Round 8 Week 2 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) def Fairfield-Liverpool 285 (J Campbell 3/47, W Graham 2/55, M Alexander 2/65)

The UTS North Sydney First Grade boys showed amazing ticker completing a miraculous win as the elements conspired against them. The Bears were in a Lion’s den of pain as they entered the field for a 9am start with temperatures already nearing 30 degrees and a light smoke haze filling the lungs of every player.

The lads made a terrific start thanks to the ever-reliable James Campbell (3/47) grabbing a wicket in the third over to have Fairfield 1/5. Campbell has made a habit of taking a wicket in his first spell in most games this year and sits third in the bowling aggregate for NSW Premier Cricket at the half way point with 21 scalps. The quick bowlers toiled hard in short spells on a pitch that resembled the Hume Highway and kept the boundaries to a minimum, forcing the batsman to run twos and threes. This sapped energy from the batsmen and prolonged the chase for the opposition. 

It took 25 overs and 76 runs for the next wicket to fall as the set batsman Matt Critchley tried to launch Robbie Aitken (1/31) over mid on, but found the safe hands of Mac Jenkins instead. This brought former NSW 2nd XI batsman Luke Ohrynowsky to the crease as the Lions moved to 2/81. Ohrynowsky combined with his captain, and current NSW second XI player, Param Uppal (59), to put on a further 52 runs before Olly Knight (1/28) claimed Uppal’s wicket with George Lavelle standing up to the stumps. It was a brilliant catch that required the quick hands that George is becoming renowned for in the Premier Cricket competition. Fairfield put together another 50 run stand for the fourth wicket with Will Graham making the breakthrough thanks to another great catch by Lavelle diving forward and snaring the ball millimetres from the ground. It is a testament to the determination of the team that they remained chirpy and continued to chase balls, cutting off boundaries and charging in to prevent singles to support their bowlers in the midst of a heatwave. 

Play continued to 4/205 as the players took lunch at 2pm. A few overs after the lunch break, with Fairfield building on their total, play was interrupted for an air quality break. With the air quality deemed hazardous by the umps, the players waited over three hours until 5:30pm for play to resume. Upon the resumption, Fairfield needed just 98 runs from a further 31 overs and were very keen to get back onto the ground as they knew they had the upper hand. However, the long break was more of a benefit to the tired Bears outfit and gave the boys an opportunity to recharge in the change rooms.Aitken sliding save

The Lions crept to within 80 runs of the Bears’ first innings score when Campbell took the key wicket of Ohrynowsky on 75, opening the door for an unlikely victory. It turned out to be the catalyst for an amazing win as wickets fell regularly in the hot and smoky conditions. Current leading NSW Premier Cricket wicket taker, Matt Alexander (2/65), chimed in a few overs later to remove the fresh man and reduce Fairfield to 6/246, again caught by Lavelle. With the new ball looming and after a tidy first spell, Jack James (1/10) was thrown the ball for his second spell. James did not disappoint claiming the set lefthander Atharva Patil thanks to a catch on the second grab by George Lavelle. Lavelle’s catch was his fifth of the innings and at 7/158 the odds were turning heavily in the Bears’ favour.

The introduction of the new ball allowed the Bears bowlers to rip through the Lions’ tail with wickets to Graham, Campbell and Alexander who finished the job in fading light. The ninth wicket was one to savour as Lavelle ran back hurdling the helmet to take a fine diving catch, and he followed up with another five overs later to finish the match and complete seven catches. The seven-wicket haul by Lavelle is the most by any NSW Premier Cricket keeper this season and only the tenth time in First Grade history that the feat has been completed. George has also entered the record books for the number of dismissals by a North Sydney wicketkeeper in an innings, equalling the record set by Nigel Taylor in the 1996-97 season. 

Special thanks go to Simon Jagot and David Graham who worked tirelessly to keep the boys hydrated in truly sapping conditions.

The 40 run win has elevated UTS North Sydney to second on the NSW Premier Cricket table heading into the break. The season resumes on 11 January when we take on reigning premiers Penrith in a one-day fixture which is sure to be hotly-contested following the drawn rain-affected semi final last season.

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

UTS North Sydney 9/304 (B Hardy 71, G Aitken 70, RD Alexander 46, AA Shaikh 45, J Aitken 29) def Fairfield- Liverpool 227 (N Naguleswaran 5/39, J Aitken 4/39)

A dominate display in difficult conditions showed the Bears’ strength.


The weather forecast for the second week of the Second Grade Round 8 clash between the Bears and Fairfield Lions looked ominous. The temperate was going to push record numbers and air quality would also play a factor. Either way, it was going to be a tough day in the dirt.

