Week 10 Wrap vs Randwick Petersham, Parramatta, Universities, Gordon and Manly

1st Grade Round 7: UTS North Sydney vs Randwick Petersham at Coogee Oval

Randwick Petersham 227 (J Campbell 3/23 JN James 3/64 M Jenkins 2/31) v UTS North Sydney 0/55 (B Atherton 28* JN James 25*)

With 40+ degree temperatures predicted across Sydney, it was pleasing to draw Randwick Petersham on their home ground at Coogee Oval and the hope of a sea breeze throughout the day for our Round 7 clash.

After losing the toss and being asked to field, we realised very quickly that there was no sea breeze coming and it was going to being hot and oppressive all day. In the absence of Justin Avendano, Tom Jagot took the captaincy reigns as the Bears prepared to take on last year’s premiers. The replacement batsman was Glenn Aitken, which meant that all three Aitkens would don the black and red together in first grade for the first time in a few seasons.

The batteries in the Frogbox live stream camera tilt head may have been flat but James Campbell, making his 150th first grade appearance in his tenth season at the top grade, was fully charged as he ran in full stream to make the day a little more bearable as he set about destroying the top order of the Petes in a similar fashion to the Dragons the previous week. Jimmy’s first scalp was former Bear Tim Affleck with the catch taken by Mac Jenkins. He then removed Riley Ayre and the Bears were well on top at 2/7 after 6. Matt Alexander provided support from the other end, bowling five maidens on the trot. His replacement, James Aitken, started brilliantly by dismissing the dangerous Anthony Sams with the first ball of his spell and all of sudden Randy Petes had slumped to 3/14.

Jack James took the ball from Campbell’s end, beginning with a maiden. In his second over, after both he and Aitken had built dot ball pressure, the batsman took on the larger square boundary with a comfortable catch taken by Alexander and James had his first wicket of the day. It was not long before he had another as he collected the edge of the new batsman’s bat into the safe hands of keeper Aiden Bariol and Randwick were in deeper trouble at 5/31 after 17 overs. James continued to bowl unchanged and with lunch approaching he clean bowled the dangerous journeyman Scott Coyte after a few lusty blows, leaving Randwick 6/62.

After lunch, Campbell claimed his third with a confident lbw appeal to have Randwick Petersham reeling at 7/69. With carnage from the other end, opener Will Affleck remained at the crease and, when joined by Daya Singh, the pair put together a rearguard action that made some of the Bears supporters nervous. It was left to the ever-reliable Robbie Aitken to remove Affleck, with the catch taken by Bariol, after a well-made fifty. Despite the 68-run partnership, the Bears were still well on top with the Randy Petes 8/137 in the 51st over. Unfortunately, the ninth wicket proved challenging as Randwick moved their score past 200. With tea taken and most of the bowlers exhausted after toiling away in the heat, it was Mac Jenkins who finally produced the goods with an lbw decision that removed the #10. However, with Singh still there and batting well, anything was possible. Singh eventually reached his ton, but shortly afterwards was caught and bowled with a brilliant catch taken by Mac Jenkins off his own bowling. The Frogbox footage shows the ball hit skywards over Macs’ head and him scampering back and eventually diving to take the catch with encouragement from his teammates.

Randwick Petersham were all out 227 after 80.2 overs – with half of the wickets taken by the two former Randwick Petersham players.

13 overs were scheduled to be bowled in the remainder of the day’s play and the plan would have been to knock off a few of the runs and keep wickets intact. The boys did better than that, piercing the field several times to collect twos and threes, before Jack James (25*) hit two fours from one Adam Semple over. Brent Atherton (28*) then got into the action, hitting two fours from consecutive Maladay overs. The lads then took to Scott Coyte with another three fours to finish the day and after an hours play Jack and Brent had 55 unbeaten runs.

Play will re-commence next week with the Bears needing a further 173 to claim their second victory of the competition.

