Week 11 Wrap vs Northern District, Manly and Parramatta

1st Grade Round 11: UTS North Sydney v Northern District at North Sydney Oval

UTS North Sydney 6/241 (cc) (TA Jagot 114*, JN James 60, BS Atherton 31) def by Northern District 282 (49.5 overs) (M Alexander 5/39, J Campbell 3/58)

UTS North Sydney went into their clash with the first placed Northern District Rangers with the same team that accounted for Bankstown the previous week. The groundsman had prepared a new deck for the one-day fixture and, after winning the toss, captain Tom Jagot decided to bowl first.

It was an excellent start from James Campbell and Matt Alexander to keep things tight with just eight runs coming from the first four overs. The two bowlers consistently hit good areas, often beating the bat and included an edge through the slips off Campbell. Alexander then made a double breakthrough in the sixth over, trapping one opener lbw and then dismissing the no. 3 on the next ball with the ball popping up to Jimmy Greenslade at mid-wicket to have NDs 2/15. For Northern District, T20 specialist Chris Green then joined the other opener, Scott Rodgie, who was yet to get off the mark. The pair saw off Campbell and Alexander to move the score to 2/31 after 10.

Olly Knight and James Aitken shared the next five overs with NDs moving to 2/66. Jack James was introduced in the 16th over and had immediate success, removing the dangerous Green with a sharp one handed catch taken by Knight in the gully and NDs were 3/66. James and Aitken then bowled in tandem but found it difficult to restrict Rodgie and new man Daniel Anderson as they accumulated singles and hit the gaps for a few boundaries to pass 100 and reach 3/112 at the end of the 22nd over. Campbell was re-introduced in the 23rd over and it paid dividends with a wicket from the final ball of his over after a confident lbw appeal and NDs were 4/113.

Robbie Aitken, who took over from James, was difficult to get away. He bowled in partnership with a variety of bowlers as the Bears searched for another wicket. A wicket didn’t come. Instead, Rodgie reached triple figures and combined with John Anderson for an 81-run partnership to consolidate the opposition’s position at 4/194 with 14 overs remaining. It was Aitken who eventually broke the partnership, getting through the defences of Anderson to claim the Bears’ fifth wicket. Robbie finished his 10-over spell with a very economical 1/31 at the end of the 44th over with the Rangers on 5/235.

Campbell and Alexander returned for the final six overs with Campbell claiming his second wicket of the game on the first ball of his new spell to have NDs 6/235. A brief partnership ensued with the opposition looking for quick runs before Alexander took his third pole to have NDs 7/269 at the end of the 47th. The lower order swung hard but further wickets fell as Campbell claimed his third and finished his spell with 3/58.

Alexander bowled the final over of the innings and much of the interest was whether Rodgie would get to 150. However, lurking in the background was a chance of a 5-fa to Alexander if he could nab the last two wickets. Alexander did get a fourth, removing the number 10, before a couple of singles left Rodgie on 147 with two balls remaining. Rodgie went aerial for one of the rare times in the game and holed out to deep mid-on into the safe hands of James Campbell. Rodgie missed out but Alexander (5/39) completed his fourth five wicket haul of his First Grade career and, interestingly, his second against the Rangers. Matt now has 18 wickets at 25.3 this season and sits 13th on the bowling aggregates. In the final wash up, 282 was very competitive, but chaseable with the right application.

The batting innings got off to steady start. Tom Jagot and Jack James battled hard to keep their wickets intact with some quality pace bowling from Ross Pawson and good support from Fischer at the other end. After 12 overs the pair had put on 33 runs. There was little respite as Rodgie and Soper took over and runs were hard to come by. James survived a few chances, while Jagot started to collect a few boundaries and, slowly but surely, the pair got the scoreboard moving. Jagot survived a huge lbw appeal but passed fifty with James moving to 49 courtesy of a slog sweep against Green that was hit out of the ground. The NDs captain decided to bring back Pawson in an attempt to jag a wicket. The openers survived Pawson, using up two more of his overs, and then, with spin at both ends, they took a few more chances. James looked to repeat the dose against Green, but instead was bowled for a gritty 60. The partnership had netted 129 runs and was the third time Tom and Jack had put on an opening stand in excess of 100.

