Round 13 Week 2 Wrap vs. Sutherland

1st Grade UTS North Sydney vs Sutherland at Glenn McGrath Oval

UTS North Sydney 228 (JN James 54, RD Alexander 49, G Lavelle 39) def by Sutherland 5/233( W Graham 2/20, O Knight 2/31, J N James 1/40)

On arrival it was great to see overcast skies at Glenn McGrath and the hope of the ball moving around to assist the Bears’ quest for 9 wickets. The team would need early wickets and a Glenn McGrath like performance from our seamers to defend the sub-par score of 228 from the previous week.

Will Graham and James Campbell were given the first opportunity with a ball that was only six overs old. Campbell kept it tight in his first spell. Graham bowled a few overs before being replaced by Olly Knight. Knight started with a maiden before taking the first wicket of the morning in his second over with the batsman snicking off and providing a straight forward catch for George Lavelle. This was George’s 25th first grade catch of the season, which places him 3rd overall on the wicketkeepers’ ladder. The fall of the wicket left Sutherland 2/37 by the end of the 8th over of the day and still needing just under 200 runs.

The new man Biviano played aggressively, taking on the bowling and whacking 5 fours in quick time as he put together a partnership of near on fifty runs with his captain, Williams, before he was trapped LBW by Jack James in the third over of his spell. With the fall of the third wicket, Sutherland were 3/80 and the Bears well and truly in the hunt. James continued to bowl a probing line with Matt Alexander bowling maidens from the other end – without luck as a number of balls dropped just short of fielders. Robbie Aitken was given a couple of overs prior to the lunch break. The game remained in the balance with Sutherland reaching 3/101. However, it was going to require plenty of hard work as the pitch had really started to really flatten out.

A39I1822.Olly Knight bowling

In the second session, the captain tried a number of field placements and a variety of bowlers to get a breakthrough, but there was none forthcoming as the game started to drift away. The Sutherland no. 5 batsman, Luke Hawksworth, certainly enjoyed good fortune throughout his innings, being dropped off the bowling of James and twice edging just short of the slips off Alexander, as well as a number of lofted mishits that landed safely. He also made the bowlers pay for bad balls, collecting several fours. With Norths unable to take advantage of the chances presented, the fourth wicket partnership had progressed to 75 runs. Justin Avendano (0/37) brought himself on and was effective in breaking the concentration of the opener Williams who holed out for 70 in the 58th over of day to Will Graham (2/20) with Matt Alexander taking a safe catch on the square leg boundary.

By the tea break, the Sharks required less than 30 runs for victory with 6 wickets in hand. It would take a miraculous turn-around to win it from here. Olly Knight (2/31) picked up a consolation wicket (but one that improved our quotient, which could yet be critical) with the ball thanks to a catch from James Campbell. At this point there were just 10 runs to get for Sutherland with five in the shed. A couple of overs later, the job was done and Norths had missed an opportunity to cement a finals berth. On a positive note, several results went the Bears’ way so we cling onto 6th spot with two rounds remaining. The game next week against third-placed Eastern Suburbs will be key to playing finals – a draw may be enough, but a win would be much better. A loss would allow those teams behind us to push the team out of the top 6 as just seven points separate fifth from tenth.

2nd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Sutherland at Bon Andrews Oval

Sutherland 119 (H May 6/59, J Aitken 2/45)  and 233 (H May 5/58, M Jenkins 2/21, J Aitken 2/44) def by UTS North Sydney 266 ( B Hardy 41, J Vilensky 35, M Papworth 35, N Naguleswaran 35, J Hardy 32, G Aitken 30) and 2/77 ( J Hardy 36*, C New 31*)

The second week of the Round 13 fixture saw the North Sydney side return to Bon Andrews in search of an outright victory against Sutherland under cloudy skies. The Bears were well placed with a 147 run lead, however, on a flat No. 2 wicket there was no room for complacency. 

The Bears started well with a strong warm up. Max Papworth showing his versatility with three line breaks in the game of touch football. The boys were sharp and intense for the remainder of the preparation. All of them were ready for the challenge ahead.

The opening bowling partnership of James Aitken (2/44 off 24 overs) and Harrison “Horse” May (5/58 off 22 overs) started well. Both bowled with great control and accuracy, beating both the inside and outside edges of the bat. Harrison struck first, clean bowling their opener. James quickly followed with a deadly off-cutter smashing the stumps of their number three. Sutherland were 2/26 off 11 overs - it was a great start! 

However, a few missed opportunities and too many plays and misses, allowed Sutherland to consolidate their innings. Sutherland narrowly survived challenging spells of James and Harrison. Broc Hardy (0/13 off 5) also showed much promise with his seam bowling. Moving the ball both ways, he was unlucky to not have a wicket. Sam Alexander also asked a few interesting questions of the batsmen's defences as the opposition struggled their way to lunch at 2/81 off 32 overs.

