1st Grade:

Sydney University 5/395 (R Carters 167, N Larkin 129) Defeated Sutherland 10/243 (P Saroukos 67, D Fallins 58, B Joy 5/53)  

The boys arrived at Glen McGrath oval for the first Saturday/Sunday fixture of the year. Losing the toss, the Students were sent in to bat and after losing Ed Cowan early it seemed it may have been a great decision from the Sutherland skipper.  However, Nick Larkin and Ryan Carters combined for an incredible 222 run partnership during which Nick scored his fourth hundred for the season and became only the fifth batsman to pass 7000 runs for the club.  Not to be outdone, Ryan posted his second century for the season and his highest score for the club, with an unbeaten 167.  Late innings cameos from Damien Mortimer (37) and Ashton May (19) saw the students declare with 10 overs to go in the day at 5/395.

Devlin Malone in his first game against his old club picked up the vital wicket of Jarryd Biviano to have Sutherland 1/41 at the close of day one. Needing a further 9 wickets to secure the win, the bowlers arrived Sunday and bowled with excellent discipline and consistent aggression.  Tom Rogers bowled with exceptional pace and accuracy to claim 3/33 off his 16 overs, he was well supported by Tim Ley (1/54) however Ben Joy was the pick of the bowlers.  Ben tore through Sutherlands lower order to take his first five wicket haul in first grade and claimed his 350th wicket for the club.  Ben’s 5/53 ensured the students claimed the 6 points eventually dismissing Sutherland for 279 as first grade continue their push towards the minor premiership.

2nd Grade: 

Sydney University 10/185 (B Trevor-Jones 43, D Miller 20, E Bagnall 3/30) Defeated by Sutherland 2/187 (A Whatley 110, R Darkins 47, L Neil-Smith 2/41)

The Students went in to the fixture v Sutherland off the back of a nail biting loss to Northern Districts, and we eager to make up for missed chances. Captain Miller won the toss and elected to bat on what was a hard and lively Uni deck, under somewhat hazardous skies. This was the last of the joy for the troops as wickets fell at regular intervals, with resistance shown by only Trevor-Jones (43) and Neill-Smith (21*) in a disappointing batting performance. Sutherland bowled a consistent length and were tight in the field, although it must be said that the appropriate value was not placed on wickets by Uni in a team total of 185.

In response The Sharks started positively with some swashbuckling stroke play, and it seemed that all was going the way of the men from the Shire. Despite best efforts from the bowling group, Uni were unable to penetrate Sutherland’s openers and found the total of 185 to be significantly under par on a good batting track with sun shining. Dismissed with only a handful of runs remaining, Whatley took the game away from The Students with a blistering 110 and was well supported in an opening partnership of 160. Neill-Smith was the standout performer with the ball as Sutherland passed the total with 8 wickets and 8 overs in hand.

3rd Grade:

Sutherland 10/155 (C Weatherall 34, L McMahon 4/26, A Cowan 2/14) Defeated by Sydney University 7/156 (A Shaw 41, R Danne 23, J Horner 3/23).

The boys rolled down the coast to take on cellar-dwelling Sutherland, a club not accustomed to such a lowly ladder position and undoubtedly hungry from success against a side in the six. Captain Cowan won the toss and bowled for the second fixture running, an absolute hot streak by his measures. It seemed an important win on a deck relatively indistinguishable from the rest of the square and with the heavy roller in operation as the drizzle continued at 9:20 or so.

But the wicket stayed relatively true throughout the overcast morning and wickets were tough to come by as balls flew at catchable height through gaps or just out of reach. A couple of other missed chances meant the Sharks went to the break only a couple down, but scoring slowly. The middle overs saw more consistent wickets, and they continued to fall throughout the morning’s play with Lewis McMahon taking the final two in successive deliveries to claim the lion’s share (four) and leave himself in the hunt for a hopscotch style hat-trick against Blacktown this coming weekend. Shame about Nash though, with Lewis going down again as the swing player on the young side, he probably thought we’d forgotten; just too much experience in the greasy morning conditions. The remaining scalps were shared between the rest of what was a consistent attack.

