Week 10 Wrap vs Bankstown, Gordon, Penrith and Manly

1st Grade Round 10: UTS North Sydney v Sydney University at North Sydney Oval

UTS North Sydney 8/273 (cc) (J Greenslade 78, O Knight 61, JN James 35, A Bariol 30, BS Atherton 26) def Bankstown 238 (45.4 overs) (J Aitken 2/30, M Alexander 2/38, O Knight 2/45)

With players unavailable as a result of injury, COVID restrictions and the Big Bash, the Bears fielded a team with a mixture of youth and experience. The big in was the return of captain Tom Jagot who had missed the previous three games.

After losing the toss, the boys were sent in – a common theme for most tosses this week, despite the fact that the wicket looked pretty good.

Tom Jagot and Jack James opened proceedings, sharing a brief partnership with Tom caught low down at mid-on in the third over. Jack was then joined by Brent Atherton and together they moved the score past fifty. Brent was timing the ball nicely hitting three fours and a six before he was unluckily caught down the leg side for 26 – and just as the pair were gaining some momentum. Aiden Bariol looked in good touch after his century the previous week, hitting a run-a-ball 30, but with the score on 94 he fell to a short ball that was caught at square leg. Jack was then joined by youngster Jimmy Greenslade in just his second game in First Grade. Jack had accumulated 35 runs with three boundaries and looked determined to bat through the innings, but he too was also undone by a short ball as he looked to push his scoring rate along. At 4/108 after 24 overs the decision to bowl first was starting to pay dividends for the Dogs on a flat pitch with enough variable bounce to encourage the trio of pace bowlers being used.

The next partnership was crucial as the Bankstown spinners entered the game. In-form batsman Olly Knight joined Greenslade with the pair digging in and then slowly moving the game in favour of the Bears as they put together a 108 run partnership for the fifth wicket. Knight played with freedom bringing up his fifty with a six – one of five maximums in his score of 61 and the third time he had passed fifty this season. It is clear that his work with TJ in the off-season has paid off as the Bears moved to 5/216 in the 43rd over.

With the fall of the fifth wicket the Dogs wrestled back some control of the game, but it did not deter Greenslade from reaching his maiden fifty in the next over. Fellow youngster Adam Cavenor (7) was out looking for quick runs in the 45th over as the score moved to 6/231. From fifty, Jimmy accelerated his scoring, hitting a further three boundaries and a six before he was caught just inside the rope for 78 at the end of the 49th over. It was an excellent performance and a sign of things to come with the club boasting a number of talented young batsman. The Aitken brothers– Rob (8) and James (6*) added some valuable runs to the total, despite a brief stoppage as the Bankstown captain made enquiries with the umpires about James’s bat. Rob was dismissed on the last ball leaving a score of 273 to defend.

It was going to take a disciplined bowling and fielding effort with the Bears successfully chasing 270 and Sydney Uni chasing 302 at North Sydney Oval in the last few weeks.

The Bankstown openers took nine runs off the first over, but a brilliant diving one-handed catch at second slip by Olly Knight off the bowling of Matt Alexander reduced the opposition to 1/9 after 2 overs. James Campbell and Alexander kept the batsman fairly quiet and after 7 overs they had 30 on the board. Olly Knight took over from Campbell and was despatched for a couple of boundaries in the first over of his spell. He came back nicely in his next over to take the key wicket of NSW opener Daniel Solway with another excellent piece of fielding by Aiden Bariol, who dived to his left to take a low catch that was feathered down the leg side. Bankstown 2/46.

Jack James partnered Knight inside the powerplay and proceeded to produce a probing and accurate spell of bowling that frustrated the two batsmen. James conceded just six runs from his first three overs and this led to a six being struck from the second ball of his fourth over. However, James struck back on the next ball trapping the number 4 with an enthusiastic shout for lbw and Bankstown were 3/65 in the 16th.

Meanwhile, James Aitken had replaced Knight, and in typical JA style he landed a ball hitting the front pad of the new man and appealed immediately. The appeal was turned down but, with the batsman turning his attention to the umpire and the ball trickling forward, Aiden Bariol, who was keeping up to the stumps, managed to lunge forward and throw the ball back to the stumps. It was a brilliant piece of glovework that caught the batsman napping and suddenly Bankstown were 4/68 in the 17th. James and Aitken then combined to dry up the runs keeping the opposition to 4/90 after 24 overs.

