1st Grade:

Blacktown 10/356 (A Lilley 77, J Fawcett 60, D Crawford 48, D Holloway 3/44, T Ley 3/72)

Trips west to play Blacktown have been memorable over the years. Flat, hard pitches and brutal conditions seem to draw out the strange and humorous. Greg Matthews once turned up with a live chicken, purchased at a roadside stall on the way out.  Ed Cowan has been lost and late, too far from Anzac Parade, more times than I can remember and SBS News once arrived for a ‘heatwave in the west’ story and found a willing interview participant, Hector Paskal.  When Saturday morning presented a well grassed pitch and a temperature ten degrees cooler than ‘normal,’ skipper Nick Larkin chose to field first.

The game itself had an odd rhythm to it, it felt like we were playing in a highlights package. We were unable to get enough balls in the right area early on, and the Blacktown batsmen responded with an attacking mindset. Thankfully they made enough mistakes too, wickets fell steadily enough to keep thoughts of bowling them out around tea in our minds. It wasn’t to be, a counter attacking hand from their no 7 taking the score toward 350 and the time toward (a late) stumps.

Tim Ley (22-3-3-72) was consistent and the pick of the bowlers, Tim Rogers (20-5-2-81) threatened to crack them open during a hostile old ball spell, Joy (15-3-2-53) did his best Moran impression (bowled well without luck) and Dugald (8.3-0-3-44) returned late to swing the second new ball to good effect. Our catching was at best scratchy and we will need to be close to our best next week to bring the points home.

2nd Grade: 

Blacktown 89 (G McCartin 23, J Craig-Dobson 4/33, L Neil-Smith 2/7) Sydney University 3/87 (B Trevor-Jones 34, N Craze 19)

The 2’s boys arrived on a hot and sweaty day after dropping the ball in the past two games, this was the game we needed to stand up. Will Hay stepped up in Dave Miller’s absence as captain. A fast and aggressive game of Nash saw the Old team go on to win with the extra man, a great physical start to the day to get the team ready for a big game ahead. The wicket looking hard with a fair bit of live grass on the top, being a good toss to lose the boys from Blacktown sent the Uni boys out to field.

Young Lawrence Neil-Smith to start us off with the ball from the grandstand end, sending them down at a serious pace. When the first wicket was taken by Lawrence there was a small collapse and Jono Craig-Dibbley-Dobson stole the show taking two quick wickets and even knocking a stump out of the ground! Great pace from the man known as School zone.

The ball seaming around in the first hour, Blacktown found themselves at 4-37 at drinks.

With Big Dugald being promoted up to 1st Grade, it brought up Lewis McMahon after finding some form with the ball over the last month or so. Lewis teamed up with Jack Holloway to keep us well in the game taking us past lunch into the next drinks break with some strong overs while the boys from Blacktown weren’t getting too far with the bat, the Uni boys staying well on top. After Dobson took his 4th wicket for the game bringing, ex-international test cricketer Corey Collymore at the age of 39. Collymore was eventually dismissed by Whitaker to bowl Blacktown out for 90.

Hay and James Larkin were to start us off with the bat. We lost Hay early in the innings, bringing in the keeper-bat Trevor-Jones who batted through the rest of the afternoon with young Nicky Craze after Larkin was dismissed for 17. The students to finish the day at 2-87. Going in to next weekend in a strong position hopeful for the outright win!

3rd Grade:

Blacktown 10/142 (G Ganeshkumar 37, A Titterton 35, H Clark 3/23, R Kurtz 2/25, J Kershaw 2/30) Sydney University 1/40 (K Jacobs 21, T Kierath 15, B Kannan 1/13).

3s boys arrived at Whalen looking to make it 7 wins in a row.  Tom Kierath was overjoyed with the soft green deck that confronted the students and his mood didn’t improve after a subpar Nash performance from the olds to lose in a very dubious 3 all draw (Ash Cowan used all his cheating ability to ensure the game ended in a draw).  Thankfully however Ash won the toss and asked the hosts to have a bat. With the opening pair of Kershaw and Toyer the students were ready to rip through the Blacktown top order.  Kershaw grabbed the edge in his second over and Toyer’s first three overs were maidens, as Blacktown crawled along to 1/3 in the 6th over.  Despite the bowler friendly conditions the hosts top order left well and managed to get through the first ten overs with the loss of just 1 wicket. However Clark Henry was able to get his first ball on the stumps and the Blacktown batsman, totally confused by what had transpired, forgot to hit the ball as it crashed into his toe in front of middle.   Clark grabbed the 3rd a few overs later with a sharp catch to Shaw at first slip, and Ash Cowan joined in getting the batsman to hit one straight to mid-on for a good catch to Nick Arnold.  Blacktown were now reeling at 4/21.

A few decent partnerships through the middle order and some lack luster fielding from the students saw Blacktown push towards the 100. Ryan Danne was the pick of the bowlers throughout the middle session regularly beating the bat, getting through his 8 overs and going for just 9 runs.  After the Tea break Joe Kershaw wound back the clock and decided to bounce the Blacktown Batsman out, however despite several close chances was unable to do so. Clark was brought back into the attack with immediate results, grabbing the top edge from a pull stroke caught at fine leg, much to Kershaw’s disgust. Ryan Kurtz, Danne and Kierath combined to clean up the tail ultimately dismissing Blacktown for 142. 

