Round 8 Week 1 Wrap vs Fairfield-Liverpool

1st Grade UTS North Sydney vs Fairfield-Liverpool at Rosedale Oval

UTS North Sydney 325 (T Jagot 156, T Reynolds 41, O Knight 38) 

Skipper Tom Jagot had a day to remember, bringing up his first ton for the season to guide the Bears to a competitive total by the end of the first day against Fairfield Liverpool. Further research has indicated that Jagot also brought up his 3,000th career first grade run on the weekend. Well done, Tom, and as the boys suggested on Saturday after bringing up the 150 – ‘double it’.

The day started early with UTS North Sydney travelling to south western Sydney – some by plane as suggested by one spectator, who shall remain nameless, to Rosedale Oval. After winning the toss the captain chose to bat in the dry heat, taking advantage of the absence of State player Liam Hatcher. Jack James got things moving with 9 runs off the first over. In the second over his partner, Ben Bryant copped a rising ball that presented the keeper with a simple catch and the Bears were 1/9. This brought Tom Jagot (captaining while Justin Avendano is on BBL duty) to the crease. James looked in good touch, after securing his first century last week, but on 16 got a good ball that nipped back in and it was 2/32. 

George Lavelle (13) then combined with Jagot for a 58 run partnership, with Jagot bringing up his fifty off fifty balls. Lavelle nudged a few around and hit a nice lofted four before nudging one straight to first slip. Jagot, on the other hand, kept pumping boundaries. Tim Reynolds was the next man in, returning to the team after being part of a successful U19s campaign for NSW Metro. His opportunities were limited in the U19 tournament and he was keen to show his worth on a pretty flat deck. Reynolds scored 41 in an 87-run stand, showing plenty of patience. In between pep talks at the drinks break, Tim was able to watch from the other end as Jagot brought   up his sixth first grade hundred for North Sydney, off 138 balls.

Robbie Aitken (13) landed a few lusty blows and was unlucky to be caught on the third grab by the fielder at backward square with the score on 198, a few overs prior to the lunch break. After the break, Jagot combined with Olly Knight (who made a watchful 38) for a steady 81 run partnership, and in the process he went past 150. Tom was finally dismissed for 156 from 208 balls, his highest first grade score (see video inset). It was great entertainment and certainly a ‘captain’s knock’ with 15 fours and over 300 minutes in the middle. He received a standing ovation as he left the ground. With the score at 7/282, the tail added some valuable runs with Matt Alexander (16) and Mac Jenkins (17) making a strong contribution. With just one over remaining in the day, Will Graham smashed the finest of nicks past the keeper for 4, before being unfortunately fired by the umpire, leaving James Campbell stranded on 6 not out at the other end.  The Bears reached a total of 325, which was adjudged as par by the local scoreboard attendant. Next week’s equation is simple – bowl Fairfield Liverpool out for less than 325.

2nd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Fairfield-Liverpool at Bon Andrews

UTS North Sydney 9/304 (B Hardy 71, G Aitken 59*, RD Alexander 46, AA Shaikh 45, J Aitken 29)

The second grade seagulls turned up to the picturesque Bon Andrews Oval fit and firing after a Friday filled with Hydrolyte and nutrient-dense meals. Alexander again showed his worth in the warm-up, with the skill and agility akin to Cristiano Ronaldo to match. Unfortunately, it still wasn’t enough to get the Doyens across the line, with the Little Legends cruising to a 13-goal win. Tough to see but the Doyens will be back next week. 

2nd Grade 2Captain Glenn Aitken continued his scintillating run of tosses with yet another victory and told Fairfield they must bowl, and when they do it must be on our pads. We love the leg side. 

The message from G was wickets in the bank are key: “I don’t care if we’re on 20 runs at lunch, I want to be none down”. The message was obviously poignant for new opening partnership Broc Hardy and James Leary, with the lads both scoring at over a run a ball for the first 10 overs. Leary departed for a quick-fire 20 while Broc continued finding the boundary for a well-made 71, unfortunately snicking off first ball after lunch to one that ragged. Head up mate. 