2nd Grade Round 7: UTS North Sydney vs Randwick Petersham at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 8/221 (JD Vilensky 76, RD Alexander 39, J Leary 31*)

UTS North Sydney headed to a picturesque Tunks Park for a two-day match against Randwick Petersham, knowing full well that it would be a long hot day.

Although the team felt a bit empty with the promotion of our captain and second Grade father-figure Glenn Aitken to first grade, the boys endeavoured to put in a great performance and not let the Big Man down while he was away. With the two Alexander brothers and Cam New putting in the team’s best pre-match performance the night before, you could feel that the boys were in a confident and good frame of mind. For Raymond Alexander debuting as second grade captain, there was no doubt that his first and most important test would be winning the toss on a 40°c day with a flat Tunks pitch. As luck would have it, the coin fell our way, much to the team’s wishes and Sam’s midnight prayers.

The Bears settled in for what we hoped would be a long day watching our batsman pile on the runs. Things started well with only one wicket falling in the first 10 overs, due to a late hooping inswinger into Ben Van de Merwes’ off stump. Jordan Vilensky and Cam New consolidated to see off the opening bowlers who were bowling a good consistent line and length. The pair placed the team in a good position in the first session with 1-56 from the first 20 overs. Cam sadly got out just before lunch punting the ball straight to midwicket from Randwick’s off spin bowler. Jake Hardy also got a start, but was sadly not able to go on with it edging a good length ball to the slips.

With the score situated at 3/86 in enters the captain, Raymond Alexander. Ready to face his arch nemesis, Tunks Park. For those of you who don’t know, last season Ray had a batting average of 50.4 which was the second highest in the second grade averages, but a whopping 5.5 at Tunks Park. This is what I believe was the main contributing factor to Ray’s fourth grade average of 8.8. However, with the responsibility of captaincy, Ray endeavoured not to let Tunks get the better of him, grafting out a classy 39. Meanwhile, Jordan Vilensky had been out battling the sweltering heat the whole time, putting on a warrior’s performance scoring 76 runs.

With Tunk’s slow outfield and the opposition captain’s (Adam Docos) negative bowling tactics, runs were hard to come by. We also seemed to lose wickets at crucial times just when we were looking to lift the run rate. Despite this, by the end of the day we were able to put ourselves in a good position with 8/221 – which felt more like a 280 score, with James Leary (31) and Fraser Noack (8) not out.

One thing of note was Max Papworth’s attendance at the game despite his injury, supporting the Bears all day, and surprisingly not a single punt on any horses.

Kingsgrove T20 Cup Round 10: UTS North Sydney v Manly at Manly Oval

UTS North Sydney 1/151 (17.1 overs) (TA Jagot 81*, BS Atherton 44) def Manly 6/150 (16.4 Overs) (M Alexander 2/22)

The final T20 fixture of the first grade Kingsgrove Sports competition was against local rivals Manly and, with a few ex-Manly and ex-Bears players involved, there was always going to be a bit of interest.

Plenty of Manly supporters had turned up to Manly Oval on a hot Sunday afternoon, where our game was the second of a double header. There was even a Ben Bryant cheer squad that added to a party atmosphere. Manly had a very strong team of ex-internationals and current Big Bash and State players and rookies and had dispensed with St George in the earlier game with ease.

Captain Tom Jagot lost the toss and we were asked to field first for the second day in a row (Randwick on Saturday being the first). With the calibre of the opposition and a few key outs in our squad, many would have written off this Bears outfit. However, this group came to play.

Matt Alexander was given the new white rock from one end, giving up just 5 runs in the first over. Jack James then bowled 5 dots to Jack Edwards before Edwards managed to get a lucky single away, putting him back on strike for the next over. It worked against him as Mattos bowled a searing delivery that crashed into off stump and Manly were 1/6. Despite the loss of an early wicket, Ollie Davies played normally, hitting out by clearing the fence and then reaching the boundary in the same over. Jay Lenton then hit three pin-point fours in the next over and Manly were back on track. Davies then tried the same caper with James Campbell, hitting him for successive fours – but nobody hits Cambo for three fours in a row – Davies was bowled and Manly had lost their second in the fifth over with 41 on the board.