Captain Jagot decided it was time to turn the screws and so he brought back Campbell for his second spell. Campbell (1/48) had immediate success with the batsman lobbing the ball straight to Jimmy Greenslade on the square leg boundary and Bankstown were 5/92. James finished his spell with economical figures of 1/30 from his 10 overs in the 28th as Jagot once again pulled the right reins replacing Campbell with Knight. Olly (2/45) grabbed his second pole, ripping straight through the defences of the number 7 with a full ball to place the Bears on the front foot at 6/103 after 29 overs.

Robbie Aitken took over from James at the Bob Stand end, applying similar pressure to the batsmen and forcing them to take on the quicks from the other end to keep the run rate in check. At the end of 34 overs the Dogs were 6/127 with the run rate required pushing up to nine per over. Nine per over for 16 overs with four in the sheds was not impossible but was going to be tough and it was advantage Bears.

Unfortunately, the 35th over went for 15 runs, which made the Bears supporters a little nervous. Thankfully, Aitken (1/45) removed the number 8 with an excellent catch at cover taken by Jack James, putting an end to the 49-run partnership, and reducing the Dogs to 8/176 at the start of the 40th over. Zeeshaan Ahmed had moved into the eighties, and was the key to Bankstown’s chanes of an unlikely victory, despite losing six partners along the way. Ahmed brought up his hundred with a six in the 43rd over but lost another of his partners on the next ball as the batsmen pushed for a two on the arm of Robbie Aitken – Bankstown 8/206.

Despite losing the wicket, Bankstown picked up 20 runs in the over and were a sniff at 8/217 with 42 balls remaining and 56 needed. With 9 runs coming from the 44th it was now 47 needed from 36 balls. The 45th saw the re-introduction of James Aitken and eight runs coming from the first three balls to leave an achievable 39 runs from 33 balls. However, that was all she wrote with Aitken (2/30 off 6) being rewarded by bowling stump to stump and claiming Ahmed lbw for 127. Matt Alexander (2/38 off 6.4) mopped up the tail, taking the final wicket in the next over with Jimmy Greenslade featuring again on the square leg boundary and having to wait an eternity for the ball to drop into his hands. Bankstown all out 238 in the 46th over.

While there were a couple of standout performances, what was impressive about this victory and the previous two wins against Penrith and St George were the contributions made by every player in the team to get the job done. The Bears move into eighth position in the Belvidere Cup, but will face their toughest challenge in the next round against first placed Northern Districts as they hunt for a place in the finals.

2nd Grade Round 10: UTS North Sydney v Bankstown at Bankstown Oval

UTS North Sydney 206 (44.3 overs) (C New 50, G Aitken 35, B Kumar 31*, RD Alexander 30) def by Bankstown 8/320 (cc) (F Nixon-Tomko 3/39, KS Allison 2/49 F May 2/64)

Second grade headed to Bankstown Oval on Saturday morning looking to make it three wins in a row. With some light rain and cloud cover around, Bankstown surprisingly elected to bat first, with some home ground knowledge.

Kobe Allison and Fletcher May took the new ball and beat the bat multiple times, but quickly found that any width went to the boundary. After a wicket to each of them, at 2/34 after 6 overs, the game was in the balance. Bankstown’s number 4, Brendon Smith, joined the opener and capitalised on anything slightly overpitched, regularly hitting over the infield on a wicket that was not offering much at all for our bowlers. The pair put on 126 in quick time before Baran Kumar stepped up and got the opener.

Bankstown’s middle order continued to go after the attack, and it became evident that pace off was the way to go on this wicket. After injuring his ankle, Kobe Allison (2/49 off 10) switched to off spin and bowled a jamming length that the batsmen struggled to get under. Sam Alexander (0/44 of 10) was economical, bowling tight and varying his pace well. Bowling his left arm orthodox for the first time this season, Finn Nixon-Tomko (3/39 off 7) was very difficult to get away, and his three wickets included the vital one of Smith (110 off 94). Bankstown ended up on 8/320 after their 50 overs, a daunting total but not impossible to chase down on that wicket.