Upon arrival at Bon Andrews and seeing the wicket was flat, dry and hard with an even cover of grass, a perfect batting wicket, Bears captain Glenn Aitken had no hesitation in batting on. The Bears managed to add another 11 runs in the morning before the Glenn was dismissed for 70 with the total at 315. The conditions looked perfect for the batting team and the score slightly below par. It was going to be a difficult task for the Second Grade side, and a test of their determination and discipline. 

The Lions’ chase got off to a good start, with both opening batsmen scoring freely, taking the score to 44 off 13 overs. However, the tight and skillful bowling of James Aitken was eventually rewarded with the first wicket of the day. The rest of the first session was a hard grind for the Bears. In the heat, the wicket proved to be exceptionally flat and the opposition went to lunch at 1/93 off 28 overs. All bowlers challenged the batsman and bowled well, however, luck was certainly on Fairfield’s side, with a few decisions not going our way. This was highlighted by Ali Shaikh, bowling a delivery that hit the off stump, but failed to dislodge the bails. Additionally, Sam Alexander (0/44 off 16) bowled with great accuracy and control and was unfortunate to not be rewarded with a wicket or two. Heading into the second session, Fairfield had 224 runs to chase with 9 wickets in hand, the game had swung in the opposition's favour and yet the boys were confident, a testament to the mindset and team morale that characterise this young side.

The middle session was going to be crucial and would decide the fate of the match. Fairfield continued as they started and took the score to 117 before James Leary took a sharp catch behind the stumps off the bowling of Niranjan Naguleswaran. However, the wicket offered brief respite, as the score moved to past 150 runs off 40 overs. The Lions had passed half-way with 8 wickets "in the bank" and plenty of overs left in the day. However, the game was ripped open by outstanding spells of bowling from James Aitken (4/39 off 17) and Niranjan Naguleswarn (5/39 off 22 - pictured). The Lions lost 5 wickets for 6 runs as tJames and Niranjan’s extremely skillful and tight bowling was rewarded. Both bowlers managed to exact life and movement out of the batting friendly conditions. James even took two wickets in an over! It was a remarkable turnaround in the match. A superb fielding effort supported the bowlers perfectly.

There was some tail-end resistance that showed how easy the conditions were for the batsmen. They were able to defend and hit through the line of the ball, making the earlier bowling efforts even more impressive. After the tea break the Bears were able to wrap up the tail in a dominant bowling and fielding display. Nuwan White took the last wicket off a bouncer, caught down the leg-side by a spectacular diving catch by James Leary. It was a fantastic way to seal an outstanding win by Second Grade. 

The side showed enormous character and skill with ball and in the field. The team is filled with exceptional talent and they play the game with spirit and determination. It’s been a great start to the season and we head into the break in 4th place on 32 points.

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) def Fairfield-Liverpool 165 (F May 5/55, B Knox 2/31, H May 2/42)

It was an early start at Fairfield Oval with the heat rule requiring the first ball to be bowled at 9am. This meant getting to the ground by 8 for warm ups. The lads did well to get there on time, as Fairfield is not nearby.

Harrison May started with a jaffa in his first over to have the Lions 1/7. Some tight bowling from both May brothers created pressure and it was not long before Fletcher took the wicket of the Fairfield number 3 to have Fairfield on the back foot at 2/24. The Bears were literally on a roll as miniature leg spinner Ben Knox (2/31) bowled a leggie that hit the pitch and rolled taking out the batsman’s stumps and reducing Fairfield to 3/47. With the batting strip starting to show some variable bounce and with the Bears, by comparison, losing their third wicket at 199 the previous week, signs were looking very good. Opposition captain and former Big Bash player Luke Doran made a breezy 27 before snicking off to a fired up Fletcher May. The boys left the ground 4/101 at the earlier 11:25 break (dubbed ‘brunch’ by Cameron New) and with the predicted extreme hot weather moving in, the boys were in front. 

After the break the temperature soared, jumping from 30 at midday to around 40 by 1pm. Heroic long spells from the May brothers paid dividends as they ripped out the middle and lower order in the now scorching conditions. Fletcher (5/55 - see inset) took the first three wickets after the break and, in doing so, claimed his first 5-fa for the club. He always bowls with aggression and has been rewarded for a strong commitment to his craft.  The five wickets have also moved Fletcher into the top ten bowlers by aggregate for Third Grade. Harrison (2/42) claimed the 8th wicket of the day with a nice catch to Chris Lloyd. The Lions were now 8/157 and needed a further 96 runs to pass our score. Ben Knox came back on to take the ninth and final wicket, bowled around the legs and, with Fairfield only batting 10 due to injury, the teams shook hands. The song was sung heartily with 3s earning a good win in extreme conditions. The temperature gauge in the skipper’s car as we departed read 44 degrees. The team has moved up the ladder finishing the 2019 part of the season with three wins and a draw from eight matches. A good start in the New Year will be required to challenge for a top 6 spot by season’s end.