In his third over JJ bowled another 5 dots and then let Lenton off the hook with a wide. Robbie Aitken (1/23 of 3) bowled the 8th and had immediate success with an lbw decision and Manly had lost their third wicket. Captain TJ opted to bowl spin for the next six overs using Robbie, Mac Jenkins, and Sam Alexander. The spin quartet did a good job to keep the score to 90 after 13 overs. The 15th over saw Samoz claim a well-deserved wicket with the captain taking the catch to remove Cam Merchant, much to Sam’s delight.

In the 16th, James (1/24 off 4) came back to bowl to Lenton who had moved to 46. There was no escape for Lenton this time as James bowled his Northern Territory teammate through the gate to leave the Tahs 5/109. This brought ex-Bear Ben Bryant to the crease and all remaining bowlers were keen to get him out. Ben defied all efforts, surviving to the end but didn’t do too much damage to the score. Sam (1/29 off 4) and Matt Alexander (2/22 off 3) bowled the final two overs with Mattos claiming a second wicket with Campbell taking a brilliant catch and Manly finishing smack on 150 - a total that was definitely chaseable on the slick Manly outfield.

Ryan Hadley took the new ball for Manly, giving away just 1 run and, if the first over was anything to go by, it was going to be a tough challenge for TJ and Brent Atherton. However, the boys stuck at it, taking 11 of Hadley’s second over. Similarly Edwards went for 5 runs from his first but 10 from his second. The pattern continued: Herd 6 off his first and 9 off his second; Carden 4 off his first and 10 off his second. Even Steve O’Keefe copped some punishment, going for 31 runs from his 3.1 overs.

In what can only be described as a dominant display, the North Sydney openers brought up the hundred run partnership in the 13th over. Sadly, Brent departed on the next ball after scoring 44 from 35 with 2 fours and 3 sixes. Manly junior Aiden Bariol strode confidently to the crease at #3 for the Bears and put on a show scoring 23 from 10 balls including 3 fours and a six. Both Jagot and Bariol remained unbeaten, with the captain fittingly hitting the winning runs in the 18th over and finishing with 81 from 58 with 11 fours and a six.

Those watching on the intermittent Manly Frogbox coverage described it as clinical and, as a spectator, it will go down as one of the highest quality T20 matches this season. It was smiles all round for our mob, with a very happy coach and support staff. The team song was sung with great gusto and there was even time for a reflective beer on the grass surface of Manly Oval with several past and present Manly and Norths players.

Unfortunately, Sutherland, after being 6 for nothing snuck home to eliminate both Manly and Norths, with North Sydney finishing 5th with two washouts denying us any real chance. Our focus will now be on the longer form and we look to move up the ladder.

3rd Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney vs Parramatta at Merrylands Oval

Parramatta 9/201 (I Merlehan 3/24, B Knox 3/30, F May 2/27) def by UTS North Sydney 4/165 (34 overs) (F May 72, C Spratt 33, F Nixon-Tomko 25)

The weather outlook indicated torrid and steamy conditions, so we knew we had to be prepared for some intensity.

Taking a step back in history and potentially not known by all – 11 years ago against the same team, at the same venue, one week from today, the Bears faced up on a sticky deck to be bowled out for 8. This current squad would not even entertain anything near.

After a somewhat motley mix of warm up displays, we received the nod from El Jefe/Capitano Yak (Jacob Graham) to prep for a bowl. Fletcher May and Nuwan Whyte started well and really applied a rigorous line and length to keep Parra second guessing and punching vaguely to our set field. Fletch was finally rewarded after keeping Parra itching for runs, trapping their opener LBW. We then saw the big Yak, after bowling a stint, get completely horizontal to snatch an absolute screamer in the air off Nuwan to keep us hungry and hunting.

