Blacktown 10/356 (A Lilley 77, J Fawcett 60, D Crawford 48, D Holloway 3/44, T Ley 3/72) Defeated by Sydney University 5/357 (G Mail 106*, E Cowan 79, D Mortimer 59, D Singh 2/66)
With temperatures, approximately 10 degrees warmer than last week Nick Larkin’s decision to bowl day one seemed a stroke of genius. With Joe McAleer looking as hard and as fast as ever, Nick and Ed Cowan quickly took control of the match. After their 6 hour, 330 run partnership on Monday in NSW Futures League game, you could forgive these two for being sick of each other’s company. However, with ease they posted their 3rd 100 run opening stand for the students this year before Nick was run out for 42 perhaps they were sick of each other’s company after all. Ed continued his imperious form, before he was eventually dismissed for 79. Ryan Carters followed soon after and the game was back in the balance at 3/145.
However, the odd couple of Damien Mortimer and Greg Mail joined forces and posted the second 100 run stand of the innings as Morts notched his 6th score over 50 for the year. Damien was dismissed for 59, bringing Ashton May to the crease at 4/246. Ashton and Greg preceded to post the third significant stand of the day before Ashton fell 3 short of yet another 100-run partnership. Greg and Ashton where exceptional, taking total control and refusing to allow Blacktown a sniff. Maily does what he does best, posting another first grade hundred (his 44th) finishing unbeaten on 106 as we passed Blacktown’s 356 with overs to spare.
It was a truly impressive chase and further cemented our position as ladder leaders after 11 rounds.
1st Grade Limited Overs Quarter-Final:
Penrith 10/165 (J Sammut 30, R Gibson 26, D Malone 6/36, T Rogers 3/28) Defeated Sydney University 10/136 (A May 36, J Lalor 3/30, J Wholohan 2/18)
After cruising through the rounds unbeaten the students arrived full of confidence for the qualifying final of the Limited Overs cup.
Tommy Rogers got us off to the perfect start claiming a wicket in his first over, before a fifty run partnership from Gibson and Hackney. Enter Deadly Devlin. Devlin tore through the Penrith batting line up with variation and deception. After his first over went for 16, Devlin claimed 6/20 from his remaining nine overs. Penrith were in trouble at 7/109, before a few late partnerships enabled them to post a defendable total of 165.
With eight runs scored before a legal delivery bowled in the chase, the Uni boys appeared to be in the box seat. However after a ferocious bumper from Lalor to Carters followed by an outstanding piece of fielding by Ryan Hackney to run out Damien Mortimer, the Uni boys were in trouble at 2/31. Unfortunately, wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and when Liam Robertson joined Ashton May the score sat at 4/53. These two combined well and did their upmost to restore the chase as they added 50 odd before Robbo was run out from yet another athletic display from the Penrith fielders.
Throughout our chase we were unable to ever take the game forward as the Penrith spinners bowled with exceptional control supported by an outstanding effort in the field. Ultimately we fell thirty runs short in a rather disappointing display with the bat.
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)
Resuming the day needing just 3 runs to secure the 6 points, Nicky Craze and Ben Trevor-Jones quickly ticked over Blacktown’s 89 as the students then pressed on in an attempt to claim ten points. Nicky, fresh from a week’s sabbatical in Perth, posted his highest score for Sydney Uni in second grade with an entertaining 58. The students were eventually dismissed after trying to up the ante with a lead of 110.
Uni quicks, Lawrence Neil-Smith and Dugald Holloway had the openers in trouble early, however it quickly became apparent that the ten points was out of reach as Blacktown cruised to an unbeaten 100 run partnership. On the break of tea, with Blacktown 2/170 uni had conceded the possibility of ten points however with the Blacktown opener unbeaten on 83, the decision was made to retake the field. Dugald, clearly wanting to finish the day bumped the opener until he eventually skied one for a well taken catch by Ben Larkin. Both sides happily agreed to end the day there, with the students claiming the 6 points and moving closer to a finals berth.
Blacktown 10/142 (G Ganeshkumar 37, A Titterton 35, H Clark 3/23, R Kurtz 2/25, J Kershaw 2/30) Defeated by Sydney University 7/228 (T Kierath 103, K Jacobs 76)
The boys returned to Whalan for week 2 confident of continuing a winning run with a tick over 100 needed and 9 wickets in the hutch.
The fire in the thermometer was matched on the Nash field as 'Young' were once again handed an education, this time of the rule book as 'Old' exploited several little known rules to take the chocolates.
The sweaty conditions meant the lower order had their feet firmly up, taking refuge in the limited shade hopeful of a strong chase. They weren't disappointed as the 2nd wicket partnership of Kierath and Jacob put on a clinic adding 170 to see us over the line and give us a sneak look at an outright.