A slow middle session ensued, but we always had a sense of safety. The bulk of the damage was done by the unstoppable Ray Alexander (46) and James Aitken (29) before all-rounder Ali Shaikh came to the crease and blasted 45. The bloke epitomises ticker, encapsulated when wearing a bouncer on the lid and telling everyone to get out of his face before slapping the bowler for another six. The bloke is simply unstoppable and my old man loves him.

It would be remiss to not mention the effort of our ever-reliable captain. Glenn batted through the pain of a crook back to slap the Fairfield attack to all parts on his way to 59 not out. He was ably supported up the other end by Australia’s premier number 11 Sam Alexander. Sam was in fine form with the willow and some would say he was integral to Glenn’s half century. Refusing to give his wicket away, Sam allowed the Bears to have the option to bat on next week - which they no doubt will with a man of his stature at the crease. 

Bring on next week. 

Thanking you, thanking me but most obviously thanking James Leary. 

3rd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Fairfield-Liverpool at Fairfield Oval

UTS North Sydney 252 (JD Vilensky 74, C New 52, C Spratt 48, C Lloyd 25) v Fairfield-Liverpool 0/7

3rd Grade toss Santa hatsNorths won the toss and batted on a very flat looking pitch. Openers Cam New and Dhruva Thorat did a good job making it through to drinks break before Dhruva was dismissed on 19 with the team score on 49. Jordan Vilensky continued his good form as he joined New in the middle. The pair put on 55 before New fell for a well-made 52 off 93 balls. Cameron has now made consecutive fifties in third grade and can’t be far away from reaching the next level.

The next partnership was a cracker netting 95 runs with Chris Spratt playing aggressively hitting 8 fours and a six before falling for 48. Jordan was dismissed for 74 after the final drinks break, backing up his hundred from the week before. Some lusty hitting from captain Chris Lloyd (25), but not too much from the tail saw the Bears reach 252, before bowling 1 over at Fairfield, who remain 0/7. Some early wickets will be the order of the day next week.

4th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Fairfield-Liverpool at Tunks International Sports Park

Fairfield- Liverpool 9/213 (IR Merlehan 3/52, S Vohra 2/11, H Reynolds 2/23)

The Bears won the toss and although the wicket was hard and flat, there was significant grass coverage – so we elected to send Fairfield into bat. Unfortunately, we bowled poorly early on. Our lack of consistency with the new rock allowed the batsman off the hook, as they did not have to play enough balls in good areas. As a result, Fairfield progressed to 47 for no loss. 

When stand-in captain Keith Lawrence made the decision to have a double change in the bowling attack, he was rewarded straight away. Izaak Melehan (3/52) bowled from one end, and Fraser Noack (1/55) from the other. Izaak claimed a wicket with his first ball, rattling the stumps, then Fraser joined in claiming the other opener. Within a matter of minutes, with a second wicket LBW to Merlehan, the Lions had fallen to 3 for 49. At tea, Fairfield had rallied to be 4 for 113, after Merlehan had collected his third of the day with the score at 81. After Jarrad Ninness (1/21) grabbed the fifth Lions wicket, Shivam ‘the Shiv’ Vohra (2/11) in combination with Izaak and Fraser contained the Fairfield bats as they pushed on to 6/169. After tea youngster Hamish Reynolds (2/23) was brought on and he was unlucky not to have a couple of early breakthroughs courtesy of some dropped catches. Hamish bowled brilliantly with Liam Hodge up to the stumps. He took two wickets, exposing the lower order, and with some luck could have had even better figures.

At the close of play Fairfield are 9 down with 213 on the board. The Bears will require a quick wicket next week and then the batsmen to stand up and chase down the total.