Yak and Kobe Allison then had a crack to further add some damage with the ball, but it was Benjamin “Fort” Knox who stepped up and caused significant damage by dampening the middle overs with tight bowling, excellent discipline and variation. He finished with 3/30 off 10 with one maiden. Izaak “the fine wine” Merlo also played his part, ceasing the leakage and flow of runs with some tight offies, returning outstanding figures of 3/24 off 9 with two maidens. An honorable mention must go to Fletch who bowled four maidens and finished with 2/27 from his 10 overs.

Fielding in general was decent, no major call outs. We were chasing 202 to win. The weather temp had intensified... and we heard that it was Chris Spratt’s birthday for the 10th time – happy birthday, Chris!

Batting, here with go...Sprattsman the Batsman with Dhruva the Mover. The pair caught some initial headwinds with tight bowling from Parra. The opening pair were diligent and tactical, only coming to the party when they saw fit. Spratt (33) nailed 5 boundaries before he and Dhruva were in the sheds and the Bears were 2 for 45.

So, at this point, in essence, Yak had a great idea and he nailed it.

He sent Fletcher “Step one undies/Pass out in multiple areas” May into the #3 spot. We all sat in the shade on plastic seats watching Fletch send 3 huge sixes and 8 glorious fours to rub salt into the wounds of an ever tiring and slightly jaded Parra team. He eventually departed for a mesmerizing 72. Even the opposing skip couldn’t but ark up and express his dissatisfaction for the torment that was being bestowed upon them. It would be remiss not to mention Finn Nixon-Tomko (25) here - his stroke-play and efforts to rotate the strike were fantastic as he opened up the gaps in the field on his third grade debut.

Luke “Thicker than Jake Holmes’ Mo” Smith then finished with Isaac Merlo with 10* and 8* respectively before we were called off due to the 42 degree rule. We were miles ahead under the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern calculation at 4/165 from 34 overs. Thank you, points.

The win positions the Bears fourth on the ladder with 21 points and feeling confident ahead of the clash with Randy Petes next week.

4th Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney vs Parramatta at Castlewood Oval

UTS North Sydney 209 (L Stewart 90, J Nevell 35) def Parramatta 179 (B Kumar 3/ 37)

Parramatta won the toss and sent the Bears into bat, hoping to make use of the pitch and take some early wickets. They were successful in removing our young openers, but last week’s hero, John Nevell (35), was not going to be easy to dislodge. After a third wicket fell at 51, Nevell combined with Lachie Stewart for a solid 43 run partnership. Stewart then paired with Nick Hay for the best partnership of the day, with the pair taking the total to 149. Regular wickets from that point hindered any hope of a big score, but under the circumstances, a final score of 209, all out one ball shy of 50 overs, was defendable. Lachie was unfortunate to be dismissed in the final over on 90 runs, his highest ever grade score. He set up the chance of a hundred scoring 8 runs in the 49th over to go from 82 to 90, but was caught looking for more boundaries.

The run chase started slowly with opening bowlers Thomas and Kumar keeping the runs under control and Parra 0/31 from 10. The first wicket fell courtesy of a run-out to Ollie Jennings. On the first ball of the next over, Hamish Reynolds struck, bowling the other opener, and Parramatta were suddenly 2/38. The Two Blues made a partial recovery before Baran Kumar ripped out the middle order in his second spell from, taking three wickets in the space of two overs to have Parra 5/69 from 21 overs. A decent partnership developed before Nick Hay broke the drought with an lbw decision in the Bears’ favour and Parra 6/120. Sol Balbi grabbed the 7th Parramatta scalp at 133, and in doing so collected his 50th wicket as a Bear. Aki Rana took the next wicket, with the catch taken by Nevell, and the Bears were well on top at 8/143. Jack Thomas then returned to play his part in a run-out with Charlie Rose and cleaning up the tail, knocking over the #11 in the 46th over and finishing the game with Parramatta all out 179.

