Sydney Uni 320: D Mortimer 73, T Cummins 70*, H Kerr 59
Penrith 285: D Holloway 3-43, H Kerr 2-22, T Ley 2-51, B Joy, 2-69

Day 2- Probability of Precipitation (PoP) - describes the chance of precipitation occurring at any point you select in the area. [PoP = C x A where "C" = the confidence that precipitation will occur somewhere in the forecast area, and where "A" = the percent of the area that will receive measurable precipitation, if it occurs at all.  

Inquisitive students turned up on Day 2 to Howell Oval having been reliably informed by Tim Bailey and friends that in fact the entire days play would be lost to the 100% chance of rain forecast every hour till stumps. A confused Damien Mortimer took the field at 10:30am when even his Apple iPhone informed him that it was 100% raining. Well it wasn't and it wouldn't all day. The Penrith side got off to a brisk start and before long the score had moved to 0/48. Ben Joy provided the crucial breakthrough dismissing DiBartolo for a quickfire 35. From there, Uni applied constant pressure to claim another 4 wickets prior to lunch leaving Penrith at 5/84. Tim Cummins continued his brilliant game against his former team, taking some superb catches along the way. 

The middle session was hard toil with Penrith captain M Castle & J Sammut combining for a lengthy partnership. When D Holloway made the breakthrough it was his 3rd wicket for the day in a return of 3/43. The big left arm quick has been on the money of late and looks to be finding his feet in the top grade. Promising signs. H Kerr and B Joy returned to end the 7th and 8th wicket partnership respectively each taking their 2nd wicket of the day. When T Ley chimed in with the 9th wicket and the score on 237 the game looked all but over. However some missed chances in the outfield along with some quality batting by the Penrith skipper who by this stage had passed 100* meant the Cats now required less than 40. With the 2nd new ball finally available T Ley wrapped up the innings to hand the Students a well earned 6 points and another opportunity to sing the song. Still frazzled by the lack of rain despite his iPhone telling him it was currently raining D Mortimer led us in song: "Some come to fear us, while others..."



Sydney Uni 281: N Craze 129, J Craig-Dobson 37, R Danne 31
Penrith 8-282: K Tate 3-38, R McElduff 2-48, J Craig-Dobson 2-81

After Nicky Craze’s phenomenal century last week, Uni had set a total of 281 for Penrith in Day 2.

The Nash report was far less shocking than the prior week, it was a routing and after some initial pressure from the young side, the elders took control in what was a one sided affair. 5-0 to the elders was a fair result, and it must be noted that Nicky Craze hasn’t let a goal in on either week. Talent. 

It was another good wicket at No1 and looked well suited for the batting side from early on. The usual opening bowling spell from Neil-Smith and Dobson was fairly conservative, challenging the batsmen on line and length. However, the wicket offered little and subsequently entertained the wishes of Penrith, who won the first session fairly comfortably. It was a tough challenge for skipper Jack Holloway, who was forced to change plans fairly regularly in the hope that new bowlers would present new challenges, which he did well. To the credit of Ryan McElduff, our lone off-spinner, bowled with variety and guile. He opened up a window by sending back Long on, tempting the left handed batsman to advance and play in a way that Uni wanted. It did certainly feel that the day was drifting fairly quickly into Penrith’s hands, but, as many a cricketer will appreciate, it is rarely a story without twist nor turn. In a plot twist that both Machiavelli and Byron would be proud of, wickets seemed to tumble at regular and important times. A rejuvenated Uni side, led by Kieran Tate’s hustling seam bowling, quickly began to notch up the seemingly absent pressure, and now, the timings of the day began to coincide with the innings, and there were both concerns of time and wickets for Penrith. Uni were able to take 8 wickets, but missed out narrowly on points, after a bold strike finished the innings off for Penrith and they had won on first innings. 

In truth, there was very little that separated the two sides in terms of skills. Uni should be proud of their efforts considering their youthfulness and there are plenty of positives to take forward. Again, fine regards to Nicky Craze for his innings that gave Uni something to play with for the bowlers, and to Kieran Tate who scored 26* at 11 and bowled with pace and pressure. Thanks also to Lew McMahon and Fletch for their help at the ground throughout the day. 

