Round 2 Preview – Randwick-Petersham
It was very nearly a clean sweep over Sydney CC to commence the 2019/20 season for the Sydney University Cricket Club, with wins in four out of five grades seeing the Blue and Gold’s start their Club Championship defence in fine form. The Student’s attention now turns to Randwick-Petersham for Round 2, the first Two Day match of the season.
Casting our minds back to last season, the Students faced Randwick-Petersham in Round 10, returning with 4 out of 5 victories:
• 1st Grade - WIN with Joe Kershaw taking 4/48 and Hayden Kerr making his maiden First Grade hundred
• 2nd Grade - WIN with Charlie Cassell plundering 60 off 34 deliveries before claiming 3/22
• 3rd Grade - WIN with Charles Litchfield (95) and Will Masojada (94) scoring the bulk of the runs
• 4th Grade- WIN with Henry Clark’s 4/24 and half centuries from both Matt Powys and Hayden Storey
• 5th Grade - LOSS despite Andrew Wilkinson’s 4/12 off 10.
First Grade captain Liam Robertson said that his side is looking forward to returning to the longer format.
“Although the colour of our clothes changes our intent certainly won’t. Randwick Petersham have always presented a stern test not just in First Grade but all grades and I can’t imagine these next two Saturday’s will prove anything different to that.”
Robertson himself will miss the clash this weekend due to former Sydney University Cricket Club premiership winning First Grade captain Will Hay’s wedding. Tim Cummins returns from the big, big sound’s capitulation to take his place behind the sticks, and he will also captain the side in Robertson’s absence. Larkin is listed to open the batting for the Students, whilst Hayden Kerr will be raring to go following his 121* last week.
In particular, the performance of the newest addition to the fast bowling cartel drew the skipper’s attention in round 1.
“It was really satisfying to see Charlie Cassell capitalise on his opportunity to play in the One’s last week. He had an outstanding season last year and Saturday’s performance has set him off and running for 2019/20”.
Randwick Petersham’s captain Jason Sangha presents as the obvious danger man, whilst ever present opening bowler Adam Semple will be sure to test the Sydney University top order.
The only side not to record a win last week, the Two’s premiership defence didn’t quite go according to plan. Skipper Max Hope is confident that his team can bounce back this round.
“It wasn’t the perfect start, but we know that if we get it right on the day that we are capable of anything”.
Randwick Petersham looked like a premiership contender in the Scooby-Doos last year, finishing the 2018 calendar year tied for second along Bankstown before a dip in form after Christmas saw them miss the top six all together. With Randy-Petes registering a loss in round 1 last week as well, Hope knows how keen the opposition will be to get a W next to their name.
“No one likes starting the year 0-2, the reality is that after this round that one of us two teams will be,” Hope said.
Hope is looking forward to getting back to the Two’s adopted ground during the 2018/19 finals campaign, Coogee Oval.
“Coogee is one of the great places to have a run around. We had some good wins in the semis there last year so it should feel like a home away from home.”
Bennett Walsh will make his Second Grade debut for the Blue and Gold’s following his 125* on last week in 3’s, whilst newcomers Charlie Dummer and Daniel Van Der Merwe will look to go big in their second game for the club.
• Van Der Merwe
Third Grade will be looking to make it 2/2 when they host at fortress St Paul’s Oval. The Uni Boys got the job done against a dogged Sydney side last week, a win which captain Henry Clark was please to get.
“There were a few cobwebs about but it’s always a great feeling when you haven’t played your best cricket and still managed to get the win”.
Clark will be without the services of Bennett Walsh this weekend who has been promoted to the Two’s, a decision which the Skipper says was a no-brainer.
“Bennett batted with outstanding maturity to score well over half our runs. He timed the innings to perfection and it’s a just reward that he’s gone up to the Two’s this round”.
Although Walsh is absent from last week’s side Clark says there is still plenty to be excited about.
“There are a few fresh faces for us this week, luckily we warmly welcome Club stalwart Ed Arnott back and we are excited to have Charles Litchfield in the mix as well after he missed last Saturday due to an exam,” Clark said. Litchfield amassed 621 at 41 last year and looks to have another big year ahead of him.
Ben Mitchell from Bathurst joins the Students for his first game in the Three’s after a cameo in the Four’s and PG’s sides last year. First ball will be bowled at 11:15am.
A Four’s side boasting numerous players with Second Grade experience is not something many teams can claim, however Sydney University is not your regular club. Skipper Ash Cowan is behind the wheel again and happy to get through round 1 with six points.
“It was a rather typical game of Fourth Grade you could say - some rare moments of brilliance, some others that people would rather not remember. Ahh well, it’s good to be back up and running again.”
Cowan will be hoping Josh Joseph can back up last week’s debut performance, with the former North Sydney player belting a classy 95.
“The former Bear JJ was a different class. From ball one he went out, dominated and really took it to them, it was fantastic to watch and a real shame that he was cut short of a ‘Bennett Walsh’ (hundred on debut)”.
Also back in the mix for Sydney University is 2016/17 Third Grade premiership winner, Sam Wood. ‘Woody’ will take his place in the Four’s against his former teammates at Kensington Oval on Saturday.
“Having someone of Woody’s calibre in the Four’s is too good to be true. Although he’s coming back from a season off he hasn’t lost his competitive edge or bowling nous. Fingers crossed he has a big bag in store for his old club.”
Fresh off a three wicket win last week, the Five’s will be doing all they can to topple the Randy-Petes, who also commenced the 2019/20 season with a victory. Last week, the Students chased down 180 with a few men in the bank, and skipper Andrew Wilkinson was pleased with the application shown during the batting innings.
“Sometimes those small run chases can be quite tricky as you can get caught thinking ‘someone else will get these’, so it was nice to see some sense of ownership for our guys”.
The Five’s were the only side to suffer a defeat to Randwick Petersham last season, a stellar performance from the skipper himself not enough to get the side over the line.
“We had a tight loss to these guys last year, 100 played about 8/105. Hopefully this year we can be on the right side of the result. Murray Miles will be important for us with the new ball. He’s developing his game nicely and becoming a real lock for us. Hugh Farrow looked promising last week, whilst Zohirul Islam is always capable of going big.”