Playing in his first Second Grade game of the season, Cam New opened the batting with Nixon-Tomko, the latter cutting the first delivery of the chase over backward point for four. Nixon-Tomko (7 off 8) and John Nevell (11 off 20) both went cheaply before New (50 off 79) and Ray Alexander (30 off 43) combined for a 50-run partnership. Cam showed no signs of nerves on return to the side, regularly clipping deliveries on his pads over or through mid-wicket for four on his way to a well-made half century. The Bears lost regular wickets as the required rate kept climbing. Captain Glenn Aitken (35 off 31) and Baran Kumar (31 off 33) got the total past 200 before we were eventually bowled out for 206 in the 45th.

Women's 2nd Grade Round 8: Gordon / UTS North Sydney v Penrith at Howell Oval

Gordon / UTS North Sydney 2/90 (19.2) (O Callaghan 52) def Penrith 8/89 (cc) (E Ridley 3/14)

The second victory of the season for Gordon/North Sydney (GNS) turned out to be a nail-biter, going down to the last over.

All GNS bowlers made positive contributions, keeping things tight and taking wickets at regular intervals. The bowlers were brilliantly supported by an outstanding effort in the field. Emma Ridley led the way with 3/14 off 4, with five other bowlers all taking a wicket. Notable efforts in the field were Grace Keating with an outstanding running catch at extra cover, Emma Ridley’s dive to her left to hold a firmly struck pull shot and Liv Cook remaining calm under a high ball that took forever to come back to earth. Bianca Lozell also returned to the team with a solid keeping display. The continual fall of wickets kept the pressure on Penrith, limiting them to 8/89 off their 20 overs, and providing GNS with a very gettable 4.5 an over for victory.

Tight bowling and a relatively slow and spongey outfield meant the runs were hard to come by at first. But Liv Callaghan produced her best innings of the season 52* (62), brilliantly accelerating towards the target to close out the victory with 4 balls to spare.

The victory was sweet, but the perhaps the most important aspect of this match was the return of our coach, the much-loved, much-missed Michelle Gozsko. It’s great to have you back Gozzy and hopefully you will be able to attend a lot more matches as you continue to recover. Maybe it’s that “Gozzy magic” that made the difference to get the GNS girls over the line.

3rd Grade Round 10: UTS North Sydney v Bankstown at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 183 (44 Overs) (B Van Der Merwe 38) def by Bankstown 4/282 (cc) (JD Graham 2/36)

The Round 10 clash with Bankstown started off with a win at the toss, one of only a few wins of the day for the Bears as we sent in Bankstown to bat on a green Bon Andrews deck that had been under covers for the days previous.

Unfortunately, we didn’t start as we had hoped with the ball, with both openers getting off to a bit of a flier, and boundaries coming seemingly at will. Harri Lee-Young made the first breakthrough with the help of a great diving catch from Dilraj Singh, but it wasn’t until the 23rd over when the next wicket fell with the score on 133…

Another wicket fell shortly after, again to the captain Jacob Graham after bringing himself into the attack. Nic Hay joined the fun to have Bankstown 4/168 at the second drinks break and with two new batsman we knew we had a great chance of holding them to maybe around 230. Alas it wasn’t to be as the two new sticks consolidated and bided their time only to cash in with devastating effect in the last 10 overs with the Bulldogs finishing their innings 4/282.

It was a stretch too far for the Bears as regular wickets fell throughout the batting innings. Just as partnerships started to threaten to turn into a big score, a wicket fell. Special mentions to Ben Van der Merwe with a very well made 38 and Nic Hay (22) at the top of the order. Their second-wicket partnership got the team off to a great start and put us in a position to launch. However, as mentioned, regular wickets killed us off quickly as the middle order fell cheaply with no batsman bar Hamish Reynolds, with some late order hitting, getting past 20.

Whilst the chase was lost well before he arrived to the crease it would be remiss of me not to mention the flurry of boundaries to Brad Wilson who came in at 11. With 4 required to avoid the bonus point loss, he took it upon himself to take the Bulldogs bowling attack apart with 17 glorious runs including a magnificent bomb onto the Bon Andrew’s dressing room roof, off just 7 balls.

