Round 12 Week 2 Wrap vs UNSW

The extremes of Sydney’s weather in the form of heavy showers meant that no more play was possible in the Round 12 fixture against University of New South Wales. With all other 1st Grade matches washed out the ladder remains unchanged with the Bears sitting in 5th place on quotient.  The team will be desperate for points against 15th-placed Sutherland in the next round.

There was no play in men's third, fourth or fifth grade or women's third grade or Brewer Shield. However, after an excellent performance the previous week, the men's third grade team gained 6 points and moved up the ladder into tenth position. They must win all three remaining games and will be hoping for results to go their way to sneak into the finals. Fifth grade maintain their place at the top of the ladder and are guaranteed a finals berth.

In some sort of miracle, play started on time in the second grade fixture at Bon Andrews Oval. Glenn Aitken declared on his side’s outstanding 8/379 from Day 1. James Aitken took an early wicket, courtesy of a screaming catch from Jake Hardy, to have the Bumblebees 1/7. James followed this up with an lbw a few overs later and UNSW were 2/22. They consolidated to 2/42 off 23 overs, with James’s outstanding spell reading 12-5-9-2, before the heavens opened around midday.

Rain fell steadily for a couple of hours, before a break led to covers being taken off at 2.30… and put back on again when the rain resumed at 2.50! Unsurprisingly, UNSW did not appear especially keen to hang around, but Bears skipper Glenn Aitken had other ideas – nobody was going anywhere until there was no hope of a resumption and a result! He was vindicated when the rain stopped around 4.15 and it was all hands on deck to remove the covers (again!) and mop up (again!). Against all the odds, Glenn led his side out at 5pm with 26 overs due to be bowled and 8 wickets to get.

James Aitken and Fletcher May resumed with the ball. There were a few “ooh”s and “ahh”s from the assembled group of players from other grades as the ball beat the bat, but the breakthrough just couldn’t be made. Niranjan Naguleswaran bowled two overs and Mac Jenkins just one ball to start the 35th over before a heavy downpour ended the match once and for all with Uni at 2/74. The draw leaves second grade clinging to 6th spot as the finals approach.

Despite the ending, the miraculous resumption was testament not only to our captain’s tenacity, but also superb teamwork with the covers and super soppers from the second grade players and also a number of others who’d headed to Bon Andrews in the hope of seeing some cricket, and got stuck in trying to make it happen. Particular thanks are due to Luke Smith, Jacob Graham and Ahmer Amir.

Representative Bears also beaten by the weather

Unfortunately, it wasn't just the UTS North Sydney sides that ended up on the wrong side of the rain. Four Bears - Justin Avendano, Tom Jagot, Matt Alexander and Jimmy Campbell - were selected in a NSW XI to take on the highly touted England Lions side at Drummoyne on Sunday. Alas, 180mm of rain put paid to their chances of excelling in NSW colours. Nonetheless, the selections are fine reward for the excellent form all four have shown in recent seasons.

Images courtesy of David James, Tony Johnson, Sarah Berman and team captains