Match Wrap - 5th Grade QF vs Gordon at Bon Andrews

Fifth Grade Qualifying Final v Gordon at Bon Andrews Oval, 19-20 March

UTS North Sydney 174 (49.3 overs) (M Lloyd 50, O Jennings 28) def by Gordon 3/177 (35.3 overs) (A MacGill 2/27)

After a torrential deluge Friday night, the Bears’ finals campaign for 2021-22 was put on hold for another day, after skipper Alex Perry and the Gordon captain agreed with the umpires at midday to come back on the reserve day for another shot at a full day's play. This decision turned out to be the correct one, with the outfield much drier and the weather outstanding for a day of finals cricket.

A blistering warm up set the tone for the day to come for the Bears, with high standards and energy.

Perry lost the toss and, for the first time this season, the side would bat first.

Oli Jennings and Henry Riseborough strode out to the middle with purpose to see off the new ball, in what would be a tricky hour of play. Riseborough was dismissed in the seventh over after battling the pitch and consistent Gordon opening spells. Luke Smith joined Jennings in the middle, and took the score to 45 with some cracking shots, however chopped on for 14 before he could get into third gear.

The Bears started to work their way back into the game, building partnerships and not losing wickets in multiples, however with the pitch flattening out and with a quick outfield, the score board pressure was starting to build. As a result, Jennings was dismissed trying to up the run rate for a defiant 28.

Perry and Michael Lloyd put on a calm 50 for the fifth wicket, including some delightful bombs from Michael, sending the Gordon bowlers on a tour of St Leonard’s Park. Again, the scoreboard pressure got to the pair, and with 11 overs to go Perry (19) was caught mishitting down to mid on. Lloyd brought up a clinical 50, acknowledging the crowd’s support. However, the innings was cut short, caught at deep square leg miss hitting the spinner.

From there, the Bears tried to up the ante. Charlie Rose with a run-a-ball 18 and cameos from the rest of the tail got the score to 174 at innings close.

After posting an under par score, the Bears headed out with intent. However, Gordon came out matching it, flailing some lucky strokes to the short boundary at Bon Andrews.

It wasn't long before the Stags’ luck ran out, with Alex MacGill striking after a strong catch from Smith in the gully. The next over, Jack Thomas (1/46) struck with Perry taking another great catch at slip, and suddenly the Bears were on top at 2/29. It didn't stop there, with MacGill (2/27) on song, swinging one back through the gate of the Gordon number 4, to have the game precariously poised at 3/40.

From here, the conditions really started to take over, and the Gordon batsmen made the most of the flat wicket, quick outfield and short boundary. The fourth wicket pair batted extremely well to chase down the remaining runs inside 40 overs, the Bears unfortunately going down quite convincingly.

However, despite the Gordon dominance, an impressive second spell from Edwards (0/21 off 5), along with solid showings with the ball from Rob Lavery (0/23 off 7) and Jennings (0/37 off 7.3) are bright spots to take out of the result, along with MacGill finding form post injury with the ball at the right time.

The Bears get a second chance this week, and head to Waverley Oval to take on top ranked Easts, who had a nail biter last week against NDs. A spot in the Grand Final is on the line, with the Bears hungry to bounce back and get back to their dominant ways.