Onto the next!



Sydney Uni 222: T Galvin 55, J Crowley 29, M Robinson 29
Penrith 132 & 2-93: S Wood 4-37, J Toyer 3-38 & 1-25, J Lawson 2-34

Day 2 of Round 5 was same bat time, same bat station at Cat Park. Once again, various means were used to arrive at the ground (Essence M2/M7/M4 the best, train to St Marys then beg teammates for a lift to the ground the worst). The inclement weather and dubious forecast was seen by some of the more inexperienced members as cause for a Friday meeting with P Epsi esquire, however wiser heads knew that regardless of the actual weather, an early start and 1-hour trip to Penrith was going to be required, so really, little was to be gained. Leggie Newington was the big loser on the day, he has presumably just returned to being sober while reading this report after his 19th b’day celebrations carried on in Shire into the early hours in what appeared to be a massive bender.

At any rate, the Units were faced with a hard green pitch and overcast conditions, which caused Chrissy Withers to start salivating and skipper Greigo to decide that he would revert to bowling seam up given the conditions, his offies copping some treatment the previous week. Nash was commenced, and an on-time start was forecast.

In the middle of a spirited contest, the youth found themselves ahead and we were playing on the “skipper’s watch”, which is basically that game time is unlimited until old get ahead, at which point it is “last play”. It then started raining. Given the competitive nature of 3rd grade Nash, no quarter was asked or given, and the game continued. At some length. The rain got much heavier, but as we were still behind, the game continued. At some length. After 20 mins or so, the game was finally called in the pouring rain and we retired to the sheds, young having sealed the win. Penrith no doubt thought we were ridiculous in playing the game in the rain, a fact made clear to me as we enjoyed some libations (in excellent company) post-match.

The game situation required us to get 65 runs with 7 wickets in hand, which wasn’t going to be easy, as the conditions favoured the home side. Crowls and Robbo got us off to a solid start, but after they both departed the cats had a bit of a sniff. This did not deter Tom Galvin, who in a spectacular piece of batting, got the job done in excellent style in what was without doubt his best innings for the club. A cameo from Wood later on also yielded good results, and we ended up posting a Benaud’s 222, and a lead of 90.

An ultimately futile attempt at maximum points was entered into, but a classy 50 from one of the cats’ young guns meant that we were no danger. Special mention to Galvin once again, as he put together a pretty useful piece of bowling in the middle in his first overs in 3rd grade.

After the game fines, a few beers and a catch up with the Penrith lads was one of the highlights of the day. This is something that is woefully underutilised in the lower grades, there should be more of it. 4th on the table and it is on to next week when we return to fortress Camperdown to take on the 3rd placed Balmain tigers, who will provide a stern test.



Sydney Uni 85 & 3-51: A Bell 32 & 25*, L McElduff 17
Penrith 8-108 (dec): J Rinka 3-20, S Canagasingham 3-40

4th Grade arrived at Snape Park on Day 2 with 58 runs left to defend and 8 wickets still to take. With the cloudy skies and the occasional spray just prior to the commencement of play, the students were determined to utilise the favourable conditions to apply some real pressure on Penrith.

Stand-in skipper Olly Thompson made it clear that high energy was required and it started with Nash. The Julios were confident as ever, but a sneaky run through from Christian Lorenzato early in the piece gave the Nuffs an advantage which the Julios weren’t able to claw back. 4-1 to the Nuffs.

The new look opening combination of Jazz Rinka and Shehan Canagasingham looked to start things off well with the ball. Much like last week, dot balls eventually led to a breakthrough for Jazz and the students were in with a chance. However, Penrith’s 4th wicket partnership took control of the game for the Cats, before Olly’s quick reflexes removed their skipper, with a classic run out at the non-striker’s end. Penrith’s incumbent batsman was clearly distraught and it seemed clear that Penrith didn’t have much batting left. Sure enough, a few quick wickets followed for Jazz (3-20), Shehan (3-40) and Murray Miles (1-28), before some lower order hitting took Penrith over the line.