Our batting innings started positively before Kierath was caught at cover with Danne (23) advancing the scoring with Shaw (41) who continued the work with Craze (23) before skying a sweep shot in a moment of zeal. Craze batted with calm and a remarkable lack of ‘ramps’ in his innings cut short by a sliding delivery that rattled the castle. The starts kept coming, but unfortunately nobody really went on with the job, which meant we made the run chase harder than it needed to be, Arnold (22) nearly got us there but Arnott (18*) finished the chase as we limped home, 7 down.

A reserved song was complimented with better news that table-topping Penrith and Mosman were rolled for not many, allowing the students back to the Mitchell Cup summit. It feels good to be home.

4th Grade:

Northern Districts 10/109 (AJ Grant 3/25, A Peek 3/27, H Clark 2/24) Defeated by Sydney University 3/110 (B Larkin 45, A Shaw 32)

After a dominant 7 wicket victory over ladder leaders Northern Districts, 4s arrived at St Paul's full of confidence.  A sloppy Nash performance from the nerds combined with Julio Angus Cusack's finishing ability meant the good guys lost 4-1.

Winning the toss on a green but hard deck, AJ quickly chose to bowl. An early breakthrough for Ryan Holcroft had the students on top. However the students were not at their clinical best and bowled too many four balls, allowed Sutherland to score regular boundaries. Despite a rather lacklustre performance with the ball and in the field we kept taking wickets are regular intervals.  Angus Cusack making his 4th grade debut was without doubt the pick of the bowlers, took two outstanding return catches and breaking middle stump to finish with figures of 3/30 off his 7. Ryan Holcroft also took 3, and Clark Henry burgled 2 wickets. Eventually dismissing Sutherland for 158 in the 36th. 

Kev Jacobs and Vince Umbers started explosively with 18 coming off the first two overs. Steven Hobson also making his fourth grade debut, and subsequently joining the elite few to have played every grade at the club, was strangled down leg for 9, just a few runs less than his 5th grade debuts score of 240*.  Clark (47*) joined Jacobs (59) when Galvin was dismissed in the 19th with the score in 83. These two proceeded to push the scoring along and got painfully close to securing a bonus point victory. Unfortunately, Clark faced a maiden over in the 25th, in which he swung so hard at one ball that he let go of the bat, and for it to fly and land at the feet of short fine leg. Despite our best efforts we were unable to secure the bonus point passing Sutherlands total of 158 in the 32nd over, 

5th Grade:

Sydney University 9/196 (J Toyer 49, J Morley 34, B Frost 22, L Johnston 2/28) Defeated Sutherland 10/182 (S Kourouche 39, N Yoganand 3/27, M Phoebus 3/42)  

After a few disappointing rounds 5th grade arrived at Tonkin Park on Sunday keen to get their season back on track.  Winning the toss Mike quickly chose to bat.  A few early wickets had us struggling at 3/40, however Josh Toyer (49) in his comeback game quickly corrected this putting on 83 with Jarryd Morley (34).  Brodie Frost continued his form with the bat posting a rapid fire 22 to help set a competitive 196. 

Sutherland got off to a good start, putting on 46 without losing a wicket, however Natesh Yoganand and Michael Phoebus combined brilliantly claiming 3/27 and 3/42 respectively.  Josh Toyer joined the party to also claim 2/24 off his ten overs as we secured the win by 14 runs. Good team effort to hopefully get the season back on track. 

Metro Cup

UNSW 9/195 (O Howard 46, A Voleti 32, E Clout 3/34) Defeated by Sydney University 7/197 (D Wicks 49, J Gillespie 32)

The Metro Cup team continued their strong start to the new year with a victory over UNSW. The ‘olds’ team put on a clinical display of Nash Ball featuring a strong run by Islam (AKA: Ronaldo) from goal to goal to score his first points of the season.