5th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Fairfield-Liverpool at Don Dawson Oval

Fairfield- Liverpool 79 (P Lindsay 3/11, J Thomas 3/15, C Savage 2/31) v UTS North Sydney 3/85 (M Lloyd 31, O Jennings 27*) 

Don Dawson Oval, Cabramatta was the venue for the Round 8 clash between the Lions and the Bears. The Bears lost the toss and were asked to field first on a spongy wicket.Ben Revai 5th Grade wkt first ball

Jack Thomas (3/15) and Chris Savage (2/31) opened the attack, bowling the first 21 overs straight. Thomas took the first pole in the 5th over and another in the 7th to have Fairfield 2/17. Savage chimed in a few overs later with a typical full straight ball. Thomas looked a class above, moving the ball both ways, in the air and off the pitch, with great control. When he took his third wicket of the day the Lions were reeling at 4/26.  By the 18th over with another one to Savage, The Bears were off to a flyer and Fairfield had been reduced to 5/34. 

It didn’t get any easier for the Fairfield batsman as the change bowlers came on. Archie Wright (1/8) and Ben Revai (1/12 - pictured) were both introduced to bowl a few overs with Captain Pat Lindsay holding up an end. Both boys snared their first grade wickets, courtesy of good catches from Rohan Awati (on Bears debut) and Abdullah Shaikh respectively. The Fairfield tail batted gamely, valuing their wickets, but were unable to advance the score. Skipper Lindsay (3/11) wrapped the innings up by taking the final three Fairfield wickets in the 52nd over with the score on 79. This left the Bears 26 overs in the day to chase down 80.

We lost Savage early, however Michael Lloyd and Oliver Jennings batted positively putting on 55 before Lloyd was dismissed for a hard hitting 31 in the 17th. The platform had been laid to shoot for first innings points on day one and Abdullah Shaikh (20*) did the business as the Bears passed the total in the 24th over. Jennings (27*) remains unbeaten. The Bears will look to secure the outright result next week to solidify their spot in the Top 6.

Brewer Shield UTS North Sydney v Sydney at Tunks International Sports Park

Sydney 7/184 (L Warren 2/26, B Tahana 2/27, G O’Brien 1/14, E Buckley 1/15, G Keating 1/28) def UTS North Sydney 8/120 (M Thirupathy 41, G Keating 35)

In the first game of the Brewer Shield season, UTS Norths won the toss and decided to bowl.  We had had a bit of rain overnight (which was sensational!!), so the air was clear and the field slightly moist and looking fantastic as always.

With Amelia Sim still out injured and a few other players away, we pulled in some very recent recruits from Blacktown, Belinda Tahana and Bankstown, Mridula Thirapathy. Along with a number of other new players this year, Amy Gibbons, Olivia Aylward, and Anjali Uthappa, these new Bears formed a strong team for our first game of the season.  Sydney are strong opponents and we needed to bring it!

We had an amazing start with the openers, Belinda Tahana and Lucy Warren, both taking two wickets each in their opening spell.  Sydney lost their first two wickets before they’d scored a run and were 4 for 16 after 4 overs! Go girls!

We had taken out some key Sydney batters but Grace Bryson Smith dug in for 51, joined by Hayley Zauch 45  and Laura Metry 32* to pull together an innings of 184.

Strong bowling by captain Genevieve O'Brien steadied the ship through the middle of the innings, 1/14 in 7 overs helping to keep the score in reach and taking out their leading run scorer, Grace Bryson Smith.Amy Gibbons, another new recruit this season coming to us from Gordon, did a fantastic job wicket keeping, helping to keep the score in check.

A total of 184 runs was a long way from 306 Sydney racked up against us last year, showing how far we’ve improved in a short space of time

After lunch we came in to bat, opening with Grace Keating and Amy Gibbons.  Sydney’s opening bowlers were tight and we were sitting them out so runs were accumulated slowly. We were 0/10 after 7 overs before Amy way dismissed in the 8th over. Grace held on though and ultimately partnered with Mridula Thirapathy for an outstanding 81-run partnership before Mridula was unfortunately run out.  It was sensational batting from Mridula with 41 runs of 54 balls.

