SUCC 0-28 drew with Randwick-Petersham 7-229 (H Kerr 2-35, T Rogers 2-37)
Looking to take a further step towards the Minor Premiership, Uni arrived at Coogee Oval to discover water damage on the pitch resulting in a late start.
Taking advantage of the longer wait, the Batsmen won Nashball (yet again)
Advocates for climate change were the only winners out of this round however with Randwick –Petersham and Sydney University picking up no points each. The late start pushing the match deeper into the day than most other matches, with the afternoon storm resulting in the match being abandoned before the minimum number of overs could be bowled. Only Hawkesbury vs Mosman suffering the same drawn game fate.
Our bowlers did a good job to restrict Limited Overs finalists RPCC to 229 on a good, if slightly slow, Coogee surface. The work and wickets were shared with Tom Rogers (2-37) and a younger, fitter version of Tom Kierath, otherwise known as Hayden Kerr (2-35), the pick of the bowlers.
SUCC 3-127 (D Miller 50*) def Randwick-Petersham 123 (J Holloway 3-18, J Craig-Dobson 3-35, D Miller 2-7)
In a rather uneventful nash ball warm-up, the juniors toiled hard, flooding the goal-mouth but were unable to prevent the olds from scoring a last minute winner in ‘Miller time’ (read like ‘Fergie’ time, not ‘it’s Miller time’).
The students won the toss and elected to bowl first in a must-win fixture and eager to unleash the contrasting opening pair of Kershaw and ‘School-zones-Dibbly-Dobson’. Kershaw was too fast and too good to find an edge, exciting those behind the wicket as they began to ponder the possibility of sneaking into the finals with a fierce pace battery. It was the Dobbler (3/35) who was able to strike first for the students, and then again the very next ball but some U/12-like field placements were unsuccessful in the search for a hat-trick. After wickets each to Lewie McMahem (1/20) and ‘fresh wheels Whitaker’ (1/19), Jack Holloway (3/18) was introduced into the attack, surprising the new batsman once, but not twice with his faster bumper. The first flicking the batsman’s neck in a reminder that the new protective guards are a worthwhile investment (thankfully no harm), but the next disappearing over a long square leg boundary for six. Miller (2/7) introduced himself for some overs impersonating Ash Cowan, briefly bowling in tandem with fellow, slightly slower slowman Dobson. Dobson snared the stubborn opening batsman to distinguish the Randy-Petes only hope of a reasonable score as the last 5 wickets fell for just 16 with Holloway and Miller cleaning up the tail.
Kevin Jacob unleashed a surprise on his team mates at lunch as he removed his cap to unveil what appeared to be fairy-floss stuck to his head before walking out to open the batting, solidly making his way to 24 as Larkin (14) and Litchfield (1) fell at the other end. After losing Jacob with the score 3/48, Miller (50) and Craze (23) combined to produce the final 75 runs to bring the students home comfortably in 25 overs, earning what could be a crucial bonus point.
In post-match highlights, an early finish allowed the students to get to the Nags for some fines and to hear Jack Holloway’s case for his 3-2-1 points, as well as winning the ‘Holloway-off’ vote against an absent Dugald.
SUCC: 4/201 (N Arnold 65*, S Hobson 42, R Danne 40, T Kierath 27) def Randwick Petersham 198 (J Toyer 4-33, R Danne 2-29, K Tate 2-44)
After the successful heat Pepsi week 1 and with severe storms looming Friday arvo week 2, the Units could have been forgiven for attempting the elusive back-to-back. However this would have been in vain as 3rd grade arrived at Petersham Oval in resplendent sunshine and a pitch that would prove to be one of the best all year.
Nashball was a tightly fought encounter, refereed in a fair and even-handed manner by your injured scribe. Despite early vociferous protestations from Kierath et al (i.e. that the youth were actually being awarded 50/50 free kicks), the game was ultimately decided by some excellent running Nash and a (controversial) series of refereeing decisions whereby a penalty was turned into a 2-point advantage goal and a late shot from distance was adjudged to have sneaked into the corner. Full time was awarded shortly after and Old triumphed 3-2. Cheers.
Stand in skipper Kierath lost the toss and Uni were sent to the field. Good bowling and aggressive batting saw an extraordinary first session where despite the loss of 6 early wickets, the run-rate was still approaching 6 an over. After drinks this didn’t really change, with the RP lower order combining well with a stylish 83 from the No. 7 (including several massive horns) and 6-60 ended up becoming 198 all out. Toyer with 4 (incl freebies), Danne and Tatey with 2 each were the pick of the bowlers.
