The coin fell nicely for the students and the captain swiftly elected to bat. Yet again, Darrel and his team of groundsmen prepared a beautiful wicket with great grass coverage and good carry. Enough in it for both batsman and bowler. With Ed Cowan back in the line up, the batting group was brimming with confidence. The first wicket fell when Cowan was caught well at third slip for 15. The in-form Damien Mortimer joined Nick Larkin at the crease and the students pushed into lunch at 1/115.
With another 40 minutes under the blazing sun, the surface post lunch was in favour of the batting side. Larkin made the most of the conditions, savaging the Hawkesbury attack to all parts of the campus before finally being dismissed for 140 off only 147 deliveries. Despite being in shell shock, the Hawks clawed their way back and three quick wickets saw Trevor Jones and Cummins needing to rebuild despite a solid platform. These two put together an intelligent partnership, combining aggressive running with powerful cuts and drives. Cummins eventually fell for a quick 41, as Trevor-Jones pushed on. The lower order came in and played aggressively around Trevor-Jones, with Kershaw and Holloway getting in on the action to clear the ropes a number of times each. With a declaration in sight, Trevor -Jones was dismissed for 67. Ben Joy planted his first ball over mid off for 6, and with that, the captain decided enough was enough, the Hawks would have a bat in fading light. The students declaring 9/397 from 84 overs.
Joe Kershaw proved unplayable with the new ball, swinging it prodigiously at a good pace. In producing the ball of the season he uprooted Josh Clarke’s middle stump. Ben Joy then removed the other Hawks opener, in doing so doubling his wicket tally for the season. Kershaw struck once more to leave the Hawks three wickets down. A couple of dropped chances cost the students the opportunity of being in an unassailable position, but at 3/24 Hawkesbury are a long way behind the game.
Sydney Uni 9-397
N Larkin 140, B Trevor-Jones 68, D Mortimer 53
J Kershaw 2-16, B Joy 1-7
Day 1 at Benson’s Lane saw an extremely clinical performance from the boys, featuring a mammoth double century from Steve Hobson, his second for the club. Hobson, assisted by a well constructed 94 by Charles Litchfield, led the charge to 420, with small contributions from the middle order. In truth, the day belonged to Hobson, who showed he was in his prime, running hard throughout the innings. He finished with a flourish, with some wonderful strokes and aptly came off to a standing ovation. He had set the tone for the day, and when Ben Larkin decided to declare, the bowlers were chomping at the bit to take a couple of wickets and seal the day.
Lawrence Neil Smith had a wicket with the first ball of Hawkesbury’s reply, an LBW that the umpire couldn’t possibly deny. Jubilation turned to comedy as LNS claimed 3 wickets in his 3 overs, his pace and bounce too much for the opposition. Dobson and Holloway bowled with discipline, but Lawrence took home the wickets. The bowling effort has opened up a distinct possibility to go back next week and search for a big win.
All in all, a strong performance for the students, who have a challenge next week to bag some more points and get up the leaderboard!
Sydney Uni 6-420
S Hobson 229*, C Litchfield 94
L Neil-Smith 3-2
The lack of play due to rain really doesn’t impact on my ability to write a match report for the day. Regular followers of my published works will no doubt be interested to hear how the 3rd grade side went about our day and frankly, I am delighted at the prospect of writing a match report that focuses solely on Nash and other off-field events (i.e. meetings with one P Epsi).
The day began in brilliant sunshine and the units arrived at Camperdown to be greeted with a green and moist pitch. This meant several hours of delay and a hope that the sun and wind would do the trick to enable cricket to be played. We then decided to see what was what on the Nash field and whether the youth had learned from their mistakes and could acquire their first victory of the season. Battle lines were well and truly drawn midweek with skipper Danne “declaring” his side and Kevvy also wanting to let his Nash do the talking. Liam Whitaker also chimed in and his taunting of Toyer really was not smart, a long line of injured players could tell you that there is no point in poking the bear, there is only going to be one result.
A hard-fought contest ensued, with your scribe taking pity on the youth and awarding them all 50/50 calls in the attempt of having a contest. Which there was, a very tight contest that ended 3-all and Kieran Tate covered 14ks in midfield according to his GPS. As the youth had the extra man this, of course, was a victory for old, however, it would be presumptuous of me to declare that we deserved it. I will therefore state categorically that we did deserve it, despite Jim Ryan refusing to run. The sadness on Danno’s face really told the story, crestfallen and forlorn are two words that come to mind.
This set the stage for a trip up to No1 for most of the lads, to watch 1s pile on the runs. Regular inspections of the pitch revealed some improvement, but it was becoming increasingly unlikely that cricket would be able to occur. Finally, at 3pm the decision was made by both captains to call it off and come back for 120 overs next week. This meant that the afternoon was to be spent back up at No1, but first came the second leg of double or nothing Nash.