With 18 overs to bat on a still seaming wicket the boys were in for a tough time.  Losing Danne early had the students against the wall at 1/6 however Kevin Jacob(s) joined Kierath and the two of them batted with excellent control and maturity ensuring the scoreboard slowly ticked over ending the days play at 1/40.  Overall a good performance from the 3s boys and hopefully can rock up next week and get the job done.   

4th Grade:

Blacktown 10/236 (A Gater 57, Y Sharma 33)

The 4s boys arrived to Paul’s with a bit of a roll on from the previous two wins and were tasked with the challenge of a momentum gathering Blacktown outfit. Some changes and unavailability had led to a slightly different team sheet but a strong Uni team was assembled yet again.  The wicket looked a belter and all that remained was for the captain to cheat in Nash and win the toss.  Successful in 1 of the 2 requirements, the nuffies grabbed the points in Nash but the dents were subjected to field.  The early signs were good for the uni side with Peek continuing to show his impressive form and the physiotherapist’s best mate, Kieran Tate, coming back from injury buoyed the attack.  Blacktown were required to dig in and apply themselves for the first 20 overs which they negotiated well.  The good batting strip became more and more evident as we approached tea and the sun baked any life from the surface.  Blacktown 2/110ish at tea were well set.  Little be known to the Blacktown side was that the Uni boys were soon to employ a milo Cricket special with the rotation policy applied to have Tommy Galvin bowling (depiste being selected as a batsman and keeper in adjacent fixtures for the weekend).  Tommy in tandem with the quicks set about wrestling SUCC Back into a position that would be considered ahead of the ledger.  Some lusty blows from the tail pulled the match toward parity with the final wicket being taken in the 79th and the score settled at 236. 

Good toil from the team and strong rewards to Peeky and Galvs both grabbing 4 on a batting friendly day.  Disciplined Batting next week should hope to return a well-earned 6 points to the students.

5th Grade:

Sydney University 10/196 (S Murthy 46, C Lorenzato 44, B Frost 33, M Harris 32, H Rauf 4/37)

After getting the win last round, 5s were keen to continue their momentum. Thankfully, we arrived at Whalen and the 150m boundaries had been roped in a good 20/30 metres, however they seemed to have balanced the smaller boundaries with a raging green seamer.  After being sent in to bat, we struggled early getting to 4/53, however Christian Lorenzato batted with control and maturity for a solid 44 before being dismissed.  Brodie Frost and Skipper Mike Harris (32*) joined each other and proceeded to add 50 before Brodie departed for an aggressive 33.  Mikey was joined by Sameer who posted his highest score for the club with a powerful 46 helping the students to post 196 off 64 overs.

With time for 13 overs in the days play, the students set about making early inroads and Brodie Frost didn’t disappoint bowling with great pace and aggression dismissing the Blacktown opening bat for just 4 to finish the day with figures of 1/6 off 7.  Brodie was well supported by Natesh Yoganand who claimed the other opener in his spell of 1/6 off 4.  Blacktown ended the day at 2/22 with the students requiring a further 8 wickets for victory.   

Metro Cup

Sydney University 8dec 315 (H Farrow 108, M Miles 49) Mosman 3/12 (R Miles 2/6)

Arriving to sunny Balmoral the students had eyes on a big score and were not disappointed when the toss was won and the pads put on. However, a two paced wicket was the undoing of most of the top order as they were out caught playing across the line. Debutant Hugh Farrow steadied the ship with Tim Fitzgerald and Ethan Clout before going on to post his first century for the club. Murray Miles was on track for his second 50 in a row but ran himself out on 49 in an attempt to sneak Farrow to his milestone.

Declaring at 9/314 the bowlers set their sights on early breakthroughs in the final 9 overs of play. The two Miles brothers combined to take 3 wickets with Russell claiming two scalps in his first over. The early introduction of spin tested the second night watchman's footwork, however, no more wickets fell and the day ended with Mosman on 3/12.


Eastern Suburbs 10/137 (W Lawrance 44, J Remond 33, L Neil-Smith 3/18, J Craig-Dobson 3/22) Defeated by Sydney University 9/138 (R Danne 44, K Jacob 26, W Simpson 3/39, J Pattison 2/23). 

PG's had a nail biter win against Eastern Suburbs to finish 5th on the table securing a spot into the finals. The students had their first chase of the campaign after they bowled the low placed opposition out for 137 after 42 overs. The leaders of the attack were young gun Lawrence Neil-Smith (3-18) and Jono Craig-Dobson (3-22) both very economical of their 10 overs. Combing with spearhead Dugald Holloway (2-19) and Ryan Danne (1-23) saw uni blasting through easts containing them to a below par score on what seemed like another good no.1 deck. PG's bully Hayden Kerr blasted a quick fire 15 in the first overs before being dismissed followed by Kevin Jacob (26) and Ryan Danne (44) having the side 1 for 70 seeming to be cruising to the target. However ex-student Jonte Pattison and St Paul's college boy Jack Remond had other plans both taking a handful of wickets and a clinical run out saw the Dents 7 down with 14 runs remaining. another 2 wickets fell leaving Kieran Tate and Liam Whitikar to score the final 7 runs.

But the class of Tate and solid defence of Liam helped see Uni pass the total in the 43rd over. A good win leaving the students with a 5 game winning streak heading into the finals learning many lessons along the way. The boys now face Parramatta at Old Kings Oval in the qualifying final on February 19th.