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

Fairfield- Liverpool 231 (IR Merlehan 4/57, S Vohra 2/11, H Reynolds 2/23) def  UTS North Sydney 211 (IR Merlehan 61, H Reynolds 46*, A Nigul 37, FJ Noack 30)

Day 2 saw Fairfield add a few runs before Izaak Merleham secured his 4th wicket finishing with figures of 4/57 from his 24 overs. Minutes later Izaak opened the batting with Finn Nixon-Tomko in pursuit of the 232 runs for the win. Unfortunately, a top edged pull shot by Finn flew to fine leg and the Bears lost an early wicket to be 1/1. Adi Nigul then joined Merlehan, sharing a highly productive partnership of 70 before Adi was brilliantly caught in close for 37. The fall of the second  wicket at 71 brought Drew Sellers to the crease. 

At the tea break, with 40 overs left in the match, the Bears were well placed at 2 for 96. Drew was extremely unlucky to be given out LBW straight after the break with no addition to the score. For a short period Izaak and new man Liam Hodge (17) looked in control. In this period Izaak went past fifty for the first time in Fourth Grade to go with his four wickets and three catches from the first innings. However, when Izaak departed for a controlled 61 in the 39th over it triggered a mini collapse with three wickets going down for 11 runs. The Bears had slumped to 6-136 in just 6 overs and were now reliant on the lower order to get the job done.

Our youngest Bear, Hamish Reynolds showed great maturity at the crease in combination with Fraser Noack, with the pair compiling a 70 run partnership that provided the team with a great opportunity to win the game. The partnership moved the bears within 26 runs of the target. However, at 6/206 Fraser was adjudged LBW to ex-Bear Gurnoor Singh for 30. This made things tricky with the Bears having only ten available batsmen. In the end we did not have the resolve to score the remaining 26 runs to get over the line, falling 20 runs short of our objective.

The innings of Hamish Reynolds needs special mention. His cutting, sweeping and strong defence showed his seniors how to bat on a flat Tunks wicket. Hamish has settled into the Fourth Grade side, demonstrating a great all-round game with bat and ball, and is now regarded as the Ben Stokes of the team.

A few of our order will lament some of their shots, but this was always a match where the Bears were chasing their tail. The loss leaves the side in the wrong half of the ladder and we will need to hit the ground running in the new year if we hope to play finals.

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) and 128 (P Lindsay 4/48, B Revai 3/25, C Savage 2/13) def by UTS North Sydney 3/85 dec (M Lloyd 31, O Jennings 27*) and 5/106 (AA Shaikh 42*, M Lloyd 37)

5s arrived at Don Dawson at 8am to beat the heat and were greeted by two new umpires.  We informed the umps that we would declare, with a lead of 7 runs. 

We got stuck into our work, however it wasn’t until the 26th over that we took our first wicket with the score on 42. From there wickets fell regularly. Captain Pat Lindsay (4/48) claimed the first 4 wickets and then Ben Revai (3/25) took the next 3. After 43 overs, Fairfield were 7/104 and less than 100 ahead on second innings. However, Lindsay’s hamstring and Revai’s age restrictions halted the momentum somewhat and it wasn’t until the 59th over that Fairfield were dismissed for 128. Opening bowlers Chris Savage (2/13) and Jack Thomas (1/12) took the final three Lions wickets.

To claim outright glory, the Bears needed 122 off 18 overs. However, by this time, the heat was oppressive. We had already lost Savage to heat stroke and after running two 2s early in the innings, the veteran Michael Lloyd (37) was succumbing to the conditions. Despite the extreme conditions, both Lloyd and Abdullah Shaikh (42*) kept us in the hunt. Eventually the heat won out, sapping all power and energy away from our lads, who were now unable to clear the fence or run 2s and 3s. 

We eventually finished 5/106 off our 18 overs, claiming the win on first innings.  Had we fielded better in the second innings, we may have got the outright. Nevertheless, the win slots us into second place on the ladder heading into Christmas with a top of the table clash against ladder leaders Penrith awaiting us in the new year. 

