries (9 fours and 4 sixes) to see Uni to a dominant 5-wicket victory with more than 10 overs to spare.

At Uni No. 1, 2nd Grade elected to bat on a well-prepared wicket but, after a sub-par start, found themselves 3-48. Ben Trevor-Jones played a mature hand in scoring 55 to curb any chance of a collapse, before Nicky Craze starred with the bat – scoring a typically swashbuckling 76 from 75 deliveries. James Larkin then played a captain’s knock as he busily amassed 57 from 55 to push the Students’ total to 242. In chase, Bankstown were in disarray, as a rampant Charlie Cassell claimed 4 wickets in his first spell to see the visitors to 4-22. And, despite a dogged resistance from the visitor’s middle order, Uni’s bowlers secured victory – bowling Bankstown out for 186, led by a brilliant 5-35 from Charlie Cassell.

Electing to bat proved an easy decision for 3rd Grade, as their line-up promised a big chase for the hosts. However, at 4-36 Uni found themselves in strife, before Alex Shaw and Alasdair Grant combined for a brutal 169-run stand; Shaw completing another rescue mission with a classy 84 and Grant looking at ease on his way to a vital 86. Uni eventually powered to the strong total of 250 from their overs. In chase, a string of scores from Bankstown’s top-order threatened, before Tom Kiereth’s orthodox removed the set batsman and the Dogs’ middle order to see him claim 4-50 – the Students eventually bowling Bankstown out for 196 to ensure victory.

At what is becoming a fortress for Uni bowlers, St Paul’s Oval hosted another dominant victory for 4th Grade over Bankstown. With the visitors electing to bat first, Henry Clark went about his weekly task of removing top-order batsman for fun - nicking one off and bowling two, to finish with figures of 3-9. Not to be caught missing out, Murray Watts and Jazz Rinka claimed 2 each cheaply, before Will Masojada cleaned up the tail with 2 wickets of his own to see Bankstown bowled out for just 71. In chase Uni found little trouble, as they secured victory 3-down in the 13th over.

At Grahame Thomas Oval, 5th Grade elected to bat first on an even wicket that demanded a strong total. But the loss of regular wickets saw Uni struggling at 6/93 and, despite the best efforts of Liam Coelho, who scored a brilliant 85 from 80 deliveries, Uni managed only 193 from their 50 overs. In chase, the hosts were methodical after losing early wickets, rebuilding promptly to secure a 4-wicket victory and a disappointing loss for the Students.


A Coach’s Look

In only his first season as Director of Cricket, Cameron Borgas has made immediate and lasting impact at SUCC. Cam brings the exuberance, energy and (increasingly requisite) athleticism of a relatively young club coach along with an abundance of knowledge that would rival any of his more senior counterparts. With a value of meticulous planning and an appreciation for player-driven trainings that are tapered with skill-specific facilitation, Cam has developed the environment of professionalism that is emblematic of Sydney University Cricket Club.

I caught up with Cam this week to get his take on the season so far, and his hopes for its remainder.

Sydney Uni has been dominant across the grades for the first half of the 2018/19 season. As Director of Cricket, what has been the most pleasing aspect of this performance?

C: The performances have been excellent but I’m a big believer in the getting the process right and the results will take care of themselves. To that end, I’ve been really pleased with the culture at the club and the attitude of the playing group. We have a very talented group with excellent depth throughout the grades which is great, but more importantly we have a committed group of genuinely good people who support each other and always put their team and club first.

Given the rigour and planning put into the preseason, you would have had a good idea of the club’s potential in the weeks leading up to Round 1. What goals did you have for certain players, squads, or club-wide, based on this year’s talent pool at SUCC?

C: The Club Championship was and still is a major goal that everyone has bought into really well and this focus has contributed to a strong, inclusive culture at the club. To be in a strong position, 175 points clear of 2nd, with 6 rounds remaining is exciting but there is a still a lot of work to do and we will need to maintain our standards against some strong opposition over the next couple of months to achieve our goal.

Seeing improvement in individuals and collectively in teams was also a goal. It’s been particularly pleasing to see so many reaching personal best levels including players such as Nick Larkin who is having his best Shield Season and currently doing well in the Big Bash, Hayden Kerr making his Futures League Debut before Christmas, and Ryan Danne making his 1st Grade Debut after starting at the club in Green Shield, just to name a few. This progression is important and we like to think we give each player at the club a really strong chance of becoming the best player they can be. It also goes without saying that we want to play in finals and win premierships and it’s fantastic that we have got ourselves into a position where we will likely be playing in a number of finals across the grades over the next couple of months.

Sydney Uni’s 1st Grade recently had its most successful campaign in the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup – finishing runners up to Sutherland – and have earned themselves a ticket to the inaugural National T20 Premier Cricket Tournament in March. What sort of weight does such a tournament carry in the eyes of a coach and what will a successful trip to Adelaide entail?

