2018-19 has been the most successful pre-finals season in the club’s history. At the conclusion of Round 15, Sydney University claimed the minor premiership in each of the first four grades, the first time the club has ever achieved this. Only once before (in 2013-14) has the club won the minor premiership in both Firsts and Seconds (although University also topped both tables in 1911-12, when premierships were awarded on a first-past-the-post basis, without semi-finals). Grades one to five, and Metropolitan Cup, will all contest the semi-finals, only the second time the club has ever achieved this (the first was in 2007-08). And the final club championship tally of 1624 points is the highest ever achieved in the competition’s history.
First Grade’s win over Wests clinched the minor premiership, only the third time University has achieved this since semi-finals were introduced to the competition in 1954-55.
Wests’ Joel Abraham, caught by Tim Cummins, was Tim Ley’s 337th First Grade wicket for Sydney University, taking him past Ian Moran (336) to become the third-highest wicket-taker for the club in the First Grade competition. Only Mick O’Sullivan (652) and John Grimble (379) remain ahead of him.
Damien Mortimer has passed 4000 runs in First Grade (including 1371 for Campbelltown-Camden).
Not a bad day out for Ryan McElduff, who collected his best bowling figures in First Grade (3-33) before he hit a matchwinning 65 not out, his fifth half-century in Firsts, which took him past 500 First Grade runs for the season.
Devlin Malone’s two wickets against Wests gave him 57 First Grade scalps for the season, taking him past the 56 achieved by Walter Stack in 1912-13 and “Ironbar” Searles in 1982-83. This is now the eleventh-highest total of wickets for any University bowler in a First Grade season, and the best by any leg spinner for University.
Second Grade has won the minor premiership for the sixth time in the club’s history.
Ryan Danne (with 84 against Wests in Seconds) hit his fourth score above fifty for the season (with one century) and passed 500 runs for the season.
Third Grade claimed the minor premiership for the seventh time in the club’s history.
Murray Watts, in Third Grade against Wests, took his first hat-trick for the club, going on to wrap up the innings with four wickets in five balls. His (ridiculous, if we’re honest) figures of five wickets for two runs gave him his first five-wicket haul for the club.
Brodie Frost, with 3-12 against Wests, also collected career-best figures in Third Grade.
During his unbeaten 25 against Wests, Jack Hill passed 500 runs in Third Grade this season. It’s only the seventh time this has been done for Sydney University, following Nick Ridley (twice, in 1995-96 and 2001-02), Ollie Young (1997-98), Chris Williams (1994-95), Will Knight (1994-95), Vic Golden (1939-40) and Tim Lester (1997-98).
Fourth Grade claimed the minor premiership for the fifth time in the club’s history.
Michael Robinson’s 57 against his former club Wests was his fourth half-century in Fourth Grade this season.
Fifth Grade has reached the finals for the 19th time in the club’s history.
Tom Galvin, with 76 against Wests, hit his highest Fifth Grade score and his fifth half-century for the club.
Andrew Wilkinson’s 53 against Wests was his second half-century in Fifth Grade and his sixth for the club.
Shehan Canagasingham compiled an excellent 0 not out in Fifth Grade against Wests, which means that he has completed the preliminary rounds of the Grade competition without being dismissed once. His nine innings may have produced only 12 runs, but no one has been able to shift him all season.
Metropolitan Cup won the minor premiership, the club’s first in this competition, after defending a total of only 77 against Randwick-Petersham (who managed 68).