Sydney Uni sides started the 2016-17 McDonald's NSW Premier Cricket Competition strongly with wins in 4 out of the 5 grades, and an unfortunate loss in Metropolitan Cup due to rain.

1st Grade:

For the first time in quite a number of seasons, First Grade took to Uni No. 1 Oval for Round 1 of the season, up against Campbelltown-Camden in a Limited Overs match.

Naming four debutants for the game provided energy and excitement for round one of 2016-17. Larkin lost the toss and was invited to field on a typically slow and lifeless wicket at Sydney Uni Cricket Ground (No. 1 Oval).

Ley and Rogers bowled with discipline and control, restricting the Ghosts from scoring freely at what was the best time to bat.

 Tim Ley in motion

Tim Ley in motion

 Tom Rogers sends one down, Ed Cowan awaiting a chance

Tom Rogers sends one down, Ed Cowan awaiting a chance

Three debutants had a hand in the first wicket - Mortimer chasing hard to the boundary and flicking the ball back from the rope; Malone swooping on it and throwing it 70 meters; and May whipping off the bails to complete first grades best piece of fielding since Ian Moran's famous 'backhand flick' in 2011/12.

 A Damien Mortimer save, for a Devlin Malone rocket...

A Damien Mortimer save, for a Devlin Malone rocket...

 ... ends in an Ashton May take and runout

... ends in an Ashton May take and runout

The spin pairing of May and Malone took control of the middle overs, restricting scoring and yielding six wickets as Campbelltown slumped to 8/112. At this point, on of the two had been involved in every dismissal, with May producing a sublime save to effect another run out. 

 May prepares a delivery amid his controlled spell of off-spin

May prepares a delivery amid his controlled spell of off-spin


As the spinners finished their allotted overs (Malone 4-31, May 2-37) the Ghosts lower order decided batting for time was their best option for making a defendable total. Despite high quality spells from Joy, Ley and Rogers, the defensive batting approach made wickets hard to come by. Ley and Rogers took one each in the final overs to leave SUCC chasing 169 for victory in the afternoon.

A wobbly start saw Cowan, Larkin and Carters back in the sheds with just five runs between them. At 3/21, there was no better man for the task at hand than Greg Mail. Summing up the wicket, Mail attacked the spinners from his first ball, changing the tempo of the innings. He found a more than able partner in May, who's dream debut rolled on, as they compiled a clinical partnership of 133 to get the home side within spitting distance of victory. Mail finally fell for a superb 85, leaving Liam Robertson to hit the winning runs and finish 8 not out, with man of the match May undefeated on 60.

 A Greg Mail sweep shot highlighted a masterclass

A Greg Mail sweep shot highlighted a masterclass

 May hits out with less than 10 runs to win

May hits out with less than 10 runs to win

A pleasing display and valuable six points, but the bar will have to be raised again in round two against St George.

2nd Grade:

A young SUCC 2nd grade side had an early start heading out to Campbelltown for round one. Some traffic at the international airport almost saw a few early cases but all arrived in time for young vs old Nash. The youngsters struggled to take the ascendancy with the extra man but eventually took advantage and the beers.

University lost the toss and were made to bowl on what looked like a reasonable first up wicket and fast outfield. Despite a bit of a wayward start, Uni had Campbelltown 3-43 and were looking good. Liam Whitaker came on and things got even better as he took a wicket with his first ball in Second Grade, followed by two more in his 10 over-straight spell to finish with 3-41 and leaving Campbelltown 6-138. At this stage Uni were confident of bowling Campbelltown out for a modest total, however a 7th wicket partnership of 77 at better than a run a ball saw Campbelltown reach 236 from their 50 overs despite some good bowling through the middle and at the death from Dugald Holloway (3-43). Hayden Kerr also impressed on debut in 2nd grade with 2-46 and Kieran Elley in his first game for the Students bowled well for his 2 wickets (2-38).

Chasing 236 on a good wicket and fast outfield should have been relatively straightforward. However, the Students lost wickets at regular intervals before some middle order resistance by Craze (31) and Holloway (34). Struggling to build any momentum against a spin-heavy attack on a turning wicket, it was a disappointing effort with the bat that saw Uni bowled out for 169 in the 43rd over.

Expect plenty of improvement across the park for a tough round two fixture against St. George.