Thanks to a valiant effort by all of the batters, we batted out our overs to make 8/120, the highest score so far in the short history of Bears women’s cricket! Onwards and upwards!

Poidevin-Gray Shield UTS North Sydney v Eastern Suburbs at Waverley Oval

Eastern Suburbs 190 (F May 3/25, C Savage 3/28, JN James 2/21) def by UTS North Sydney 7/193 (G Lavelle 58, T Reynolds 45, M Jenkins 30*) 

North Sydney fronted up to Waverley Oval in a must win game against bottom of the table Eastern Suburbs.

Easts won the toss and took first use of the pitch. Opening bowler, Nuwan Whyte (1/44) got the boys off to great start with a wicket in his second over to have Easts 1/9. Young English batsman Jamie Smith then went on a rampage crunching 31 runs from 11 balls before Fletcher May splattered his stumps with an excellent yorker. Ben Knox (0/39) replaced Whyte, while Mac Jenkins (1/27) bowled unchanged. Jenkins got the third Dolphins scalp via a George Lavelle stumping, recovering beautifully to regain the ball and take off the bails on the second attempt. Jenkins bowled with control and was very difficult to get away as always. Chris Savage, who continues to impress claimed the Dolphins number 4 with the score at 120. Savage was unlucky not to have his man the previous over after a brilliant leg side stumping by Lavelle was adjudged not out. It was a tough one for the umpires to give, but check out the footage from the game and make up your own mind. Jack James (2/21) took over from Jenkins and had immediate success removing the set number 5 in his first over. A few over later Savage doubled up and Easts had lost 3/11 in 5 overs. James claimed his second wicket plumb LBW reducing Easts to 7/148 after 38 overs. A 29 run partnership developed before Savage and May were re-introduced to clean up the tail. Both bowlers claimed three wickets – Savage 3/28 and May 3/25. May had Jake Hardy to take the catch for the final wicket after spilling a caught and bowled chance earlier. Eastern Suburbs all out 190.

What appeared to be a fairly straightforward chase kept the punters on the edge of their seats for most of the afternoon. The two Easts opening bowlers extracted pace and bounce making it difficult. There was the “yes-no-yes-oh no!” from the openers that turned into 2 runs as the Easts keeper missed the stumps and the bowler forgot to back up. James Leary was bowled with the score on 12 and Jack James was burdened by a thumb injury causing him to lose control of a drive that went straight to gully. Tim Reynolds (45) and George Lavelle got the chase back on track with a patient partnership that netted 72 runs. Reynolds looked to be in good touch before holing out. The next over Jordan Vilensky went for a lofted drive and was caught by the same fielder. 

With less than 100 runs to go and 23 overs to get them, Norths were still ahead of the game. However, some tight bowling and the loss of Jake Hardy (15), who was also looking good, made some of us a little nervous. But we knew that while George Lavelle, ever the rock of the innings, was in, we were safe. George kept finding gaps, hitting 36 singles, before taking the aerial route and losing his wicket for 58. At that stage it was 6/166 and 25 were needed from 48 balls. Fletcher May was then run out backing up for a second run and it was 7/167 – 24 from 42. Then three tight overs closed the gap to 18 runs from 24 balls. Mac Jenkins (30*) – the finisher – didn’t let the team down combining with Nuwan Whyte (13*) to get the job done. With four runs required, 1st Grade bowler George Furrer came on hoping for a hat-trick. What he got was a plucky Jenkins hitting a two and then as four with field up to finish the game.

The Bears take the six points and move into fourth in our pool – with a finals berth in our hands with a win against UNSW in the new year.

Images and recordings courtesy of Tony Johnson, Rod Campbell, Easts media, Christin Hohne, Greg Buckley, Jacqui Eyles, Sarah Berman and team captains