Alexander (1/23 off 8) struck not long after the luncheon break to bowl their number four. This saw the introduction of more spin in the middle session. Niranjan Naguleswaran continued to impress as he bowled with skill into the short corner. His control and nagging length combined with Mac Jenkins’ (2/21 off 7) left arm orthodox to take the next two wickets. Mac’s drift, drop and pace on the wicket proved deadly, forcing a catch in the deep. That was followed by an extremely quick stumping down the legside. Max Papworth’s hands were that fast the batsmen never managed to get back to his crease.

Sutherland were 5/137, still 10 runs in deficit and our boys were keen for a quick finish to their innings. Unfortunately, the Sharks showed some grit and determination and dug in until tea. Excellent bowling continued from both ends, but a flattening deck made wickets hard to come by. They went into tea at 5/188. 

The re-introduction of “Horse” May straight after tea reaped immediate results. Fully fuelled on sausage rolls and a fine array of assorted cupcakes, Harrison steamed in from the Greens end. Two wickets in two balls had Sutherland reeling at 7/193! The Horse had his back up and nothing was going to stop him. Each wicket produced an extra yard of pace as Harrison rampaged. 


James Aitken again proved just what an asset he is by taking the most important wicket of the day, their opening batsman who had scored a century. James’ spells of bowling were remarkable, beating the batsman on countless occasions. On any other day he would have finished with a bag full himself. However, it was Harrison’s day. He cleaned up the last batsman in an amazing performance, taking another 5 wicket haul and lifting his tally to 11 wickets for the match! It was an outstanding bowling performance!! He was to be congratulated as all players on both teams clapped him from the field. Sutherland were all out for 223 runs, leaving 77 runs required off 16 overs.

Calm heads were required in a small chase and, despite losing two early wickets, Cameron New (31*) and Jake Hardy (36*) combined to chase down the runs with ease. Both batsmen showed disciplined defence when required, ran the quick singles well and accelerated with powerful stroke making to pass the total with more than an over to spare!

It was a remarkable outright result for the Bears, who outplayed the opposition in all aspects of the game in every session for two days to record our first Second Grade two-innings win since the famous 2010-11 Grand Final “reverse outright” over Gordon. The ten points earned place the side well within the top six and give us every chance of a shot at playing finals cricket. 

But the story of the game is the remarkable performance of Harrison May.

His figures 6/59 off 13 overs in the first innings and 5/58 off 21.3 overs in the second is an incredible effort. Well done Harrison!

3rd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Sutherland at Sutherland Oval

Sutherland 137 (JD Graham 4/18, I Merlehan 2/17, F Noack 2/32) def by UTS North Sydney 8/141 (JD Graham 31*, J Holmes 27)

The day started with the Bears needing another 108 runs for victory. A slow pitch and slower outfield meant progress would be slow throughout. The top and middle order struggled early, with the Bears losing quick wickets to balls popping off the surface. 2/30 overnight quickly turned into 6/70 at drinks, with 68 still needed for a Bears victory. There were a couple of batsman who reached double figures – Ahmer Amir (22) and Chris Lloyd (16) – but partnerships were limited and at 7/76 it was going to require some grit.

Enter the spiritual leader, Jacob Graham (aka Yak) who was joined by Jake Holmes. 

Together the pair set about doing what the Bears above them couldn’t. They assessed the pitch and cut out risk, grinding their way along. The period between drinks and tea saw only 41 runs scored in 26 overs, but importantly no wickets fell.

The post-tea session was delayed as a sudden downpour saw both sides race out to put the covers on. After it cleared and the pitch was inspected, play resumed 35 minutes later than scheduled at 3:45. Yak and Holmes resumed their grind, whittling the total down to 14 needed, before J Holmes was dismissed by M Holmes, for a glorious and gritty 27. Big Fraser Noack entered the fray and survived a number of nervy moments, allowing Yak to finish the game in style with a flocked boundary, making 31* and Fraser 3*.

The song was sung with gusto and, with a few other results going our way, the team has kept its finals hopes alive. We sit in 9th position just 7 points out of the top 6 with a game against eighth-placed Eastern Suburbs next week. The loser will surely bow out, so we will need to bring our A game in Round 14.

4th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Sutherland at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 76 (A Wright 28) and 104 (A Shaikh 21) def by Sutherland 3/77 (dec) (T Robson 2/22) and 5/104 (S Vohra 2/38)

Faced with the difficult task of avoiding an outright loss the Bears resumed on their previous week’s score of 1/27. Abdullah Shaikh (21) and Hamish Reynolds made a promising start to the day and progressed the score to 50 before Reynolds was caught for 16. A number of players managed to reach double figures and occupy the crease – an improvement from the previous week - but regular wickets saw the team slump to 7/96.  A run-out at the end didn’t help our cause and we could only add a further 8 runs – all out 104 in 48.5 overs.

This left Sutherland around 40 overs to score the 104 required. The bowlers toiled hard with wickets to Shiv Vohra (2/38), Toby Laybutt (1/16) and Tim Robson (1/19). However, after 35 overs Sutherland had reached our score 5 down.