Onwards and upwards for the 3s as we fight to hold our spot in the 6.

Women's 3rd Grade Round 8: UTS North Sydney v Gordon at Forsyth Park (T20)

UTS North Sydney 6/71 (cc) (A Dongre 28) def by Gordon 2/125 (cc)

After the highs and excitement last week we came crashing down to earth with a reasonably disappointing performance all round. Some days all switches are set to on, and some days not so much.

After a very good training session at Bon Andrews in the morning, we set off for our T20 match against Gordon with high confidence. Our last outing against Gordon saw us make our new record score of 197 in 40 overs, and with a few hours against the bowling machine we felt like it could be a good day.

We won the toss, chose to bat and mixed the batting order around to give some players who haven't batted much a turn at the top of the order. Unfortunately, another slow outfield saw our top order struggle without the power to hit over the top, and pressure quickly saw a cave-in with our top 3 of Tilly Kingsmill, Anna Lucas and Cabby Bailey all back in the sheds without scoring. Chloe Blackwell at number 4 dug in but couldn't pierce the infield and was retired without scoring after 13 balls.

Evy McKay (5 off 4) was quickly off the mark with a four before being caught off the legendary Jess Henry's bowling - Jess said afterwards that was her 14th wicket in 37 years of playing cricket! Anushka Dongre (28 off 40) and Hetti Blackburn (9 off 28) then set about building an innings for us, with Anushka especially playing some great shots that included three fours through the sticky outfield. Amy Gibbons (10* off 13) and Anjali d'Cunha (5* off 6) picked up the pace towards the end to take us to 6/71 after our 20 overs, with Anjali's celebration for her boundary earning the celebration of the day! One thing you can love about cricket - there's always a personal highlight somewhere!

Gordon is a strong batting side, and with a low target and a need to score bonus points for their ladder position, set about dismantling our bowlers with ferocity, with three players returning 33 off 19, 22 off 9 and 31 off just 8 balls! Despite this, Anjali (4-1-0-13) and Anushka (4-2-0-11) managed to earn some maidens, and Anna Lucas (1-0-0-1) kept her over to just the one run, but our remaining bowlers were punished heavily.

As a result, we ended the game all a bit flat and questioning the wisdom of the rule that allows a team to bat on past the winning total. We have done it once before ourselves, for the same reason, and (with our apologies) the same demoralising effect on the opposition.

Nevertheless, congratulations to Gordon for a good win, we'll try and come out fighting harder next time.

4th Grade Round 10: UTS North Sydney v Bankstown at Kelso Park North

UTS North Sydney 1/79 (22.2 overs) (D Thorat 36*) def Banstown 78 (46 overs) (P Lindsay 4/7, RA Burinaga 4/16)

Fourth Grade were on the road again, this time to Kelso Park North in Waugh Territory - Panania. With a few showers hovering around and a heavy outfield, the Bears were happy to lose the toss and be asked to bowl.

Jack Thomas (0/6 off 6) and James Edwards (1/5 off 6) were miserly with the new ball, with Edwards bowling numerous unplayable deliveries. Edwards got the breakthrough, dismissing the opposition skipper with the help of a great catch by Rhys Burinaga at point. The Bears bowled with discipline and control, however at the first drinks break the Bulldogs remained one down.

The Bears introduced spin straight after drinks with immediate effect. Skipper Lindsay took two quick wickets and then Rhys Burinaga bowled a delightful spell taking 4/16 off his 10 and deserved a 5-fa. Special mention to Jack Thomas who took two sharp chances close in on the on-side and the team’s catching in general, which was a feature of the day. Izaak Merlehan, in his first game for the season, didn’t miss a beat with the ball, spinning the ball sharply in his 1/13 off 5 and combined with Lindsay (4/7 off 4.5) to clean up the tail and bowl Bankstown out for 78 in the 46th over.

With the outfield drying and the pitch playing well, the Bears were confident of a bonus point win. Aidan Thomas and Adi Nigul took 10 off the first over and we never looked back. The chase was executed calmly and decisively, only losing Thomas for 6, with Nigul (22*) and Dhruva Thorat (36*) sealing the deal in the 23rd over.