C: The National T20 Premier Cricket Tournament is a wonderful opportunity for our club to feature on a National Stage. Like any match or competition we are involved in, we are in it to win it. We will prepare well and give it our absolute best shot.

Given the positions of each grade (and the club itself on the championship ladder) at this point in the season, what are the sort of metrics that the 2018/19 season will eventually be judged on?

C: Inevitably seasons are judged on Premierships and we obviously want to give ourselves a chance to win as many as we can. They never come easily so we will need to maintain our standards and continue to improve in all facets. The Club Championship is massive – we are in a good position and it would be a great result if we are able to take it out. However, there is still a lot of water to go under the bridge and it is a very even competition where anyone can beat anyone. Cricket tends to make clubs/teams/players pay a high price for getting ahead of themselves so we need to ensure we stay in the present rather than looking too far ahead, and bring a finals-like focus and intensity to everything we do. If we keep nailing the process the results will take care of themselves.

Round 9 Teams Announced

Round 9 Teams Announced

Round 9.jpg

2nd Grade
University Oval
10:00am start

Ben Trevor-Jones +
Steven Hobson
Varun George
Ryan Danne
James Larkin ©
Nicky Craze
Matt Moran
Max Hope
Charlie Cassell
Kieren Tate
Josh Toyer

3rd Grade
Jensen Park
10:00am start

Ben Larkin ©
Jack Hill
Charles Litchfield
Dave Miller
Alex Shaw +
Tom Kierath
AJ Grant
Nihir Gandhi
Dom O’Shannessy
Brodie Frost
Lewis McMahon

4th Grade
St. Paul’s Oval
10:00am start

Matt Powys
Will Masojada
Michael Robinson
Hayden Storey
Tim Ley
Ash Cowan ©
Ed Arnott +
Henry Clark
Aiden Peek
Jazz Rinka
Murray Watts


5th Grade
Graham Thomas Oval
10:00am start

Brayden Dilley
Hugh Kermond +
James Robertson
Tom Fullerton
Liam Coelho
Lewis Ansell
Ned Barnett
Zohirul Islam
Andrew Wilkinson ©
Tom Hill
Shehan Canagasingham

Metro Cup
St. Paul’s Oval
10:00am start (Sun)

Rakin Rahman
Azhar Saeed
Billy Barge
Saarangan Arvind
Cullen Hathurusinghe
Darshan Choudery
Mo Ghumman
Cameron Pereira
Tom Crawford
Sanjeev Tadepalli
Ryan O’Sullivan
Ben Crawford


RIP: Dr WJ Mackie

RIP: Dr WJ Mackie

The Club is saddened to hear of the death of Doctor WJ (Jim) MACKIE

The ‘prince of keepers’, a  gentleman cricketer, a life-long and ever gracious supporter and benefactor of the Club.

1st Grade cap no.394

Blue for cricket 1954

SUCC Foundation Life Member

SUCC Vice President since 1964

President of SUCC. 1965-73

Patron of SUCC  1990-2003.

Jim played 1st grade as a keeper from 1952 to 1956

26 innings for 412 runs at 17.9 

He then played for the SUCC Veterans into the 1980s and 1990s when he was aged in his 60s. 

He was a dentist. His wife, Helen, predeceased him. 

Our thoughts go out to his family and friends at this sad time.

Round 8 Teams Announced

Round 8 Teams Announced

Round 8.jpg

2nd Grade
Allan Border Oval
10:30am start

Ryan Danne
Charles Litchfield
Varun George
Nicky Craze
James Larkin ©
Alex Shaw +
Max Hope
Nihir Gandhi
Brodie Frost
Kieren Tate
Josh Toyer

3rd Grade
St Paul’s Oval
12:15pm start

Ben Larkin ©
Matt Powys
James Crowley +
Vince Umbers
Matt Moran
Hayden Storey
AJ Grant
Michael Robinson
Jack Lawson
Aiden Peek
Murray Watts

4th Grade
Rawson Oval
12:15pm start

Hugh Kermond
Tom Fullerton
James Robertson
Ben Mitchell
Ash Cowan ©
Ed Arnott +
Liam Coelho
Sanjay Anandarajah
Luca Dimeglio
Tom Hill
Shehan Canagasingham


5th Grade
Camperdown Oval
12:15pm start

Hugh Farrow
Brayden Dilley
Zohirul Islam
Lewis Ansell
Cullen Hathurusinghe
Azhar Saeed
Oscar Kirk
Andrew Wilkinson ©
Max Shanahan
Tom Crawford
Murray Miles

Metro Cup
Marrickville Oval
12:15pm start

TBA