Uni’s Day Out

After another dominant weekend in the final round of the regular season, Sydney University Cricket Club has won the club championship, claimed four minor premierships and cemented finals berths for all six of its senior grades. In need of a clean sweep and a couple of bonus point wins to secure the all-time club championship record, Uni went about their business in textbook clinical fashion to achieve the feat – finishing the regular season with 1624 points, the highest total ever achieved in the competition’s history.  

At Uni No. 1, after losing the toss, 1st Grade struck early after a seaming delivery from Joe Kershaw had the visitors 1/1. After a good fightback saw Wests close in on triple figures, Kershaw struck again to give Uni’s bowlers a good look at the Pies’ middle order. Tim Ley (2-32) and Ryan McElduff (3-33) partnered to claim wickets at regular intervals – eventually bringing Wests’ innings to a close at 161 in the 40th over. Impending weather threatened the Students chase, playing on the wicket and the minds of the batsman, as Uni found themselves 4/35 inside the first 10 overs. However, in pursuit of a revised target, Ryan McElduff starred with the bat to hold Uni’s innings together – amassing a classy 65 not out from 89 deliveries (with 7 fours and 1 six) to see the Students to victory in the 34th over. With this win, 1st grade secured their position as minor premiers and will face Sutherland this weekend at Uni No. 1.

At Pratten Park, 2nd Grade looked to bounce back after a tough last Saturday saw them concede their first match of the season to Sutherland. And, after Wests won the toss and elected to bat, the Students did just that through Charlie Cassell – whose return to 2nd Grade saw him claim 2 wickets in 2 balls in his first spell. With the hosts 2/8, the Students looked to capitalise, however a consistent shower meant a wet ball, which offered little for the bowlers. Despite this, Uni drew wickets intermittently, with Kieren Tate, Dugald Holloway and Dave each claiming 2. Wests rallied in their last 5 overs, to post a competitive 9/191 in trying conditions. It would be a difficult chase for Uni, with over an hour spent off the field due to weather. However, Ryan Danne saw a timely return to form to post a match-winning 84 – supported by Nicky Craze (37 from 41) and Dave Miller (33 not out) – and see the Students to victory in the 44th over. 2nd Grade also claimed minor premiership rights and will face Penrith at Coogee Oval – their adopted home-ground for the finals.

In what was the performance of the round, 3rd Grade put on a show at St Paul’s Oval after Wests’ won the toss and elected to bat. It was a day (morning) out for the quicks who tore through the visitors’ line-up, led by a rampant Murray Watts who claimed 5-2 in his 4 overs, including a hat-trick to round out the innings. Supported by Brody Frost (3-12) and Josh Toyer (2-26), Watts ran through the Pies, bowling them out for a mere 53 inside 20 overs. In chase, Uni dismissed of the total in quick fashion, Jack Hill finishing 25 not out to see the students to a 9-wicket victory inside 10 overs. After claiming the minor premiership, 3rd Grade will face up against Northern Districts, in this weekend’s quarter-final clash.

At Blick Oval, 4th Grade were sent in by their hosts on a wicket that demanded patience early. After a faltering start, the Students rallied, to eventually post a competitive 8/221 from their 50 overs. Their innings was led by Michael Robinson, who amassed an important 57 – striking the ball cleanly and consistently – before Liam Coelho (44) and all-rounder Tom Fullerton (39 not out) combined well to boost the Students’ total. In reply, Sydney Uni were typically relentless with the ball in hand, strangling the hosts run-scoring options. Jack Lawson led the way through the middle, claiming 3 wickets for just 25 runs, after Tom Hill opened the Students’ tally with 2-15 of his own. Sydney Uni eventually secured an 82-run victory in the 42nd over, cementing themselves as minor premiers ahead of their clash with Penrith this weekend.

At Camperdown Park, 5th Grade were sent in after Wests won the toss and elected to bowl. Skipper Andrew Wilkinson led by example with a gritty 53, before the swashbuckling Tom Galvin struck a vital 76, dispatching Wests’ bowlers at will, to help Uni to a competitive 200 before being bowled out in the 42nd. In need of a strong bowling performance, Uni’s pacemen went to work on Wests’ top order – combining well to have them 3-30 and then 6-63. Billy Barge (2-13) and Shehan Canagasingham (1-19) opened Uni’s account, before Murray Miles and Matthew Johns chipped in with 2 each to restrict Wests to 8/125 and ensure victory. Finishing the season in 5th position, 5th Grade will face-off against Mosman at Allan Border Oval in this weekend’s quarter-final.