3rd Grade:

The Third Grade title defence started off shakily as new (but not so new) opener, Tom Kierath, was adjudged LBW first ball of the match. Aside from the unfortunate Kierath, most of the top-order made starts on a slow St Paul's wicket, but unfortunately could not capitalise, losing regular wickets throughout the morning.

Ed Arnott top-scored with a well compiled 49 runs and combined with skipper, Ash Cowan (25) to push the Students total up to a competitive 182, leaving 10 overs in the sheds.

Kierath played a part in some revenge, catching his opposite Campbelltown-Camden opener off teenage speedster, Lawrence Neil-Smith (1-21), for a golden duck.

Cambelltown-Camden were however cruising towards victory, being 3 down for 90 runs before a Cowan inspired demolition began. Cowan proceeded to claim 5-23 from 8 overs of innocuous medium pacers, and was supported by the wily Kierath (2-26), miserly Jono Craig-Dobson (1-8 from 6 overs), and leg-spinner Ryan Kurtz (1-13), to bowl Campbelltown-Camden out for 144 runs and a 38 run victory.

4th Grade:

A newly formed Sydney Uni 4s rolled into Raby 3 to commence our title defence campaign and were greeted by a slightly under prepared surface. Luck seemingly on our side, Sydney Uni were able to win the toss and requested the Ghosts to have first use of the facilities with the bat. On a tacky surface, the bowlers were asked to be disciplined and make batsmen play, which they delivered, resulting in Sydney Uni gaining an early ascendancy and having the Ghosts reeling at 6/50. Wickets continued to fall with applied pressure and the opposition were removed in the 30th over for a total of 76.

All bowlers were strong, claiming at least 1 wicket each, but Lewis McMahon (3-12), Nick Powys (2-3) and Ryan Danne (2-12) the standouts.

With a bonus point looming, Sydney Uni recognised the need to maintain control of the match and not allow a low total chase wobble to be introduced. Danne (46) and McElduff (23) managed this task brilliantly and took the lads within a whisker of a 10 wicket victory. However, both openers lost their claim to red ink with 2 runs to win, and it was left to resident bad boy, Jake Day to whack one through the infield to close out the game in the 23rd over. 

A nice early mark and a strong start to the year enjoyed by all.

5th Grade:

A strong 5-wicket victory gave stand-in skipper Suda Sivapalan the perfect start to the season with a young side under his wings.

Winning the toss and sending Campbelltown-Camden in to bat, the Students maintained pressure throughout the innings, picking up wickets at regular intervals to allow no partnership greater than 40 runs. Debutant Sameer Murthy (3-26) was the pick of the bowlers, and was ably supported by Ryan Holcroft (2-20).

Cambpelltown-Camden setting a total of 8-195 for the Students to chase, and chase they did. Kevin Jacobs (17) and Braydon Dilley (18) starting solidly, before skipper Sivapalan (48), Sam Roby (66no) and Murthy (21no) guided the team home with 2 overs to spare.

Metropolitan Cup:

Two amazing innings' from the Students was to no avail as rain and circumstances led to an unfortunate loss to Randwick-Petersham Green despite being well on top on Sunday.

Zohirul Islam led scorers with 122 runs, and with youngster Hamish Rogers (106) put on a 182-run fourth wicket partnership to set a mammoth 307 runs from their allotted 45 overs.


Unfortunately, rain interfered, and with Randwick-Petersham knowing all they needed to do was be ahead of the run rate, swung lustily to finish 6-173 runs from their 25 overs. This saw Randwick-Petersham's run rate of 6.92 eclipse Uni's 6.82 despite only having 4 wickets in hand to hit the remaining 134 runs needed to reach the total.

Danny Wicks claimed 2-5 from 2 overs and Green Shield squad member (and younger brother of centurion Hamish), Ewan Rogers claimed 2-44 runs.

A harsh loss, but one that the young lads should still be proud of.

Full scorecards for all matches can be found here.

This weekend will see Sydney Uni take on the powerful St George DCC in Limited Overs matches.

The first grade match at Hurstville Oval will be played for the O'Keeffe-O'Sullivan Trophy and we urge all our alumni and supporters to get out to the game starting from 9.30am to enjoy a fine day put on by St George to celebrate the friendship between the club legends, Kerry O'Keeffe and Mick O'Sullivan.