After winning the toss the Sydney Uni team had first use of the ball and set about restricting the flow of runs. Tight bowling and disciplined fielding held UNSW to 43 from the first 20 overs. Ethan Clout starred with the ball taking 3/34 from his 10. However, with wickets still in hand, late hitting and suicidal running saw us chasing 196 for victory.

A solid 106 run partnership for the first wicket between James Gillespie and Danny Wicks meant that victory was almost assured. But a collapse of 5/30 with 65 more runs to chase put the pressure back on. Late hitting from Ayush Mishra and Hamish Rogers brought the chase back under control and the winning runs were scored with 13 balls remaining.

Metro Cup travel to Balmoral next round to take on 8th placed Mosman. Hopefully the weather allows for a post game recovery in the waves.

Sydney Uni Vets against Reg Bartley

On the beautiful Reg Bartley Oval, we opted to bat first, as we didn’t have 11 in whites by the time the coin was in the air.

Prior to the toss the captains had a couple of conversations about match format and decided the first innings would be 40 overs each, 70 overs per day and win, draw or loss possible on the 2nd day.

The pitch was looking very green and the outfield very slow, with a cloud cover slowly dissolving it was a tough challenge for Finny and Ryan opening the batting.

After 13 overs we were none for 40 so a very decent start to proceedings. When Finn was out LBW (12), Bibin (17) continued with a steady and sometimes hard hitting Ryan at the other end. At 1/57, Ryan was caught for 31 runs trying to force and from there on we lost wickets regularly. Craig Fletcher (20) steadied the innings and with some smart shots and quick running we managed a final score of 112 ao, in the last of the 40 allocated overs. Considering a two-paced pitch and very small outfield, we were reasonably content knowing our bowling side would be the stronger one. Some other high (or low, depends on how you see it) lights were a very elegant 6 from KP, a freakish run out ended the debut innings of Matt Cudmore and an excellent 0* from Smokey.

We collected our thoughts during an impressive lunch arranged by the Reg Bartley guys and had no less than 10 bowlers at our disposal with 30 overs left in the day.

We started with KP charging in from the New South Head Road and a skiddy Singh from the other end.  Runs were hard to find, line and length was good and soon KP took the first wicket. Their number 3, clearly the top bat, looked to take the game away from us so we opted for a double bowling change. Craig’s radar was still in Newton but Ryan was finding his groove very quickly. In his 3rd over, Craig was starting to hit the spot regularly and found the big toe of their top bat straight in front of middle stump, gone! What followed was a combination of skill, consistent line and a jaw dropping experience for all but Ryan. He first removed the opening batsman, having batted with one glove (!), with an excellent wrong’un. Next ball, standard practice for a leggie, another wrong’un first up, pegs! With a hattrick field setting and a collective roar, he bowled a full banger, only for the batsman to chip it to Mid On. Matty Freeman sobered up quickly enough to think about the impact of missing this catch before holding on, creating a celebration frenzy amongst the Vets. The hattrick field stayed on and nr 7 only just dug out the quattrick, or whatever you name 4 in 4. He wasn’t finished however and tore through the tail finishing up with an astonishing 7/15 in 8, including another catch by Matt patrolling Mid On, a Mark Waugh like 2nd slip catch by KP and a sharp take on his own bowling. There were some harsh words to Ryan for dropping a batsman in slips only to catch him off his own bowling the next over. We ended up bowling them out for 61 with a possible 3 overs to bat, but both parties agreed that the best way to finish this day is to grab some cold beers and let it all sink in. Excellent gamesmanship, lunch and beers from Reg Bartley resulted in a great day of cricket!

So with a lead of 50 we will go in day two next week, with 70 overs to play and all results possible, your truly already pondering the moment of declaration.