That’s four wins on the trot for 4s who have a huge clash vs NDs next week at Tunks to look forward to.

5th Grade Round 10: UTS North Sydney v Bankstown at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 7/135 (45.3 overs) (A Perry 35*) def Bankstown 134 (49.4 overs) (T McKenna 2/22, A Perry 2/22, S Vohra 2/25, I Westbrook 2/30)

After a respite from the weather Gods during the week, the table topping Fifth Grade Bears arrived back at the home of cricket, Tunks International Sports Park, to take on the Bulldogs of Bankstown. With a strong contingent of former higher-grade veterans filling out the team this week, the squad was more than confident that their streak of wins would continue...

This seemed likely the case after Perry won the toss and chose to bowl, as both Travis McKenna and Jed Collins struck early. Collins took the first wicket, trapping the opener in front leg before wicket, while McKenna bowled the other opener spectacularly around his legs, sending the leg stump cartwheeling.

Shortly after, McKenna removed the Bulldogs’ number 3 batsmen cheaply, creating a genuine nick that carried through to Angelo Joseph behind the stumps. Joseph took a handy catch after being out of the game for a number of years and set the standard for the rest of the day.

With the Bulldogs three for not many, their captain and wicket keeper set about rebuilding the innings, taking the score from 15 to 48 before Shiv Vohra struck with the critical wicket, luring the Bankstown skipper down the wicket, deceiving him with bounce. Joseph then did the rest behind the stumps, taking the bails off with quick hands.

As always in cricket, one wicket generally brings about another, and youngster Henry Charles took his first grade wicket, catching the outside edge and giving Joseph a third dismissal behind the stumps. Alex Perry and Shiv Vohra then spun their way around the Bankstown middle order, Perry removing two batsmen, one caught and bowled and the other athletically at mid on by Iain Westbrook. Vohra removed one further, finishing with 2/25 off 9. This left Bankstown in a precarious position at 8/87.

A spirited fightback from the Bulldogs’ lower order, combined with some lacklustre fielding by the Bears, saw the visitors scratch to a total of 134 before Iain Westbrook claimed the final two wickets, caught behind again by Joseph and by Vohra at backward square leg. In the process Westbrook also took his first grade wicket side-by-side with Charles.

Overall, the performance with the ball was excellent, however at times the side switched off in the field, letting Bankstown back into the game, setting up a much more difficult chase than expected.

After a delightful lunch break, Joseph and in form Billy Rogers strode out to the centre, looking to get the chase off and running. Unfortunately for Joseph, his epic comeback day was cut short by a ripping catch at cover, and he had to depart early doors. Rogers was then joined by Luke Smith, new bat in hand ready to make a statement. The pair weren't given the opportunity to impact the game in the way they had hoped, with Rogers being caught by an extremely sharp catch at second slip.

Michael Lloyd was next man up, but after a few bruising knocks in his recent outings the veteran couldn't get it going and was caught behind before he could find his rhythm, bringing his cousin, Chris Lloyd to the crease. Smith and Lloyd worked the ball around, chipping away slowly but surely at the total, navigating what now seemed to be a slow deck, making it difficult to score. Lloyd was choosing to only score in twos, while Smith dealt some damaging blows on a day where only seven boundaries were hit.

After putting on 24, the pair came unstuck virtually one after the other, Smith caught after top edging one for 21, while Lloyd didn’t quite get hold of one of his vintage straight drives, chipping it to mid-off. With the score now sitting precariously at 5/58, the Bears were still 77 runs away from their target.

Perry and McKenna were the two now tasked with peeling off these final 77 runs. The pair had just taken the sting out of the game and were beginning to wrestle back momentum when McKenna was unlucky to be adjudged leg before. The score now 6/69, the game on a knife’s edge, Jed Collins met his captain at the crease, and the duo began to work the Bears back into the game, rotating the strike, and pushing the fielders on a very slow Tunks outfield.