Emboldened by their excellent performance in the morning session young were raring to go – captain Danne led his team onto the field and they must’ve had a chat pre-game because there were new tactics being employed (which didn’t work). A controversial “screen” was carried out from goal kicks, which ultimately didn’t serve to reduce the panic encountered by whoever was taking the kicks. The game however really belonged to Tate, Toyer and Powys, with Jim Ryan and your scribe putting in some pretty average 2-way running efforts. We were thankfully joined in that by Kev and Fullerton, so old wasn't hampered too much by this lack of effort. Michael Robbo was excellent in goals, and he probably saved 8 or 9 attempts on target. Young fought hard, and Kevvy was throwing hookshots from everywhere. Captain Danne’s pre-match instructions definitely didn’t include that, and his face told the story when the 10th hookshot to the back post sailed harmlessly out for a goal kick. In the end old came away with the points in an incredibly satisfying 2-1 win. In simple terms young just lack the heart, desire, and belief that old has in spades. They just don’t know how to win, and when the going gets tough they go missing.
An extended fines session (I’m given to understand that it was fully audible on the livestream) with a case in tow and BTJ hitting crowd catches capped a great day really. A different contest awaits day 2 with 120 overs likely to be enough to force a result, and hopefully, we will be on the right side of it and get back up into the top 6.
After a rainy week, the 4s boys jumped on the motorway unsure of what to expect out west. Shockingly, it was hot. In the warm up the Julios and Nuffies faced off in an energetic encounter with the Nuffies emerging victorious. For reasons unknown, Galvin hid in goals and it showed, the Julios lacking a bit of pace and spark up front.
He may have won Nash but AJ lost the toss and the boys headed out into the field facing the prospect of a tough grind on what was essentially a pretty flat track. Disciplined bowling saw a couple of early wickets, followed by a number of small partnerships which while slow, were annoyingly long. Nevertheless, the boys took 5 wickets into tea and were hopeful of wrapping the innings up soon afterward. Up to this point, the wickets had been shared around, with the first 5 falling to 5 different bowlers. Peeky stepped up after tea to claim the lion’s share of the poles with 3.
The Hawks boys put up a boring display towards the end of the innings, with fewer runs accumulating slower than Jack Lawson’s chop count. Angry skipper AJ looked to get under Hawkesbury skins with a few choice sledges and eventually the tactic proved successful, with the batsmen playing a few more expansive shots as the day drew to a close and as a result giving away their wickets. With 4 overs left to play, Duff man and B Dilley safely steered the boys to stumps at 0-20. The boys will make the trek out to Bensons Lane again next week with the hope of wrapping up the 6 points quickly enough that AJ can get to his engagement party but not so quickly that the Hawks boys don’t have to spend some time in the field sweating as we did.
Sydney Uni 0-20
L McElduff 14*, B Dilley 4*
A Peek 3-33, S Canagasingham 2-15, J Lawson 2-60
M Miles 3-34, J Rinka 2-38
The week a new look Student's side with Metro debutants Blayney and Ghumman travelled to picturesque Beauchamp Oval for a top of the table clash with Gordon. With a hot day expected ahead, a positive tone was set early with a competitive game of Nash between and batsmen and bowlers with the batsmen taking the prize in a close one.
Down to business and the toss is lost with the home side choosing to bat (much to the loud cheers of their players) on what can only be described as a road of a pitch and a quickish outfield. Taking the field with a plan in place the Students knew a strong first session was important. Early wickets weren't forthcoming as the Gordon openers played a cautious waiting game and saw off our tight opening bowlers Draca and Kirubanandan. First change Adikarige struck with his second ball, Morrison caught debut Uni skipper Cade.
Unfortunately, this brought quality Pakistani import Amijad to the crease who proceeded to tee off on anything short, full or bowled on the pitch. Lost time due to searching for the ball became the norm until Gibson struck with the batsman on 50(35), Max Shanahan taking an excellent diving outfield catch. From then on spirits and energy remained high as momentum started swinging back to the bowling side with the run rate starting to slow in the session after tea. Leg spinner Tim Synott came on and collected 4/76. Catches to Adikarage and Derrick in the deep, 2 stumpings to Cade.
The rest of the day was a tough slog as tiredness started taking over and that showed with some sloppy misfields costing extra runs. Gordon finishing the day 8/337 which is about par all things considered with their very deep batting depth. With a strong batting lineup the Students are looking forward to a good week at training and the challenge of the chase next weekend!
T Synnott 4-75, P Adikarige 2-31