4 From 5 vs Stags

Sydney Uni capitalised on their strong Day 1 performances with 4 wins (including an outright) across 5 grades in their match-up against Gordon. Here is how it happened:

Having set a solid score of 316 on the back of a defiant resistance from the middle and lower order, 1st Grade took their momentum into the morning’s session in the field. However, after a resolute start from Gordon’s openers, Uni were made to wait for their first strike (a textbook caught behind from the persistent length of Ben Joy) before Gordon entered the break only 2 down for 130. After lunch, Joy continued his work to slowly pick-off Gordon’s remaining top order with precision and patience – eventually finishing with figures of 4-65 – to have Gordon 5/200 with the game in the balance. After tea, any semblance of balance was quickly dismissed by Dugald Holloway, who tore through the tail with pace to claim 3-62 – rounding off a terrific bowling performance to secure 1st innings victory for Uni.

With 125 runs to chase and 8 wickets in hand, Uni’s undefeated 2nd Grade resumed the day’s play with confidence. An early wicket proved only a minor hurdle, as Max Hope led the Students with a measured 78 (partnering with Varun George (35) and Nicky Craze (25 not out) – seeing Uni to 1st innings victory just before lunch. In pursuit of further club championship points, captain Dave Miller declared on a deflated Gordon line-up. However, a docile wicket and bad luck meant there was little penetration in the afternoon’s session – the captain’s eventually shaking hands with Gordon 2/128.

An immediate declaration from captain Jack Hill saw 3rd Grade with ball in hand and a lead of 99, having already completed 1st innings victory on Day 1. And, while Gordon’s top order offered slightly more resistance than last week, the odd coupling of Lewis McMahon’s steep bounce and Henry Clark’s extra pace again proved too much. The pair claimed 4-16 and 3-17 respectively, supported well by Will Masojada with 2-25, to bowl the hosts out for 116. The 17-run chase was then ensured by Uni’s openers without the loss of a wicket before celebrations commenced for another outstanding outright victory to 3rd Grade.

At St Paul’s Oval, play resumed with the visitors 4/63 (in pursuit of Uni’s 128) and Uni 4th Grade in need of a strong bowling performance. For one of the few occasions this season, the Students were unable to muster such a bowling effort and spent the morning chasing leather as Gordon’s middle order dictated terms. With a lead of 86, Gordon eventually declared on 5/212 in pursuit of an outright victory. However, despite suffering the 1st innings loss, Uni staved off outright loss with gritty determination, led by captain Ash Cowan and Ed Arnott (39).

Away from home, Uni 5th Grade secured a much-needed victory against a formidable Gordon outfit to edge closer to a top 6 position (currently 7th – 1 point behind 6th). Resuming at 1-24 in chase of Gordon’s 116, the Students made light work of the total in good time, after a classy 55 from James Robertson. Declaring immediately after ensuring 1st innings victory, Uni went in pursuit of further points only to be stifled by the defence of Gordon’s top order. With the hosts 1/57 the captain’s shook hands and the Students sung loud in the Castle Cove changerooms.

Mortimer and Malone take Students into SF

At Sydney University Cricket Club’s inaugural FDC Family Day, the stage was set for a heavyweight clash as 1st grade faced up against an experienced Penrith side in their Limited Overs quarter-final.

And, after winning the toss and electing to bat, the Uni batsman came out with aplomb – the powerplay overs seeing runs flow (Nick Walker providing the entertainment in the first 10 on his way to 43 from 54 deliveries). Liam Robertson then took up the scoring challenge – striking 32 from 34 deliveries (including 2 sixes). With the students at 3/147, an innings-defining partnership between Damien Mortimer and Ed Cowan took the game away from the visitors. Cowan was characteristically at ease during his knock – his long swing saw him deal primarily in sixes (8 to be precise) on his way to 89 from just 70 deliveries. Not to be overshadowed, Mortimer was easy on the eye and simply a class above as he reached his seventh 1st Grade century before eventually finishing the innings not out on 129 from 130 deliveries – a vital display of skill and fitness that took Uni to 4/312 from their 50 overs.

In chase, Penrith felt the pressure of an ever-growing run-rate that was never curtailed throughout their innings. Wickets fell at regular intervals and often to spin. Again, Devlin Malone remained the pick of Uni’s bowlers, as his leg-spin saw him claim yet another 5-wicket haul from his 10 overs, this time for only 34 runs. In support, Ryan McElduff claimed his best 1st Grade figures of 3-34 as his off-spin cleaned up the Penrith tail to bowl Penrith out for 186 – a 126-run thrashing that sees the Students through to a semi-final clash against Gordon this Sunday at Uni No. 1.