Northern Districts 10/131 (T Ley 2/14 off 10, D Malone 2/34, Mail 2/17, T Rogers 2/25) Defeated by Sydney University 0/132 (E Cowan 74, N Larkin 49).
Having (just) accounted for the cricket club formerly known as Balmain the week prior to the holiday break, the Students were back at home on the weekend to face table topping Northern District in the last of the preliminary one-day rounds. We had the full band back together with the Sixers releasing Carters and the Stars giving Devlin a break from Chapel St in favour of some match practice.
Skipper Larkin called correctly, and chose to bowl first on an evenly grassed, firm surface. A thick outfield and a hot, humid morning meant hard work for batsmen, bowlers and fielders alike. Uni were sharp in the field and the bowlers produced a solid team performance to dismiss the ladder leaders for 130 inside the allotted 50 overs. The score was more like 160 adjusted for the outfield, still a strong performance. Highlights included Tim Ley’s 2-14 from his 10 overs, and the opposition captain being the first man run out by Ben Joy in any format.
After lunch it was time for the rest to put their feet up and watch the show, as Larkin and Cowan made light work of the chase. A solid start against good new ball bowling was followed by clever placement and running between wicket. The Poodle even wound the clock back a few years and finished the game with a few large maximums from the off spinner, leaving just Mail inside the top six batsmen with less sixes than Ben Joy this summer.
Sydney University 10/166 (J Holloway 40, D Holloway 28) Defeated by Northern Districts 8/167 (L Ford 38, J Holloway 3/19 off 8.5, K Elley 2/36)
The Uni boys arrived at Mark Taylor Oval in overcast conditions for the 2nd grade clash against Northern Districts. With rain around and what was clearly an unprepared wicket the start was delayed until 11:30. A tight game of Nash Ball, included a run through and a header leading to an old boy victory kicked off proceedings and got the group buzzing about the possibilities the day would offer.
However this didn’t last too long as Northern Districts won the toss, and sent us in to bat. Early wickets fell with Will Hay and James Larkin falling in consecutive balls, leaving the score at 2/8 off 3 overs. Wickets continued to fall throughout the innings with the score at 7/68. At this point posting 100 looked increasingly unlikely. Enter Brothers Rare (Holloway brothers.) Jack and Dugald combined for a 70 run partnership of which Jack played the aggressor role chipping balls over the infield and bashing them to the fence. This partnership, combined with a filthy hack over the bowler’s head for four from Liam Whittaker bumped the total up to 166. After the lunch interval, we returned to the field at 3:30pm to defend our total.
Northern Districts got off to a flyer with boundaries and extras a constant. However, this all changed when Kieran Elley took 2 wickets in 1 over to get us back in the game. This was followed up by a miraculous spell of bowling from Jack Holloway, which produced 3 wickets for 19 runs off 8.5 overs and a tidy 9 overs from Liam Whitaker that provided 1 for 25. As the game lingered on, the possibility of a victory increased. Tight bowling and fielding from the Uni boys meant that Northern Districts struggled over the line to win by 2 wickets in the 44th over.
Northern Districts 10/112 (S McMahon 47*, J Craig-Dobson 6/13, L McMahon 2/25) Defeated by Sydney University 2/113 (J Crowley 45*, N Craze 30*, T Kierath 20)
The 3rd grade boys came back to fortress St. Pauls with a strong line up hoping to start the New Year with a big win.
A few extra kilos still lingering from the Christmas break coupled with the greasy conditions and a Pepsi meant that Nash ball was quite a sloppy affair, however tenacity and competitive spirit was as high as ever. The game was drawn out longer than usual due to both teams inability to break the nil – all deadlock. In the end the “olds” just had too much experience and scored the match winning goal via a powerful strike and a handy deflection delivered by keepers Beta and Gamma. Olds – 2, Young – 0.