Images of a largely lifeless opening batsmen on the shower floor at tea foreshadowed the possibility of a new member in the exclusive 'Retired Cooked' club, but two hearty plates of tea meant TK forged on.
Some lusty hitting post tea allowed the Hail Mary play for 10 points but unfortunately a decrease in skin folds and morale was the only reward for the short stint in the oppressive fielding conditions.
We are back to Fortress Paul's next week, welcoming the Two-Blues in search of an 8th straight win.
Blacktown 10/236 (A Gater 57, Y Sharma 33) defeated by Sydney University 9/239 (N Fitzgerald 72, R Kurtz 47*)
Returning to St Paul's oval to chase 236 for the win, 4th grade started the day in similar fashion to the week prior, with the nuffies comprehensively beating the self-proclaimed Julios.
Losing a few early wickets had the students in trouble early, until Nick Fitzgerald joined Jack Hill on return after a 5 week American circuit to steady the ship. Hilly showed his class in a fluent 37 while Nick harked back to the early 2010s with an impressive 72. A bit of a bumpy period post tea had us 9 down, bringing Ryan Kurtz and Angus Cusack to the crease. Following captain AJ Grant's regular and loud advice of "take your time" and "take it deep", the pair put on 45 runs for the 9th wicket partnership. With scores tired a slight mistake from the otherwise flawless Kurtz saw him chip one to straight midwicket only to be gifted a life. Two balls later Ryan relished in punishing a short ball from the Blacktown spinner over midwicket to secure an incredible victory and his highest score for the club 47*. This places 4th grade in equal 5th place, only a point behind 4th.
Sydney University 10/196 (S Murthy 46, C Lorenzato 44, B Frost 33, M Harris 32, H Rauf 4/37) Defeated by Blacktown 8/197 (M Brinnand 44, H Khan 36, C Slater 3/46, N Yoganand 2/49)
An incredible disappointing result for fifth grade on Saturday. After a relatively strong performance last week on a tough deck and slow outfield the boys arrived for day two pumped and ready to go.
Connor Slater broke through first on day two and bowled with exceptional control and spun the ball sharply. A run out and then successive wickets to Connor and Sameer had the students on top, Blacktown 6/109. Natesh chimed in and grabbed the 7th as Blacktown went into tea struggling at 7/116.
Momentum was with the students, however the heat seemed to sap our energy as we allowed the Blacktown 8th wicket partnership to get on top of us, as their number 9 posted an aggressive 44. Eventually Connor dismissed him as well and at 8/166 there was still hopes we could reign in the 6 points. However we were unable to make any further breakthroughs as they chased our 196 8 down in the 79th over.
Overall a disappointing result, but a good lesson to our young players on the importance of pressing home the advantage and not allowing your opponents back into the game when you’ve got them on the ropes.
Sydney University 8dec 315 (H Farrow 108, M Miles 49, B Kayani 34, S Blundell 4/122) Defeated Mosman 10/67 & 10/132 by an innings at 115 runs.
Day 2 at Balmoral served up an improvement on the already picturesque weather and saw a larger than average crowd gather to watch a lower grade cricket game. Almost as hard to spot a blade of grass on the wicket as it was to find a cloud in the sky. The 'olds' team regained their control of the Nash area with a blistering victory, despite a consolation run-through on the call of last play. Islam's goalkeeping ability put under intense scrutiny as he failed to even attempt defensive action on the rogue runner.
Resuming the day at 3/12 Mosman were put under immediate pressure after Jono Phoebus and Murray Miles combined well to take two wickets in their opening spell. The wicket betraying its softer underneath as Miles struggled to gain grip behind the crease. 2 wickets in the first Ethan Clout over had the home side reeling at 7/38. Some late hitting padded the score but in the end tight fielding produced the runout to end Mosman's innings at 67.
Asking the Mosman's captain to put the pads back on injected new life into the batting team as they went about dispatching the Kookaburra to the boundary. 22 runs off the first two overs on a wicket that had dried out considerably since the morning session made the quest for 10 points look much harder to complete. But the big swinging ploy brought about the opportunity for wickets and Miles and Phoebus obliged seeing the score to 3/31 at the tea break. All three wickets hitting the top of middle stump.
The introduction of spin to the dried out wicket made survival increasingly difficult for the batsman. Debut century maker Hugh Farrow opened his wicket taking account but the hero of the second innings was new found spin bowling prodigy Zohirul Islam. Taking his maiden 5fa for the club Islam spun and bounced his way around Mosman's defences until victory was achieved.
Bowling the Whales out for 132 in the second innings (and an overall lead of 115) was a strong victory gaining valuable points in the campaign towards finals. The students now move into the top 4 and journey to Kensington to play 5th placed Randwick-Petersham.