In a perfect world, the First Grade minor premiership (and, potentially, the club championship) wouldn't be determined by a 21-over thrash. As it turned out, a great effort by University's bowlers, Nick Larkin leading from the front, and Tim Ley's nerveless finishing all added up to create an indelibly memorable victory over Bankstown that clinched a well-deserved minor premiership for the most consistent side in the competition.
So, congratulations to Nick Larkin and his side for a wonderfully sustained performance since September. But now the business end of the season begins.
Most of my strongest memories of grade cricket come from playing in finals: the intensity of the competition is unrelenting, fortunes ebb and flow, and the pressure reveals both talent and character. It's an outstanding effort for Sydney University to have four sides in the finals: Firsts, the Third Grade juggernaut, Fourths and Metropolitan Cup. Before the hard work of preparing for the finals begins, it's worth pausing for a moment to reflect on that achievement. It's worth pausing, too, to congratulate Seconds on a wonderful run towards the finals, which left the side equal on points in sixth place, and eliminated only on quotient.
We finished second in the Club Championship, by merely 19 points. We entered the last round needing to sweep Bankstown, which almost never happens, and it proved to be just beyond our grasp. But, of course, we could have picked up those points at any other time during the season. If the Coogee groundstaff could have given us just 25 balls more play in Round 14...
In the next three weeks, we'll see some gripping cricket and some outstanding performances. For those of us who aren't fortunate enough to be playing, can I please ask that every Club member and supporter makes a particular effort to get to the games to lend support and help out with the dozens of little jobs that need to be done. It isn't only how we fare on the field that defines what kind of club we are - it's also how we support each other off the field. I look forward to detachments of the Uni Army forming at grounds all over Sydney in the next few weeks.
Max Bonnell, Chairman SUCC