Surprisingly, Ash Cowan won a toss and had no hesitation in sending the Rangers in on a green deck. The Students started superbly with Jono Craig-Dobson and Lewis McMahon making great use of the facilities and capturing some quick wickets. Joe Kershaw, making his come back after a lengthy lay off from bowling, bowled with great pace and aggression and chimed in with one wicket to have ND’s reeling at 7/30. ND’s then put on a handy lower order partnership to move their score up past 100. Tom Kierath grabbed the key wicket which broke the partnership and Craig-Dobson then came back to finish the job, finishing with career best figures of 6/13 off his 7 overs. James “Alpha Keeper” Crowley profited from the exceptional bowling taking four tidy catches behind the stumps.
The Students were largely untroubled in the run chase, moving past the required 112 with the loss of just 2 wickets. After Tom Kierath set the platform with a quick-fire 20, James Crowley (45*) and Nicky Craze (31*) combined brilliantly to score the required runs within 25 overs to get the win with a bonus point. This sees us back up in third place on the ladder.
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)
Fourth Grade arrived at Asquith expecting a delayed start, however as the covers were peeled back underneath lay an exceptional cricket wicket, hard with a decent grass coverage. Against last years minor premiers and the current ladder leaders, AJ won the toss and chose to bowl. At the first drinks break the game was in the balance with NDs 2/55, enter AJ. Two wickets in the first over after the break, followed by another in his next over saw NDs reeling at 5/65, Henry Clark chimed in from the other end claiming 2 as well. Aidan Peek came back to finish the job and finished with 3 wickets as we dismissed NDs for a well underpar 109.
The run chase began strongly with a 50 run opening stand between Kevin Jacob(s) and 4th grade debutant Ben Larkin before Kevin was caught for 18. Fortunately, Ben (45) and Alex Shaw (32) iced the game out before Hugh Kermond and Vince Umbers got us over the line in the 39th over. A dominant victory and a solid all round performance.
Northern Districts 7/224 (K Jayasekera 80, A Newton 62, A Cusack 4/35) Defeated Sydney University 10/208 (B Dilley 56, S Sivapalan 39 D Bryan 3/36)
Despite the wet conditions, both teams arrived at Camperdown to a relatively flat wicket. NDs batted with great intent and composure to post a dominant 224. Angus Cusack was once again the stand out for Uni bowling with good pace and bounce to claim his best figures for the club, 4/35. Angus was very well supported by Natesh and Sameer Murthy.
With the Bat the boys started strongly putting on 58 for the first wicket with Brayden Dilley scoring his second successive 50, before two more wickets before the score passed 100. Suda Sivapalan and Brodie Frost combined well adding 42 and 39 respectively however continually losing wickets in clumps meant 224 was a bridge to far, as we were eventually dismissed for 208 in the 47th over.
Sydney University 10/269 (H Kerr 94 from 58 balls, N Craze 57, K Jacobs 24, P Rice 3/63) Defeated Gordon 10/249 (T Doyle 94, M Crane 53, J Craig-Dobson 4/53, L Neil-Smith 3/24)
It was a big match for the PGs side this past Sunday needing a win to keep themselves in the top 8 heading into the final round in two weeks. Uni won the toss against Gordon deciding to bat on a flat wicket out at Chatswood. A superb 94 from only 58 deliveries by in form Hayden Kerr got the side off to a great start before he was run out from spectacular fielding which was present throughout the whole of the first innings. Handy partnerships with both Kevin Jacobs (24) and Charles Litchfield (17) saw the team on 140 after 23 overs. The captain Nicky Craze then went on to score a chancy 57 with Ryan Danne (14) and Jono Craig-dobbo chipping in 17. Unfortunately the tail didn't wag and the side was bowled out in the 49th over for 269.
Young gun Lawrence Neil-Smith (3-24) and Kieran Elly Uni had the opposition 2 for 30. With a few drop catches and some poor fielding from the students saw Gordon put on a steady 100 run partnership leaving them with 13 overs to score 90 on the quick outfield of Chatswood, with plenty of wickets in hand. Tight bowling from liam whitikar (0-30) and Ryan Danne and wickets from Dobbo (4-53) backed up by classy keeping from Tom Galvin saw Gordon bowled out 20 runs short with 3 overs remaining.
The strong Uni side heads into the final round against Eastern suburbs, where a win will secure the students their first finals birth since we won the comp in 2010/11.