5th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Sutherland at Tonkin Park

UTS North Sydney 129 (LA Hodge 37 F Nixon-Tomko 24) and 7/135 (dec) (LY Hefferman 38, C Goddard 29*, LA Hodge 25) def Sutherland 71 (J Thomas 6/30, C Savage 2/19) and 7/129 (C Savage 4/43)

5s commenced day two needing 2 wickets to claim first innings points. It took 8 overs to complete the task with Chris Savage (2/19) picking up both wickets, one well caught by Jack Thomas at 2nd slip and the other uprooting the leg stump. Thomas, the destroyer from last week, finished the innings with a superb 6/30 that in another round (without an 11-fa!) could have earned him the Player of the Round award.

The Bears had a lead of 58 with 70 overs left in the day to force an outright win. Lucas Heffernan started brightly, scoring freely before holing out in the deep for 38. 

Wickets fell relatively regularly, which gave Sutherland a sniff and compromised our ability to construct an ideal target with enough time to bowl the Sharks out. In the end, skipper Lindsay declared the innings closed at 7/135, a lead of 193 with 31 overs remaining. Cooper Goddard was unbeaten on 29.

The Bears started well with the ball, reducing Sutherland to 5-30 with Chris Savage continuing his good form from earlier in the day with 4/43 to make it six poles for him for the day. However a couple of partnerships haltered our momentum, and stumps were called after 33 overs with the Sharks on 7/129.

All in all, a comfortable win against a top 6 side and the Bears remain atop the ladder with 2 games remaining.

Brewer Shield UTS North Sydney vs Manly-Warringah at Grahams Reserve

Manly Warringah 9/123 (A Sim 2/3, G Keating 2/21, O Aylward 1/10, E Buckley 1/10) def UTS North Sydney 115 (G Boulding 24, A Gibbons 17, T Kapo 15)

The Brewer Shield Bears took on Manly at Grahams Reserve in their penultimate match of the competition and fresh from a strong batting performance against Parramatta last week. After losing the toss and being asked to bowl first, we made the best possible start by taking four wickets with the score on just two – two to Amelia Sim (who had 2/0 off her first two overs!), one to Lucy Warren and one to Genevieve O’Brien.

Manly recovered to 29 before another wicket fell, this time to Olivia Aylward, thanks to a catch from Mridula Thirupathy, and Grace Keating chimed in to bowl Hannah Woolf for 25 and leave the Waratahs reeling at 6/45. From here, one more wicket might have brought Manly’s downfall, but we just couldn’t find it as hard as we tried. Captain Genevieve O’Brien rotated her bowlers and brought the strike bowlers Sim and Warren back, but even they couldn’t quite get through the defences of Chelsea McLerie (39) and Ruby Gruber (19) - although Sim went for just 3 runs off 5 overs, and two of those were wides!

After a partnership of 55, Liz Buckley got one through Gruber’s defences, then Keating removed the new bat, and finally McLerie was bowled by Ani Uthappa with the score on 114. The last pair scrambled a further 9 runs to leave Manly 9/123 after their 40 overs – more than we felt they should have got, but a total we knew we could chase.

In reply, Mridula Thirupathy fell cheaply but O’Brien and Grace Boulding built a strong partnership for the second wicket. Boulding was playing her first game for the Bears, travelling up from south of Wagga Wagga, and immediately made an impression. She hit four boundaries in her 24 off 30 balls before missing a straight one with the score on 40. O’Brien fell shortly afterwards, bringing Amy Gibbons to the crease. Both Grace Keating and Amelia Sim were dismissed with the score on 60, leaving the Bears 5 down with more than half of the score to get, but overs on their side. Gibbons and Lucy Warren put on 18 vital runs, and Warren and Uthappa another 11, but in the 22nd over with the score on 89, disaster struck with three wickets falling. Surely now the Bears were out of it with the last pair together and 35 still needed?

Olivia Aylward and Talia Kapo had other ideas, with Aylward immovable at one end (10 from 25 balls) and Kapo making 15 at the other with three boundaries, and the score inched closer to the target. Kapo was out LBW off the last ball of the 30th over, and Manly had won by just eight runs. Not quite to be for the Bears today, but we all feel the first win is just around the corner.

Women’s 3rd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Gordon at Tunks International Sports Park

Gordon 5/168 (A Gibbons 1/19, S Gibbons 1/29, H Mehreet 1/30, T Kingsmill 1/31) def UTS North Sydney 7/51 (all out) (O Aylward 17*)

Although the Bears women suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Gordon, the game included a number of “firsts” and highlights. Wicketkeeper Amy Gibbons not only made her first ever stumping (off her mum’s bowling!) but also later swapped the pads for the ball and took her first wicket too. There were also first Bears wickets for Hina Mehreet, on her debut for the club, and Tilly Kingsmill. In our batting innings, Olivia Aylward made her season’s best score of 17* on her first appearance for the Third Grade side, and team manager Jacqui Eyles batted for the Bears for the first time and made two runs.

Our final game of the season is next Saturday away to Bankstown.

Pictures and videos courtesy of Tony Johnson, David James, Sarah Berman and team captains, music courtesy of