The Bears are now in an impressive third spot on the ladder but, with only two points separating us from eighth, we’ll be looking to keep up the momentum into the Christmas break.

5th Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney vs Randwick Petersham at Olds Park

UTS North Sydney 8/172 (D Sellers 80*, R Lavery 38, S Vohra 25) def by Parramatta 8/196 (49.4 overs)(S Vohra 2/27, A Wright 2/30, A MacGill 2/38)

Fifth grade arrived at the expansive and immaculately maintained Olds Park to take on Parramatta, wary of the meteorologists’ hellish warnings. A quick inspection of the pitch, and gentle bending of the groundsman’s ear, made clear the importance of getting first use of the moisture below the surface. Alas, the coin fell in Parramatta’s favour and they wisely chose to bowl.

The initial proceedings, unfortunately, were as expected with a slew of early wickets falling. The nibble extracted by Parramatta’s tights lines was exacerbated by the loss of both Bears openers to run outs. At 6/29, the thoughts of many turned to an early, and embarrassing, finish.

These thoughts, however, were not shared by Drew Sellers or Shiv Vohra, who went about methodically rebuilding the innings. At first cautiously, and then more expansively, they vanquished the movement in the pitch and set about bringing the total to a defendable level. As the mercury rose through the 30s and up to 40, the toll on both the fielding side and the batsmen increased – the size of Olds not helping, with few boundaries to relieve tired legs.

With the score on 91, Shiv fell for a fighting 25. With the new batsman, Rob Lavery (38), riding his luck, Drew kept going despite having already fought for an hour and a half in the sapping heat. Drew and Rob started to take advantage of Parramatta’s wearying bowlers and fielders, finding the boundary with greater regularity. When Rob was finally caught, the score had reached an improbable 165.

Drew then started to clear the boundary, and with the help of debutant Alex MacGill, took 27 from the final three overs to post a final total of 192. Drew batted for more than three hours in the stifling heat to collect his undefeated 80, showing great maturity and endurance.

After a welcome lunch break, the Bears took the field, keen to take advantage of Parramatta’s weary legs. Unfortunately, wayward early offerings from Rob and Archie Wright relieved the pressure built at the other end by Shiv and Alex. A fortunate decision, and a searing MacGill delivery, took care of Parramatta’s openers, but they built a strong third wicket partnership and, at 2/106, looked in a strong position.

Shiv then captured both established batsmen and the game was afoot. The wicket was parched from the heat and offered little, but all the bowlers contributed tight spells to turn the screws on the Parramatta batsmen. Regular wickets to Alex and Archie (who battled manfully through a quad injury) applied the pressure and the match looked set to go down to the wire. Despite needing less than 4 an over, Parramatta couldn’t break free of the stranglehold applied by Archie, Alex and ironman Drew.

When Drew, defying the fatigue of more than 6 hours in the field in 41 degree heat, executed a diving run out in the penultimate over, all results were still possible. Parramatta needed 5 from the last with Drew to bowl.

The Parramatta captain came to the crease and showed the fortitude to chance his arm. It came off on the first and fourth balls of the over, narrowly clearing the field to claim a hard-fought win for Parramatta. Norths captain, Alex Perry, pulled the right strings to help his side fight back from the precipice, but ultimately it was not enough to claim the 6 points in incredibly trying conditions.

Women's Third Grade T20 Round 7: UTS North Sydney v Universities at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 6/64 (A Dongre 26) def by Bankstown 5/115

It was another fantastic performance from our women's 3rd grade side. The team secured their second victory in three matches, and this is from a team with humble beginnings and plenty of first-season-ever players, who have shown growth and improvement in every match this season.

It was an important toss to win - with the forecast 41-degree heat likely to push our players to the limits. We would have preferred our batsmen to have a go while they were fresh, but Universities won the toss and chose to bat, meaning we had 20 tough overs in the heat to get through first. And the heat would claim quite a few victims along the way, including an umpire...