Brewer Shield UTS North Sydney v Northern Districts at Asquith Oval

Northern District 5/112 (E Buckley 2/18, G Keating 1/13, G O’Brien 1/14) def UTS North Sydney 44

Brewer Shield 22nd of December 2019 (91)

A game on the last weekend before Xmas was always going to be a challenge to field a team with holiday commitments. Luckily we were able to offer  another 2 newcomers the opportunity to experience the Brewer competition - Baylee Broomhead from Sydney Club and Tilly Kingsmill from our very own North Sydney Junior Club.  Thanks to these 2 players and also Evy McKay from last year’s squad coming back for this game, we were able to field a team of 11.

Our bowling performance was solid and we kept their openers to a manageable score for the first few overs.  We were 0/6 after 3 overs then they started to hit us around a bit with the first wicket falling to Grace Keating in the 8th over with 40 runs already on the board.  3 more wickets fell in the next few overs and we were 4/56 in the 12th so looking OK before the partnership off P. Hooke and J. Woolfe took the score to 105. Belinda Tahana performed well in the field with a great catch off Genevieve and then taking the stumps out after a throw in from Lucy Warren for a very sweet run out in the last over.  they were 5/112 at the conclusion of their 20 overs.

Northern District came on to bowl and our openers defended well for a few overs but couldn't get much on the board.  Their bowlers put on a very consistent display of strong straight bowling and we just couldn't get in our groove. It was all over for us in the 15th over with only 44 runs!  

Thanks for coming and Merry Christmas! #comingbackstrongerin2020

AW Green Shield vs Fairfield Liverpool at Fairfield Oval and Manly-Warringah at Tunks International Sports Park

Round 1: Fairfield-Liverpool 152 (C Smith 4/40, TS Laybutt 2/10, L Opacic 2/30) def UTS North Sydney 145 (A Rana 38, O Jennings 34)

Round 2: UTS North Sydney 7/222 (A Nigul 63, HJ Davis 48, B Fisher 47) def by Manly 3/224 (O Jennings 1/36, TS Laybutt 1/38) 

The junior Bears played the first two rounds of the AW Green Shield on Thursday and Sunday this week, losing a heartbreaker to Fairfield-Liverpool and being defeated by Manly after a strong batting performance.


In Round 1, the Bears fielded first and put in a strong performance with the ball. A run out by Akshit Rana and Callum Smith in the third over, followed by a clean bowled for each of Smith and Tony Labutt, had the Lions reeling at 3/27 in the seventh over. By the 14th over, Smith had bagged a second and Luke Opacic chimed in and the score was 5/48. The Lions’ only significant partnership was 52 for the sixth wicket, before Smith broke it through a catch behind the stumps by Harry Davis. The final four wickets fell for 52 runs, shared by Opacic (who finished 2/30), Laybutt (2/10), Hamish Reynolds (1/22) and Smith (4/30), with the Lions finishing on a sub-par 152.

In reply, we got off to the worst possible start, with Adi Nigul adjudged lbw for a duck with the score on 1, and stumbled to 5/44 with most of our top order back in the sheds. Oliver Jennings (34) and Akshit Rana (38) came together and put on 74 to give us hope, before they fell in quick succession leaving the Bears 7/119. Our last pair, Aden Clark and Chris Smith, took the score from 126 to 145 when Smith was run out leaving us agonisingly seven runs short of the Lions’ score.

In Round 3, we won the toss and batted first at Tunks Park. Hamish Reynolds departed early but Adi Nigul (63) combined with Zak Keogh (18) for a 54 run partnership. Ben Fisher (47) then joined Nigul for a 62 run stand to move the Bears to 3/126. The loss of Nigul for 63 brought skipper Harry Davis to the cease. Davis and Fisher scored quickly moving the score to 191 before Fisher was out just short of his fifty. Davis also missed out on a fifty, but scored his 48 runs from 51 balls. The final score of 7/222 was certainly defendable, but Manly always put up a strong batting side.

The Waratahs batsman were difficult to dislodge, and maintained the run rate required throughout the chase. The Manly openers put on a 93 run opening stand before Oliver Jennings (1/36) crashed through the stumps of Lachlan Johnson. Oliver backed up his work with a run out to have Manly 2/116. However, another strong partnership developed taking the score to 209. Toby Laybutt (1/38) took the opener Cooper’s wicket on 97 with a catch behind to Davis. Manly scored the remaining runs with over three overs to spare and the Bears were left to rue a couple of missed chances in the field.

The boys will need to re group before they take on local rivals Mosman on 4 January.

Images and recordings courtesy of Tony Johnson, Rod Campbell, Northern Districts media, Christin Hohne, Sarah Berman and team captains