After lunch Kierath and Danne got Uni off to a solid start and the chase began well. After a couple of good starts, steady wickets brought Hobson and Arnold to the crease and the game was delicately poised at 3/80. Bearing in mind the horrendous afternoon forecast, all eyes on the sideline were on the clouds overhead and the run rate. Despite his wealth of experience, Steven was oblivious to this as he set about getting himself in at his own rate (0* off 20). After 25 overs it became clear that:
a) It was about to rain/storm and likely end the game
b) Given we had scored about 6 runs off the last 8 overs we were now well behind the required 4/over run-rate
c) Both Hobbo and Nick seemed to have no idea of a) and b) above
At this point, gloves were run out to Hobbo (I think they weren’t a matching pair, and neither of them were actually his) and the message was relayed. Hobson took stock of the situation and decided that it was easier to just hit the next ball over cover for six, and with 19 coming off the next over we were once again in front of the rate. Nick Arnold, not to be outdone, set about bludgeoning every ball he could to the midwicket fence, and despite a rain and lightning delay, Uni were able to chase the runs down with overs to spare and collect the 6 points. 9 wins on the bounce for the juggernaut, and it’s back to fortress St Paul’s next week to hopefully make it 10.
SUCC 4/96 (S Sivapalan 36) def Randwick-Petersham 95 (AJ Grant 3-18, A Peek 2-17, R Holcroft 2-21)
Returning to the St Paul's fortress, a disciplined bowling effort from the Students restricted Randy-Petes to a lacklustre 95. Obviously, hoping that rain would save them later in the day, RPs were bowled out in the 46th over, a run rate of a tick over 2 runs per over.
Skipper, AJ Grant, was expensive (at 2.67 per over) but claimed an impressive 3-16, whilst Aiden Peek and Ryan Holcroft claimed two wickets a-piece, and teenage leg-spinner, Connor Slater, bowled with control to take 1-18 from his full 10 overs.
With such a small total on the board, the only danger for the Students was a top-order collapse, and when Tom Galvin (2) and Hugh Kermond (2) fell cheaply, nerves could have fluttered. Suda Sivapalan (35) however used his experience to guide the side to safety, before Nick Fitzgerald (23no) and Angus Cusack (15no) completed the bonus point victory.
The crushing win put the Students back into the top six, sitting fifth on 50 points, and a match up with the winless Fairfield-Liverpool coming up in Round 14 to set up a crucial clash with Bankstown that could result in either a potential home final or missing out completely.
SUCC 149 (S Murthy 36, A Bell 34, L Hughes 34) def by Randwick-Petersham 210 (S Murthy 5-31, M Miles 2-27)
Looking to push themselves as far up the ladder as possible over the last few rounds, the Students came up against a Randy-Petes outfit that were sitting just outside the top six and desperate for a win.
Despite an outstanding individual contribution from Sameer Murthy (5-31 from 9.5 overs), Randy-Petes were able to build partnerships throughout the innings to set a difficult total of 210 runs. Murray Miles supported well with the ball to claim 2-27 from his 10 overs.
Needing everything to go their way, the Students started well, putting 53 on the board before Brayden Dilley (19) fell. Two runouts including Alex Bell (34) put a halt to the run chase, leading to a mini-collapse of 4-15. Sameer Murthy confirmed his man-of-the-match credentials by top-scoring with 36, but another runout and four out bowled saw the Students chase end on 149 runs with 7.5 overs left to face.
SUCC 146 (D Wicks 32) def by Gordon 148 (A Wilkinson 4-24, A Mishra 3-38)
Another close game in the Metro season went the wrong way as the Uni boys fell agonisingly short in their chase of Gordon's total. Beginning the day in high hopes and with good momentum the students were optimistic of taking 6 points over the current table toppers. A high quality game of Nash set the tone for the day. The 'olds' continued their dominance reaching an unassailable lead on the call of last play despite the numbers disadvantage.
After losing the toss and being asked to field the students bowled with swing and pace to control the run rate and take early wickets. A wet outfield already prepped for rugby season acted as a 12th fielder stifling good cricket shots and turning boundaries into 2s. Wickets fell regularly and Gordon were bowled out with 4 overs remaining at 148. A good score considering the conditions off the back of some late hitting.
The chase began with Gillespie and Wicks combining well before spin captured the first wicket just before the drinks break. Wicks combined well with Morley in the middle session continuing to push the game forwards. But at 5/76 and with the bowler on a hat trick the game was back in the balance. An injured Ayush Mishra was given a license to lift the run rate and targeted the long boundary and the empty space it provided. Another hat trick attempt had the score at 7/112, 37 runs short with 3 wickets remaining. With every run the students edged closer to victory over the competition leaders but wickets continued to fall. With 1 wicket left in hand and 4 runs required for the batsmen chanced their luck in an attempt for a second run and lost to a direct hit from the Gordon skipper. Jubilation for the home team and disappointment for the Uni underdogs.
A tense game of cricket that captured the attention of the local crowd and looks to be a precursor to a semifinal showdown. Gordon showing why they're the team to beat when the pressure is on but a valuable lesson learned for the young Uni team who can take a lot away in preparation for finals. A key game travelling to batsman friendly David Phillips will give us another chance to move into 3rd place and rebuild our good momentum before the end of the season.