Plenty of twos were taken as the pair kept ticking along at the required run rate, waiting for their time to make a move. Perry sensed the opportunity, crunching two pull shots to the fence in an over and wrestling back the advantage. Collins, motivated by having a cracker story to repeat at his party back home after the game, continued to rotate the strike and punish the fielders. The pair put on a match winning 62 runs, before Collins was bowled for 17, lifting his head going for glory with four runs required.

Vohra was not at the crease long, with four extras being bowled directly after Collins was dismissed, giving the Bears a hard fought win. Perry finished with 36 not out, pulling through for the team and grinding out a tough victory to keep the side first on the ladder.

It may not have been as pretty as other victories this season, but good teams win tough, and in the face of adversity, the Fifth Grade Bears showed their true grit and desire to lift the David Sherwood Cup this year.

With plenty to build on during the week, the side look ahead to a big clash with local powerhouse Northern District next week at Storey Park.

U18 Brewer Shield Round 8: UTS North Sydney v Manly at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 7/80 (cc) (SY Julien 25) def by Manly 7/104 (cc)

The Bears Brewers team arrived at Bon Andrews and were greeted with a flurry of groundsman activity before the Round 8 T20 clash with Manly-Warringah. Confusion over the covering instructions the previous evening meant that no hessian or centre wicket cover went down and the pitch had numerous damp patches from sweating under the large wicket square cover. However, Bernie stepped in to work his magic and after a slight delay he had the wicket ready for the match.

The Bears won the toss and inserted the opposition, hoping to extract something from the surface. Charlotte Moss (0/10 from 2 overs) and Sam Kuncham (0/9 off 3 overs) took the new ball, but were unable to dislodge the openers despite bowling in good areas. The Manly-Warringah opening partnership blossomed and produced 55 valuable runs, including some excellent shots, well placed miss hits and good running between wickets. The Bears let this decisive partnership flourish with a combination of wayward bowling, missed opportunities and sloppy fielding.

The Bears had to lift and lift they did. They began to squeeze, producing a number of tight, accurate overs, including the only maiden over of the match from Emily Aitken (0/11 off 3 overs). Mayher Singh (1/9 off 3 overs) finally broke the opening stand with a delivery that beat the bat with flight and spin, leaving the batter stranded down the pitch as Karman Jawanda neatly completed the stumping. Mabel Oxenham (1/10 off 2 overs) continued her good run of form with yet another wicket and Anjali Uthappa (1/9 off 1 over) chipped in with another vital wicket in her return match.

Spin had dislodged the top order so the Manly middle order then adopted the policy of tip and run. This proved costly, with four run outs on the trot. Manly, for future reference, it is not a good idea to push the ball directly to Shiloh Julien at shot cover and run. She completed two sharp run outs in addition to a tidy spell of off spin. The Manly innings stumbled to a final total of 7/104 off their 20 overs. It was a good comeback from the Bears, but the 34 extras (6 no balls, 14 wides, 6 byes and 7 leg byes) would prove to be very costly in the end.

It was then time for the Bears’ openers to make their way to the crease. Sam Kuncham (15) returned to the opening position after her absence in the last match and was partnered by Shiloh Julien (25), who was making her much-awaited Brewer Shield debut. They set to work and immediately began scoring freely against the Manly opening bowlers. Both players demonstrated both power and delicate touch against the quicks. This continued until the heavens opened and the covers were drawn over the pitch.

After a brief delay, play resumed but unfortunately the whole complexion of the game changed when the spinners were brought on. Over after over of tight bowling built pressure and led to the departure of both openers in quick succession. Liz Buckley (5) made an aggressive start but holed out to mid-on whilst trying to ignite the stalled scoring rate. Mayher Singh (8) and Emily Aitken (6) combined for a brief partnership but were unable to score freely due to the accurate spin bowling and tidy fielding from the Manly side. The build-up of scoring pressure and some panicked calling led to a couple of run outs. The remaining batters tried hard to score the runs required but were unable to gain the momentum required to haul in the Manly total.

In the final wash up, the Bears made 7 for 80 off their 20 overs. Manly’s superior effort in the field and fewer than half the extras of North Sydney proved to be a deciding factor in the end.

Media courtesy of Tony Johnson, David James, Sarah Berman, Adam Cavenor, Malcolm Trees, Evy McKay, Gordon Women's Cricket Club and team captains.