At 8-108, Penrith declared and sent us back in to bat following the tea break, with a slim lead of 23, in a somewhat wishful attempt to claim 10 points. For us, it was a good opportunity to get some time out in the middle, following two poor performances with the bat. Openers McElduff and Storey set the tone nicely. Alex Bell top scored once again (25*), showing a combination of solid defence and controlled aggression, to ensure that Penrith’s captain finally called it a day at around 4.45 pm, with the students on 3-51 after 27 overs.

Overall, a disappointing result for 4th Grade, but nevertheless, still many positives to take from the performance. To have kept the game alive for 42 overs considering there were only 58 runs left to defend at the start of Day 2 is a credit to the overall efforts in the field by all 11 players. The bowlers toiled all day with their consistent line and length and great support was provided by the fielders, with the likes of Hugh Farrow and Liam McElduff leading in this department. In the end, we were probably 40 runs short with the bat.

The lads will be determined to turn things around next weekend as we come up against last season’s 4th Grade Premiers, Sydney.



Sydney Uni 82 & 80: N Mortimer 30 &20, T Derrick 24
Penrith 8-294 (dec): Z Islam 3-35, A Wilkinson 2-45



Sydney Uni 6-330 (dec): J Aylward 102, S Sivapalan 53, M Ghumman 51
Randick 85 & 5-181: T Synnott 4-22 & 2-50, M Shanahan 3-23, J Aylward 2-41

A reluctantly agreed on 30 minute delay to the start was simply putting off the inevitable for Randwick as they faced a stoic and determined Metro side on day 2 at St Paul's. Continuing to bowl with the opposition score on 3-50 the plan of attack was to tie down one end
with the leg spin of Tim Synnott (a glaring omission from the Clayton graph just quietly)
and continue rotating the quicks downhill from the street end.

Randwick's plan appeared to be making every effort to slow things down hoping the weather would save them while also trying to block out the 80 overs. A futile effort that played into our well made plans. Synnott rolled through maiden after maiden finishing with an incredible 8 maidens out of the 13 overs he bowled. The batsmen had no answer and Tim finished with 4-22. Adikarage and Shanahan bowled with good range finishing with 0-14 and 3-23 respectively.

Once the first couple of wickets fell the opposition couldn't stem the tide and were eventually bowled out for 85 after 21 overs of the days play. There was no hesitation in enforcing the follow on and our focus became simulating semi-final cricket and bowling Randwick out for a second time in the day.

Randwick changes tack in the second dig and alternated between aggressive patches of hitting out and conservative blocking stages. This made it hard for the Uni bowlers to get into a good rhythm until the score was on 63. Wild thing Jon Aylward bowling off a shorter run and within himself striking with a signature off cutter rattling off stump. Oliver Ottosson then was rewarded for his great shape and lines picking up his first wicket for the club.

Another 50 odd run partnership followed until the return to the bowling crease of Synnott.
A sharp stumping to Cade and the score is 3-119 off 31 overs with 26 overs left in the day. Then a harrowing moment as diving for the ball through point, debutant S.J DeSilva dislocates his shoulder. In distress, the enthusiastic young player is sent to the hospital for assessment.
Arriving back at the ground we are given the good news by S.J. that the damage is minimal. A minor miracle based on the earlier diagnosis from his 10 amateur doctor teammates who were convinced the season was over for the Sri Lankin!

The day wound down into a bit of a stalemate but based on the recent events in third grade we had no intention of winding up early and pushed on with the same level of energy that was on display the entire day.

In the final over of the day rain started bucketing down just as Tim was releasing a vicious wrong'un. Distracted, the batsman played all around the ball and was bowled. A fitting way to wind up the day. 5 wickets claimed in the second dig and 6 points in the bag.

In the lead up to Christmas, we need to continue the upward trend for the Metro team if we are going to stick with competition leaders Gordon and Penrith. Thanks to the club for helping put a competitive team on the field this round. With players coming back there will be some selection headaches this week no doubt after some impressive performances from rookie players!