Arguably the most dominant side in the McDonald's NSW Premier Cricket competition for most of 2016-17, the Students have one final test to ace before claiming the Belvidere Cup for the 9th time.
Nick Larkin's men tackle the ever powerful Bankstown side in what is shaping up as one of the most exciting clashes in recent memory.
NSW-contracted Larkin has lead from the front throughout the entire season, piling on the runs to have 1,017 runs at an average of 67.80 across all formats. He will be looking to score his fifth century of the season and provide a strong platform for a big total.
Ed Cowan, despite a rare failure in the semi final, will no doubt be hungry and looking to use his wealth of experience and outstanding form for NSW this season, to bat Uni into a strong position.
Despite limited opportunities for Sydney Uni this season, Ryan Carters has also been strong scoring 445 runs at 63.57 across 10 innings. He has also been ever reliable behind the stumps and will set the tone on the field for the bowlers.
An outstanding debut season for the Students from Damien Mortimer has resulted in 744 runs at 57.23 including two centuries and five 50s. He will be relishing the opportunity to potentially claim a premiership title in his first year at the Club.
So too will Ashton May, who has been solid all season and made some important contributions with both bat and ball throughout the season. A calm head, with plenty of experience, Ashton will be desperate to finish the season strongly.
It feels quite strange to get so far into this article without having mentioned the man who holds virtually all batting records in the NSW Premier Cricket competition, Greg Mail. With 560 runs at 46.67 for the 2016-17 season, he will be keen to score big against Bankstown to enhance the 'legendary' status he already holds and claim another Belvidere Cup title.
In any other side, Liam Robertson would likely figure much higher, not just in this article, but in the batting order. He showed his value to the side in the semi final when he guided Uni from 5-137 to a safer total of 295 with his patient yet forceful 86 runs. This included a 71-run tenth wicket partnership with the long-levered bomb specialist Ben Joy.
Strong all-rounders Tom Rogers and Tim Ley will be keen to add value to the side with both bat and ball. Rogers, has bowled with real venom all season to claim 25 wickets, the same number as Ley who has been consistent throughout. Both have the ability to take the game away from the opposition quickly with either bat or ball in hand.
Teenage leg-spinner, Devlin Malone, has been the reliable destroyer of batting line-ups this season with 51 wickets in all matches and formats at an average of 18.55. Having received the Mick O'Sullivan Cricket Scholarship at an SUSF Awards Dinner last night, Devlin will be keen to add the Belvidere Cup to his young cricket resume.
Rounding out the strong bowling outfit is the aforementioned Ben Joy. A fan favourite, and well liked Clubman, Ben has stalked the wicket leaderboard with stealth to claim 30 wickets at 23.30. Not only was his six hitting prowess on display in the semi against Parramatta, but his haul of 5 wickets for 9 runs helped cement the place in the Grand Final.
The final will be played at Bankstown Oval starting from 10.30am on Friday.
We urge, nay, plead for all Uni members, family, friends and supporters to get out to Bankstown Oval over the weekend. Let's turn Bankstown Oval into a sea of blue and gold to negate their 'home' advantage!
Good luck to all the players, and up the Students!!!