The tight bowling and sharp fielding by the opposition meant the Bears needed to score at more than 8 an over to win the game with 18 overs remaining. However, with one wicket down and the example set by Bankstown the previous week, this was achievable.

Brent Atherton joined his captain with spin operating from both ends. Atherton took full advantage, hitting bombs against both spinners. Jagot chipped in with some fours and with both players looking to score off every ball the run rate required remained at around 8 by the end of the 39th over. A tight 40th over left the home side with the equation of 87 to win from 10 overs with 9 wickets in hand.

Rodgie was re-introduced in the 41st over and it appeared that everything he touched turn to gold. Brent (31 from 29) was dismissed playing onto his stumps from the first ball, while Aiden Bariol guided his first ball through to the keeper and suddenly the Bears were 3/196 and Rodgie on a hat-trick. Olly Knight survived the hat-trick ball but, with both Olly and Tom dealing in singles for the next few overs, the run rate required started to climb.

Jagot brought up his first hundred of the season and his tenth in First Grade for the Bears, in the 44th over. It was a welcome return to form for the captain who has battled a nagging injury over the past few rounds. In the same over Olly attempted to hit Soper into the O’Reilly Stand but only succeeded in being caught inside the rope. This left the Bears 4/209 at the end of the over requiring 74 runs at 12 per over.

Rodgie struck again in the 45th over, removing Jimmy Greenslade and Robbie Aitken, in consecutive balls without scoring, to have the Bears 6/210. Youngster, Adam Cavenor, joined Jagot to see out Rodgie’s over. Dots and singles ensued for the next 11 balls until Cavenor got a nice boundary away against Pawson to move the score to 220 after 47 overs. It was now going to take a miracle and significant risk to score 21 runs per over. Cavenor hit a further two boundaries to score 19* but the pair were content to see out the final over with the Bears 41 runs short of the total. Tom carried his bat to finish 114* from 130 balls with 11 fours – interestingly, his second score of 114 against NDs! The loss leaves the First Grade team sitting in eighth (31 points) with a vital clash against UNSW (38 points) who are in sixth position in the next round.

2nd Grade Round 11: UTS North Sydney v Northern District at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 8/237 (cc) (KS Allison 53, C New 49, F Nixon-Tomko 48) def by Northern District 253 (48.4 overs) (S Alexander 2/28, B Kumar 2/28, KS Allison 2/44, RD Alexander 2/47, J Hedges 2/55)

The Second Grade side faced up against a well-rounded Northern District side at Bon Andrews on the weekend. This round is the first of two 2-day games that have been changed to one-dayers due to the current COVID-19 considerations. The visitors won the toss and elected to make first use of the wicket.

NDs got their innings off to a flier, picking up on any width or anything short-of-a-length. The opening pair put together a stand of 95 in the first 10 overs bowled. The first breakthrough came from Ray Alexander, who paired with Sam Alexander and Baran Kumar to restrict the visitors run scoring through the middle overs. An improved fielding performance from the previous round is a point of difference the team will be looking to take into the remainder of the season.

After a sore ankle forced Kobe Allison to cut his opening spell short, the big quick turned his skills towards off-spin. He sent down his tweakers from near on 7-feet high and extracted plenty of inconsistency from the wicket to make two important breakthroughs leading into the final powerplay.

The final 10 overs were negotiated well by Sam Alexander, Jaimeson Hedges and Fletcher May, picking up the final wickets and closing out the NDs innings on 253. It was an excellent comeback after a blistering start.

The Bears batting innings got under way with Finn Nixon-Tomko and Cam New coming together for the second week in a row since Cam’s return to the Second Grade side. The pair added 83 for the first wicket, ticking along at over four4 an over despite some good opening bowling from the NDs quicks.

It was a solid foundation to the chase. Unfortunately, Finn departed for 48, just shy of what would have been a well-made half century. Jordan Vilensky joined Cam in the middle and the two batters added another 32 to the score against the NDs off-spin twins before both were dismissed in quick succession. Cam fell one run short of consecutive 50s since his move from Third Grade.

Kobe Allison turned his eye towards the batting side of the game in a punishing display of ball striking. His 53 runs came from just 33 balls, including a 22-run demolition job off the bowling of Jack Shelley in the space of an over. His innings put the Bears in a position to win the game and, with some handy support from Ray Alexander, skipper Glenn Aitken and Lachlan Stewart, the match would go down to the wire.

Unfortunately, a few wickets lost in succession put the brakes on scoring and the Second Graders finished the 50 overs 16 runs short of the total.

Next weekend sees the Bears take on UNSW at David Phillips South Oval.

Women's 2nd Grade Round 9: Gordon/UTS North Sydney v Manly at Manly Oval

Gordon/UTS North Sydney 10/131 (43.4) (G Keating 37, O Callaghan 28) def by Manly 10/171 (40 overs) (A Dongre 2/5)

The next round of 50 overs matches resulted in a valiant defeat for the GNS “ReinBears”. Manly won the toss and elected to bat at the beautiful Manly Oval, with locals wandering through to enjoy a day at the beach to escape the hot and humid conditions. The GNS girls, however, did not have that option, and to their credit, chose to sweat it out and apply themselves, making early impacts into the Manly batting line up, with strong performances with the ball from Anna Wilson-Brown, Emma Ridley and Adelaide Hicks.

Wickets fell regularly and Manly found themselves at 6/75 before Olympic softball recruit, Stacey McManus, hit 34 runs off 26 balls to guide Manly to 10/171. In the end, the soporific conditions took its toll on the GNS attack, but 2/5 (off 4 overs) from Anoushka Dongre and 1/8 (3) by Tuvini Jayakody kept Manly’s total to a realistic chase. GNS’s effort in the field continues to improve as does the wicket-keeping of Bianca Lozell. Liv Callaghan and Grace Keating produced spectacular, high-ball, running catches and India Keating and Adelaide pulled off sharp run-outs.

GNS paced themselves against the tight, experienced Manly attack and at 4/100 (30), were well placed needing, less than 4 runs per over for victory. However, the consistency of the Manly attack proved too much in the end and, despite strong batting performances from Grace Keating 37 (79), Olivia Callaghan 28 (76) and Adelaide Hicks 19* (32), Manly were able to close out the game, winning by 40 runs.

Credit must go to our joint-venturers, as everyone is doing their best to play their best game. The same effort with more experience will see the girls produce even better performances and no doubt, find a way to win. Well done GNS - another GeNiuS performance.

3rd Grade Round 11: UTS North Sydney v Northern District at Asquith Oval

UTS North Sydney 51 (26.4 overs) def by Northern District 5/229 (cc) (H May 3/42)

After a tough loss to Bankstown the week before, Third Grade approached Asquith Oval eager to regain some form against the reigning premiers, Northern District. With the sun out and the pitch looking in terrific shape, it was no surprise to see the home team win the toss and bat.

Harrison May and Brad Wilson took the new ball and bowled some terrific lines and lengths. Harrison was the pick of the bowlers early doors, bowling with accuracy and aggression to ask some challenging questions of the Rangers’ batsmen. He had his first wicket before the score reached double figures, trapping the opposition opener LBW. Soon after, he had the other opener edging to first slip, with a simple catch from Nick Hay at 1st slip bringing the score to 2/10. Brad also toiled hard at the other end, hitting some terrific areas and completing a solid opening 10 overs for the Bears.

The UTS North Sydney bowlers continued to toil hard into the following session, but without much luck. The Rangers put on 160 for the third wicket and looked at home on a flat Asquith Oval deck. After working away in the heat, the Bears finally had a breakthrough as the score reached 174, with Rhys Burinaga tossing one up and Jacob Graham taking a smart one-handed catch to his right at mid-off. From there, the bowlers continued to work hard and clawed their way back into the contest. Fortunately, a slight lift in the field and some top-notch efforts at the death from Harrison and Brad, held the Rangers to 5/229 – a score which had threatened to drift a lot further out of reach.

So it was with some hope that opening batsmen Jacob Graham and Dhruva Thorat made their way out to the middle – however that was about as far as it got. Northern District showed their class, bowling relentlessly and asking a myriad of questions which we had no answer to on the day. After Dhruva was out caught behind with the score at 4, what followed was a steady precession of wickets, with our batting unit unable to stop the bleeding. Eventually, the innings closed in the 27th over with the Bears bowled out for 51 – really a day to forget for the North Sydney faithful. Harri Lee-Young showed some respite, remaining not out by the end of play with something to take into next week, but the positives really ended there.

Another tough defeat for this Third Grade unit was less than ideal, but some grit shown in the field and some solid new-ball bowling efforts should be enough the spur the side on to next week, and hopefully work towards regaining and solidifying a top six spot.

Women's 3rd Grade Round 9: UTS North Sydney v Manly at Tunks International Sports Park 2

UTS North Sydney 7/177 (cc) (A Gibbons 53*, H Blackburn 52*) def by Manly 10/226 (38.2 overs) (E McKay 3/35, E Buckley 2/26)

Our matches against Manly are always a great tussle, and this weekend was no different. The girls welcomed new team-mate, Manvek Jawanda, who had a very solid start for her first match in grade cricket, clearly enjoying the comradery found in this squad.

On another hot and humid day at Tunks, skipper Hetti Blackburn won the toss again (3 in a row now) and decided to put Manly straight into the field during the most energy sapping part of the day - let's have a bat.

After losing opener Evy McKay to a very sharp run-out in the first over, Anna Peterson set about stabilising the innings for the team. Anjali d'Cunha joined Anna after being promoted up the order, but she was also run out to an equally sharp piece of fielding by Manly leaving us at 2/2 - not what we were hoping for, or expecting. Anna and Amy Gibbons then put together a good partnership to soak up all of the remaining opening overs from Manly’s two strike bowlers before Anna was caught out – Bears 3/18.

Amy was joined by Hetti out in the middle and the two crafted a very big shift in the game. It’s moments like this, where players assess where the game is at and go about changing the momentum, that make cricket such an entertaining game to watch. Needing to shore the innings up, both players knuckled down and simply set about holding their wickets, for a time at least, the runs were soon to come. As they progressed, the bowlers came and went whilst the girls steadily lifted the run-rate. It was exactly what was needed at that juncture in the game and both batters handled the pressure with ease. Amy retired first with 53* coming from 51 balls including four sixes as well as four fours! Hetti continued on with Liz Buckley and retired with her 52* from 65 balls including nine fours. The momentum had changed dramatically, and Liz Buckley helped keep the run-rate up with a solid 23 from 29 balls, out to a good catch in the boundary.

The scoreboard was updated and looked much healthier indeed; Bears 3/151 with only a few overs to go. Chloe Bailey picked up a quick-fire 10 and was well supported at the wicket by Chloe Blackwell, Manvek Jawanda, Tilly Kingsmill and Urzaha Ghadially, all trying to score runs quickly off some tough bowling from Manly. At the end of 40 overs, 7/177 was a great outcome and set the scene for a close match.

A nice breeze was developing at Tunks and, although Manly started strongly, a mid-order collapse had the game in the balance on a few occasions. Manly had already made their way to 85, then to 93 before losing their first two wickets – both run outs to great fielding by Hetti and Urzana; the returns back to the keeper were good, and Amy easily finished things off behind the stumps. The momentum had changed! Manvek bowled her first over in Grade cricket and you guessed it - wicket! The ball was hit pretty hard but was skied and Anjali d’Cunha positioned herself really well to take a challenging catch. It was a real treat to see the girls celebrate around Manvek after taking her first wicket; a sense of excitement was in the air. Wickets were falling and runs started to get hard to come by, Manly 2/93, 3/102, 4/124, then 5/133.

In the field, Chloe Bailey and Anna Peterson spent most of the afternoon making scoring for Manly very difficult. Between them, they cut-off the many shots destined to be four runs behind square-leg, turning most of them into singles only for Manly. Similarly, Jillian Edwards attacked the ball in the field and saved a stack of runs too.

With five wickets down and 44 runs needed, were Manly going to be able make a come-back?

Anjali D’Çunha (0/40 off 7), Tilly Kingsmill (0/38 off 6) and Urzaha Ghadially (1/32 off 6) were unlucky with the ball, often accurate but bowled most of their overs against Manly’s strong opening pair. Liz Buckley had a very powerful bowling spell mid-innings and Manly found it exceptionally difficult to handle her pace, which kept a lid on the total just at the right time. Good line-and-length deliveries were either fended away or missed altogether on their way through to the keeper or onto the stumps. Liz finished with 2/26 from 8 overs and was unlucky not to have bagged more wickets; in fact, her hat-trick ball was only just dug out at the last millisecond. Our part-time off-spinner, Evy McKay (3/35 off 7), found some flight and rhythm this week, taking wickets at important moments during Manly’s innings.

Another batting collapse finally came, 6/183, 7/183, 8/187, and 9/200, but just after Manly had finally hit the winning runs. Whilst the innings continued, the Bears didn’t give up and ended up taking all ten wickets by the 39th over; always good to bowl a team out within the allotted overs! The commitment shown by the Bears right to the end of the match bodes very well for the next few rounds of 40-over matches, which should see more good cricket and some equally entertaining matches.

All-in-all another well-balanced team performance from the Bears!

4th Grade Round 11: UTS North Sydney v Northern District at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 9/159 (cc) (IR Merlehan 41, J Thomas 26*) def by Northern District 2/160 (44.3 overs)

4th Grade hosted NDs at Tunks in what was now a one-day match after the COVID-enforced changes to the schedule. On inspection, the pitch looked a belter (thank you, Bernie) and with a warm day forecast, skipper Lindsay was thrilled to win the toss and bat first. Par of 200 was agreed upon and Adi Nigul and Dilraj Singh strode the crease.

Unfortunately, the Bears didn’t get off to a great start, slumping to 3/35 before Aidan Thomas (22) and Dylan Johnson (11) mounted something of a fightback. Izaak Merlehan (41 off 48) counterpunched superbly, attacking the NDs bowling as he tried to wrestle momentum back the Bears’ way. He was ably supported by Pat Heuzenroeder (10) and Jack Thomas (26 off 30) and the Bears scratched and clawed their way to 9/159 off 50, a total that had looked well out of reach at 5/68.

Unfortunately, the total would prove to be 40 or so runs short of par as NDs made light work of the chase, passing the target in the 45th over with two wickets down. The Bears started the defence well with Chris Savage and James Edwards economical, however, the NDs top order showed their class accelerating through their innings and not allowing the Bears bowlers to settle. Izaak Merlehan (1/25) and Ben Revai (1/16) tried hard, but the bowlers, particularly the skipper, were guilty of trying a little too hard for wickets.

It was the top order batting that was the difference between the two sides, and the Bears’ batters have been challenged to show more purpose, intent and a desire to take the game to the opposition, in order to have any chance at making finals.

5th Grade Round 11: UTS North Sydney v Northern District at Storey Park

UTS North Sydney 123 (29.1 overs) (C Rose 31) def by Northern District 199 (cc) (C Fursman 3/38, R Lavery 2/24)

Storey Park was in sparkling condition as Fifth Grade arrived for their contest against the perpetually strong Northern District. Captain Alex Perry won the toss and chose to stick to the successful formula of bowling first on a well-grassed wicket.

Callum Fursman took the new ball and immediately had the Rangers’ openers on the hop with his lively pace. From the other end, Henry Charles settled into a line and length, looking to test the outside edge. While both elicited plays-and-misses, the sole early wicket fell to Callum with Harry Davis pouching the opportunity behind the wicket.

NDs started to find their momentum and took advantage of anything short as the second wicket partnership built. Shiv Vohra was unlucky not to collect a wicket or two as he varied his pace cleverly and he and skipper Perry put the brakes on the building momentum. While the spin twins applied the pressure, ultimately it was the Rangers’ opener’s faulty soleus that provided the first breakthrough, causing his untimely retirement.

With a new bat at the crease, Perry and Vohra, and then Lavery, raced through the overs cheaply, building the pressure. Perry was ultimately rewarded with a caught and bowled and Lavery picked up a brace in his first over. Only friendly fire in the field caused issues for the Bears during this period with Chris Lloyd unintentionally intercepting a shot at the stumps with his noodle.

With wickets in the hutch at the death, NDs ran aggressively, collecting runs regularly to build the total. Fursman picked up another couple of wickets with his uncomfortable pace (and mangled feet) to retain his spot at third place in the Fifth Grade aggregates. NDs’ total of 199 looked good, but about par.

Oli Jennings and Henry Riseborough walked out to open the innings for the Bears and got into rhythm quickly, rushing past 30 in the sixth over thanks to some fine strokeplay, and assisted by some errant lines from the Rangers’ opening bowlers. Unfortunately, NDs found their radars and proved to have sound hands in the slips as Jennings, Riseborough, Luke Smith and Chris Lloyd all fell to outside edges.

Perry and Charlie Rose dug in, looking to rebuild, and put together a strong 50-run partnership before Perry also fell caught behind. Rose continued to bat very comfortably, but couldn’t find the support he needed as the middle and lower order fell to some ill-judged strokes. NDs’ spinners bowled with control and decent turn to finish the game off quickly.

A very disappointing Saturday as the Bears were bested by a more disciplined side. There is much to improve before Saturday’s upper-table clash against the Bumblebees.

U18 Brewer Shield Round 9: UTS North Sydney v Parramatta at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 10/128 (42.3) (S Kuncham 26*, S Julien 24, E Buckley 24, MR Singh 24) def by Parramatta 2/250 (cc)

The Bears’ Brewers team arrived at Bon Andrews and were greeted with perfect conditions to start their Round 9 50-over match with Parramatta. We lost the toss, with the opposition electing to have a bat. Chloe Day (1/59 from 10 overs) and Sam Kuncham (0/11 off 4 overs) took the new ball but were unable to dislodge the openers despite bowling good line and length. Unfortunately, Sam strained a quad muscle and was unable to bowl again after her opening spell with the score at 0/27 after 8.

The first change bowlers, Charlotte Moss (0/32 off 6) and Shiloh Julien (0/27 off 7), also bowled good line and length, keeping the scoring in check finishing their spells at 0/55 of 14. Emily Aitken (1/18 of 6) also bowled a beautiful line and length with only a handful of loose deliveries.

With no wickets down the well set, the Parramatta openers were now able to accelerate. Even the return of opening bowler Chloe did little to slow down the run scoring, until a loose shot saw the first wicket finally fall after a partnership of 111 runs. Resident spin queen Mayher Singh (0/35 off 8) was turning the ball at right angles with a number of wides being called due to the ball spinning too far. Liz Buckley (0/32 of 6) bowled at good pace and showed encouraging signs of returning to rhythm and form.

After surviving a couple of early scares, the competition's leading run scorer Lucy Wilson (128*) was now well and truly set and this made it a difficult morning for all the Bears bowlers. A number of bowlers’ figures blew out late and anything loose was punished. A lack of early wickets is always telling against the better sides, and the girls will be hoping to extract more out of the new ball in future. We also cost ourselves with a number of misfields and overthrows, with Parra finishing their 50 overs at an even 250.

It was then time for the Bears openers to make their way to the crease. Sam Kuncham (26*) showed good form before exacerbating her strained quad on 19 and, for the second week, running we got off to a good start until Sam retired injured. She bravely returned at the back end of the innings and added to her tally. Shiloh Julien (24), looked fantastic, hitting her first six in Brewers before a little extra bounce saw one catch the shoulder of the bat and lob up to the fielder at short mid-wicket leaving the Bears 1/40.

Liz Buckley (24) quashed her usual aggressive style, playing a mature innings before hitting a powerful drive uppishly, with short mid-wicket moving well to take a great catch - 3/78. Mayher Singh (24) played her best innings so far this year, working the ball into the gaps early and playing some expansive shots later in the innings, showing signs of good things to come. When the final wicket fell, we were on 128.

Three of our top order got starts (all making 24) and Sam didn't look like getting out but her injury did not help the chase. However, unfortunately, with such a large total we needed one or two of our top order batters to push on to larger scores. They all batted well but no one was able to go on with it and our tail failed to wag this week with no-one reaching double figures as it has in previous matches. There are some really positive signs there and hopefully we can pick up a few more wins before the end of the year.

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