We had planned well. There were at least three eskies full of ice. Ice vests & ice towels soaked in an ice slurry, bags of ice, ice-cooled necklaces, ice-packed drinks, frozen lollies and a coach who kept going on and on about drinking a litre per hour. We had planned fielding changes at every over that would minimise running. We had planned to rotate players off every over. Nobody would bowl more than 2 overs in a row. But it wasn't enough. Player after player signalled to come off and at times we fielded with only 9 while 3 tried to recover from the heat. The only player who refused to come off was Sarah Gibbons - amazingly she managed to field all 20 overs! Not so lucky for one of the umpires though, who stumbled off glassy eyed and double-visioned - she recovered quickly and went back on again, but with some renewed respect for what 41oC means ... there's a reason the SCA sets a limit of 42oC for cricket and now we know why!

Universities suffered equally, with 2 players off with heat issues - one in particular was lying down and very clearly in distress and had us very worried - we ran over some ice towels, ice vest, ice packs and more, but she took a full 10 minutes before she felt vaguely human again, though neither her nor her suffering teammate took to the field again. She did manage a laugh at the end saying that she wasn't really needed on the field anyway since Amy wasn't bothering much with keeping the ball in the field of play! (see below).

Despite all the drama with the heat, we actually played incredibly good cricket. Anushka Dongre and Anjali d'Cunha opened with excellent spells and kept the visitors to 1/7 after 4 overs, eventually returning 4-1/14 and 4-0/13 respectively. Urzana Ghadially delivered an incredibly satisfying yorker that crashed through middle stump and Zoey Ridgway's (2-0/7) spinners kept the scores really tight. Sherrie Elliot also delivered good economical bowling at 3-0/13, and Tilly Kingsmill, Bella Bursill and Jillian Edwards all bowled valiantly in the later stages through the heat wave. Jasmeet Bedi unfortunately watched a fair bit of this from the sideline, having come off very wobbly at one point but feeling much better after an hour or so of ice treatment. Our fielding was about the best it's been all season - no dropped catches, very few mishaps in the uneven outfield, a great caught-behind by Amy Gibbons and an excellent runout from Hetti Blackburn. After 20 overs, Universities managed to put 107 on the board, very similar to a score from 2 weeks ago that we successfully chased down against Bankstown, so we knew we were in with a chance.

Our brave openers, Bella Bursill and Zoey Ridgway, who had just fielded for an innings were willing to keep going while their teammates dowsed their flames in ice. They made a fiery start, moving the score to 25 after 4 overs. Zoey was unlucky to be run out in a mix-up on 12 off only 10 balls and Bella went on to make 19* before retiring - her highest personal score, well done Bella! Anushka Dongre was in at #3 - her batting was exceptional given the circumstances, with her 22 coming off 27 balls without a single boundary - all those runs earned the hard way, in 41oC! Hetti Blackburn was in at #4, making 10 off 15 balls before retiring hurt due to heat exhaustion.

Amy Gibbons at #5 is known for being able to rip into a bowling attack, much like her hero Alyssa Healy, and maybe it was the heat that ignited her today, we don't know, but 15 balls later Amy retired on 34* including 3 fours and 3 sixes! It also caught us by surprise - minutes before we had only just passed 10 overs on 58 runs, chasing 108 and potentially an exciting finish, and now we had passed their score with 5 overs to spare. A great victory meant the coach was certain to retire both batsmen and let the remaining batsmen have a go at piling on some runs and bonus points for us ... but not today, sorry team. Captain and coach had already decided that if Universities wanted to stop that we wouldn't torture them in the heat, so when their captain Di Lozell (also the mum of our newest Brewers player, Bianca) asked if we could please stop, we were happy to oblige. The spirit of cricket and the welfare of our players and theirs made it clear in our mind that chasing some extra bonus points was simply not cricket. Our disappointed batsmen now have to wait until January for our next match - sorry that you all missed out, but thank you for supporting the decision.

And thank you to everyone for an awesome season! Our T20s have now come to an end, we finished 5th on the ladder and missed the semis, but we're very proud of our two victories, the fact that we can all see visible improvements, and the fun and joy we've had as a team coming together and showing our growing talents. We can't wait for the 40-over formats to come ... roll on 16 Jan 2021!

Brewer Shield Round 7: UTS North Sydney v Gordon at Tunks International Sports Park

Gordon 9/203 (E Buckley 4/21, A Uthappa 4/28) def UTS North Sydney 189 (B Lozell 38, L Warren 28, G Keating 25, E Buckley 25)

The Bears arrived at Tunks ready to play, and, despite the heat, they were coming off the back of a win and knew the match against Gordon was winnable. True to recent form, and continuing to push for the record, the girls again lost the toss and the opposition chose to bat. The girls got off to a good start, bowling in short spells, with Lucy Warren and Charlotte Moss bowling very economically early, as the temperatures pushed into the high 30s. Unfortunately, we struggled to pick up an early wicket. Emily Aitken bowled her first over in Brewers and it was a great start by the youngster. With 10 overs down and the batsmen just starting to get on top, Lucy made a decisive bowling change throwing the ball to Ani Uthappa. Her beautiful line and length leggies had the batsmen on edge and she stemmed the flow of runs. Liz Buckley continued the trend and was able to trap one of the dangerous opening pair LBW in the next over.

Our line and length were a little hit and miss through the next 10 overs and the batsmen took advantage, progressing the score to 2/123 after 25 overs. The only highlight was an excellent piece of keeping from Zoey Ridgway, running out the non-striker off a free hit. The Bears knew the game was in the balance at this point and really tightened the screws with some great bowling in the next 10 overs that only went for 29 runs. This pressure then turned into wickets as Ani and Liz took full advantage in their next spells, trading wickets in a race for the first 5-wicket haul. Unfortunately, both girls fell just short with the 50 overs finishing at 9/203 (Ani - 9 overs 2 Maidens, 4/28 and Liz - 6 overs 4/21 with 2 catches both off Ani's bowling).

Based on recent batting form, the girls knew they were in the hunt with the biggest obstacles being the gusty wind and the heat, which was now pushing 40 degrees. Liz (25) and Tuvini Jayakody (12) headed out into the oppressive heat and got off to a solid start putting on a 44 run partnership before they were dismissed in the 7th and 8th overs respectively with the score 45. Despite losing a third wicket at 53, the positive start had the team well ahead of the run rate required.

Grace Keating then set about rebuilding the innings, compiling 25 runs with wickets falling at the other end. With the fielders coming in and cutting off singles, the run rate was also increasing. The fall of the sixth wicket brought the newest Bear Bianca Lozell to the crease, who compiled a very solid 38 runs. Her innings was all about heart with most of her runs actually being run, even after spending 25 overs behind the stumps. She combined beautifully with Lucy Warren for an important 44 run partnership taking the score to 171. Lucy hit a run-a-ball 28 that changed the momentum of the game back in our favour, despite the girls struggling to find the boundary. We were then in a position where we just needed to occupy the crease for the remaining overs to claim a victory. However, a cluster of wickets that included Lucy and Bianca left the team at 9/175. Bianca was looking no chance of getting out until, as often happens in a game of cricket, we had a mishap with the running which saw Bianca depart.

The final pair of Charlotte and Ani fought on bravely with some great batting until a mistimed shot saw Ani caught in the 44th over, 14 runs short of Gordon's total. The girls played an impressive match battling against the worst of the day's conditions and were unlucky not to win. They are an impressive but still very young side and the future really does look promising. This young Bears side showed something that was lacking in previous years which was self-belief and a willingness to dig in and fight.


Media courtesy of Tony Johnson, David James, Aiden Bariol, Sarah Berman, Greg Buckley, Alan Gibbons, Manly-Warringah CC and team captains.