After yet another clean sweep, this time against UTS North Sydney, Sydney Uni have stretched their lead in the club championship to 118 points clear of second place. The five wins on the weekend mean the Students have only lost 1 of their 25 NSW Premier Cricket matches (discounting PG’s and 1st Grade T20s) so far this season – proving the free celebratory beverage at the Toxteth to be a well-dangled carrot in incentivising the record. Here’s how it happened:

At North Sydney Oval, after losing the toss and being sent in, 1st Grade found themselves 2/11, before Ed Cowan reverted the pressure with a lively 38 from 35 deliveries (5 fours and 2 sixes). After his dismissal, Nick Larkin took control to post a vital century, scoring 138 from 144 deliveries (15 fours and 2 sixes), taking Uni’s total to 9/258 after 50 overs. With an all-round bowling performance required to defend a par score, Joe Kershaw led the way with 2 key wickets in his opening spell. A textbook performance from Tim Ley (3/36) was complemented by Devlin Malone (2/34) and captain, Liam Robertson, (2/36) to ensure the regularity of wickets – dismissing the Bears for 193 to secure a 65-run victory.

With a line-up that promised a domineering batting performance, 2nd Grade elected to do just that after winning the toss on a well-prepared Uni No. 1 wicket. However – despite each batsman looking comfortable – a slew of 20s saw Uni tenuously placed at 4/95, before Varun George (85) combined with Dave Miller (38) for a crucial stand that saw the Students to a competitive 8/272 from their overs. After the break, a patient bowling performance from Ben Joy and Charlie Cassell put upwards pressure on the required run rate, allowing Ryan Danne to swoop in and claim 4/21 from his 6 overs. 2 wickets each to Ryan McElduff and Max Hope closed out the Bears’ innings 22-runs short of Uni’s total to make it five from five for 2nd Grade this season. Special mention goes to Tim Cummins, who travelled southbound and back in a hurry – sneaking a stint in the commentary box at Uni No. 1, before being called back to put the pads on at North Sydney Oval.

At North Sydney No. 2, 3rd grade continued their excellence with the bat to post 7-284 from their 50 overs. Alex Shaw’s performance was the defining of the innings, as he combined style with grit to score an incredible 140 not out. Alex was supported well by James Crowley, who made a crucial 48. In defence, Uni were economical, with outstanding performances from Josh Toyer (4/19) and Tom Kierath (2/14) reducing North Sydney to 9/132 from their 50 overs.

On an even St Paul’s wicket, 4th Grade were sent in by North Sydney to find themselves in strife early at 3/32. However, a middle order resistance, led by Michael Robinson (57) – supported by Alasdair Grant (49) and Ed Arnott (46 not out) – saw the Students to 7/206 from their 50 overs. With the small ground demanding a strong bowling performance, Henry Clark led the way with the new ball – taking 3/17 – before the wily spin of Nahir Ghandi (3/26) secured a 65-run victory in the 45th over.

On the picturesque Tunks Park, 5th Grade relished the chance to take in the scenery and elected to bat first after winning the toss. After Will Masojada was dismissed for a well-made 30, middle order duo Vince Umbers (89) and Tom Galvin (73) combined for a 130-run stand that boosted the Students total, before being bowled out in the 50th over for 252. Continuing his form with the ball, Brody Frost took 3/40, while the legspin of Will Masojada (3/35) proved a vital contribution in bowling North Sydney out for 213 for a 39-run victory.

Despite the success on Saturday, PG’s were unable to replicate on Sunday, suffering a 9-wicket loss against a strong Campbelltown outfit. In batting first, the Students managed only 167, after being bowled out in the 43rd over. On the docile second day wicket at Uni No. 1, this was far below par – as the Ghosts chased it down comfortably 1-down in the 35th over.

Former Student Shines in Tasmania

Having secured a rookie-contract with Tasmania for this season, former student Lawrence Neil-Smith starred for his club Clarence, with career-best figures of 8-27 against the Greater Northern Rangers. Initially identified by the Cricket NSW pathways system, Lawrence’s performance will go a long way in his pursuit of a Big Bash debut this season. For a more detailed recount of his day out, see the link below: