Week 11 Wrap vs Randwick Petersham and Bankstown

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) def by UTS North Sydney 8/229 (JN James 44, BS Atherton 39, M Alexander 36*, A Bariol 33, M Jenkins 26*)

The Bears turned up to Coogee with most supporters expecting them to cruise to victory after making significant inroads into the 227 required from the previous week. Jack James (44) and Brent Atherton (39) continued where they left off, absorbing the good bowling and putting the bad ones away. They had moved the score to 84 and were looking set for a hundred run stand when Brent edged one and was dismissed. In the final washup, it was a very important partnership. Jack followed shortly after, attempting to bring up fifty with a bomb – but ended up hitting the cross batted shot down the throat of the man on the boundary and it was 2/94. Tim Reynolds was adjudged caught behind not long after with the ball appearing to brush his chest and it was suddenly 3/95.

Tom Jagot (24) and Aiden Bariol started to rebuild with Tom looking in great form before he hit an uncharacteristic shot straight to mid on. With more than a hundred still required, a partnership was needed. Unfortunately, it didn’t come as both Robbie and Glenn Aiken departed for single figure scores - although Glenn could consider himself a little unlucky batting on leg stump and being hit on the foot with the ball popping up to the short fielder and being adjudged caught. He did however, get one life attempting a pull shot (that he said he was not going to play) that went straight to the fielder who spilled his lollies.

Despite the six poles, the team had accumulated 149 runs and with the third of the Aitkens (James) joining Bariol, we were still slightly ahead with a deep batting order. However, a low score is always hard to chase and even though Bariol was looking good, and scoring freely to reach 33 runs, we lost both him and Aitken to slump to 8/165. At this point the game was in the balance at best with a further 63 runs required and the Randy Petes cock-a hoop in the field.

Enter Matt Alexander and Mac Jenkins. To be honest it was at times painful to watch as the pair produced block after block to steady the ship, but then elation when the ball went through the field and more so when it reached the boundary. The two batsmen were determined and, with fielders around the bat, refused to be intimidated and kept on pushing the score forward as the nervous crowd watched on. Slowly but surely they chipped away at the total, reaching 192 at tea. It really should not have been a surprise with both players having plenty of experience batting higher in the order. It was at this point with persistent rain falling that four separate results became possible. Shortly after tea, with a little moisture on the pitch allowing the ball to slide on, the score had passed 200 and then moved to 211. However, with 17 to win, there was a new twist - the new ball. Something loved and hated at the same time by our #11, James Campbell, who was waiting patiently as the boys did the business.

Those sitting under the tent agreed that taking the new ball could go ‘one of two ways’. In the end, as GA explained, the ball would skid onto the bat and glide across the outfield and it would be to our advantage. These words of wisdom made us all feel much more comfortable and we knew the result was never in doubt, despite the boys asking our #11 bowling maestro how he was feeling about three times an over.

Mac Jenkins admitted as much after the game – he said ‘I was waiting for the new ball, that’s why I keep blocking the old ball’ And so it became folklore that Alexander (36*) and Jenkins (26*) would get the Bears across the line at Coogee with rain in the background and the light fading. There was, of course, one final twist: as the boys took a quick single to draw the scores level, there was an overthrow giving us two bonus runs and the win. The happiest player in the team was James Campbell who gladly took off his pads in celebration.

It is great to be back in the winners’ circle and to collect the valuable 6 points. However, the team will need to continue to string wins together if they expect to feature in the finals and that starts next week against local rivals Gordon.

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

Randwick Petersham 137 (F Noack 6/47, S Alexander 2/33, H May 2/42) & 4/136 (H May 2/46) def by UTS North Sydney 9/267 dec (J Vilensky 76, J Leary 68*, R Alexander 39)

UTS North Sydney resumed play at 8/221 with Raymond Alexander electing to bat on for around 5 overs in order to try and bump up the Bears’ score to 250+. This gave the remaining batsmen the green light to smash the opening Randwick bowlers, who foolishly took the new ball (thanks in part because James and Ray had told the opposition captain that they were looking to bat on for another 20 overs). This proved to be a stroke of genius, with 46 runs coming off the 6 overs, and James Leary (armed with Jake Hardy’s bat) smashing 37 of them and remaining not out on 68. Ray then declared at a much more defendable score of 9/267.

With the sky overcast and outfield looking as long and lush as ever, the conditions looked to be in our favour, although there was a drop in the first over off Harrison May’s bowling. “The Specimen” and debutant Fraser Noack got his first wicket for second grade in his first over, snaffling ex-Bear Adam Docos (the Randy Petes’ Captain) LBW for a 4-ball “DUCK”, knowing his weakness was half volleys on middle stump.

Shortly after, with Harrison cartwheeling the other opener’s middle stump and Fraser taking his second wicket of the day with the number 3 batsmen punching a good length ball straight to cover, the Bears had the opposition 3/15 in just the first 6 overs. The next few overs however were when the pressure really started to rise, starting in the 7th when the number four batsman edged a good length ball to keeper James Leary, but instead of walking decided to try out his luck with the umpire and was given not out.

This enrages the Big Horse. With all the attention on the field now focused on Harrison, the opposition forgot the danger that Fraser posed at the other end. Fraser proceeded to take the next three wickets in short succession, his third one caught behind, his fourth bowling off stump and the fifth caught at midwicket. Fraser triumphantly raised both arms and smirked as the team rushed in to congratulate him on his first five-wicket haul for the Bears. The seventh wicket fell to a bouncer off Harrison with Fraser getting in the action again, taking a very good catch at fine leg. When lunch was shortly taken afterwards Randwick Petersham were an astounding 7/45 with Fraser 5/24 and Harrison 2/30.

After the lunch break Ray brought himself and Sam Alexander into the attack to finish off the tail. With the prospect of outright in mind, his intention was to give his opening bowlers a longer rest before needing them in the next innings. However, the big number 9 batsmen who was dropped on 2 off Sam’s first over had in his mind that if he was going to get out today, he was going get out hitting. With 9 sixes in this innings he ended up making 70 runs off 50 balls - it almost looked like Tunks was too small a ground as he consistently cleared men on the fence with room to spare.

During this time Sam and Fraser were able to get out the other two batsmen out for low totals with both wickets caught at cover. Finally Sam had had enough and beamed the number 9 batsmen, who was caught at long on. With Randwick Petersham all out for 137 we had enough of a lead to enforce the follow on.

The Bears got off to another good start in the second innings with Randy Petes on the rack at 3/36 after the first 7 overs with two wickets caught behind for Harrison. The opposition’s number 9 bomber, who opened the batting in a desperate attempt to put the Bears on the back foot, was dropped again in the field this time off Harrison’s bowling, but was out in the very next over off Fraser’s bowling with a stunning catch at long on by Ben Van der Merwe.

Another wicket was taken by Niranjan Naguleswaran (1/31) with a beautiful off-break that bowled the number 4 batsmen. However, with the pitch having flattened out and the new ball getting damp, the opposition was able to block out the rest of the innings, finishing up 4/137. This ,meant that the Bears sadly missed the outright but earned a much needed 6 point victory.

Congratulations to all the grades in the club for the clean sweep!

3rd Grade Round 6: UTS North Sydney vs Randwick Petersham at Petersham Oval

UTS North Sydney 7/177 (F Nixon-Tomko 66*, L Smith 29) def Randwick Petersham 175 (F May 5/36)

After bouncing back last week from a disappointing performance in Round 4, the Bears were up and about. Buoyed by some bowling cloud cover and a soft deck covered by a hard top layer of turf, the march to yet another picnic was on as the boys in red and black laced up their boots to bowl first.

A strong opening spell from Round 5 hero Fletcher May and Nuwan Whyte didn’t reap the rewards they deserved, as runs flowed through inside edges and outside edges alike. However, the pressure built up in the first spell meant that the first wicket fell to a loose shot off the bowling of skipper Jacob Graham, the opening bat scooping to point where the soft, supple hands of Luke Smith accepted the offering.

10 runs later and with the first drinks imminent, Finn Nixon-Tomko was brought into the attack, a roll of the dice to eke out another over before the break. Unbelievably, the remaining opener found himself unable to contain his pre-drink excitement of having a half-tracker dished up to him, sending a dolly of a catch to Nuwan patrolling the fence at cow corner. RPs 2/64 off 17

The Bears were rolling and the pressure continued to mount after the break. Finn was swiftly removed from the attack after his one glorious over and Graham returned. A few more overs of pressure from both ends ensued and then Fletcher May found himself back in the attack with Benny Knox at the other end. This move produced an immediate effect with two wickets falling, both to May as he ran through what was left of the top order, to leave Randys 3/83 and then 4/88.

A small counterpunch was had from the RP middle order but Benny Knox wasn’t to be outdone and he joined the wicket takers’ list as well. 5/127. A classic mix up late in the innings found the next breakthrough, Knox combining with Nuwan for a runout from the boundary as the dangerous #5 departed. Shaken up from the poor calling costing his partner’s wicket, the #7 then threw his own away, holing out to Graham off the bowling of Nuwan. From there it was the Fletcher May show, who literally ran through the middle stumps of batters 8, 9 and 10 to wipe a broom through the rest of the Randwick-Petersham innings and finish with figures 5/36 off 10. After the run-out with the score on 152, the Randwick-Petersham lower order could only manage another 23 as they were bowled out for 175.

With the stage set for a good chase and all the momentum with the good guys, Finn and Chris Spratt strode to the crease. Six overs later, we were flying at 0-30, Spratty finding the fence and with Finn hitting his first ever 6 (congrats but I’ve seen bigger), and suddenly the chase looked like it could be earmarked for bonus point territory. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be, with Spratt falling for 19 at 1/36.

The introduction of their first spinner proved pivotal as he took the wickets of May (2/54) and Dhruva Thorat (3/60) in quick succession, but all the while Finn went about his business. 1s and 2s aplenty, the gritty left hander blocked and prodded and then cut and pulled with a vengeance. Combining with Luke Smith, the pair added another 40, with neither looking like getting out. That was until a well timed clip off the pads found Smith on his way, the ball falling into the hands of the deep square leg.

The leggy again was back in the game with another right hander at the crease and Lachlan Stewart too was unfortunately found out, just mis-timing what would have been the biggest 6 you’d ever seen, only to have the ball fall into the waiting arms of the mid on. 5/113. Kobe Allison and then Jake Holmes combined with Finn to add another 37 to the total, before both fell to the returning seamers. 7/150 and 26 to get. The 6 points were now firmly on a knife’s edge.

Jacob Graham strode out at number 9, and, after a brief discussion with Finn, decided that they would ice the game and score the runs - and do that they did. With only three wickets to get and being on a roll, the Randwick boys seemed to think a big bloke could not run quick singles, and within a few overs the margin was down to 8. The ball was still seaming around but Finn held firm, and with the scores getting closer and closer the RP lads grew mute. Two bad balls later provided the Bears skipper with 2 boundaries to get the 8 needed runs and the game was done. 6 points to the good guys and 7/177 the end total. Finn Nixon-Tomko, the hero of the day, finished unbeaten on 66 as he carried his bat till the final ball in only his second third grade game. Finn was no doubt the major reason why such a tricky chase ended up being completed.

That win takes the Bears up into third position on the ladder, and with the hunters quickly becoming the hunted, we know we will have to be on song against our upcoming opponents UNSW and Gordon.

4th Grade Round 6: UTS North Sydney vs Randwick Petersham at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 8/228 (B Kumar 84*, H Reynolds 81) def Randwick Petersham 113 (L Opacic 4/16, T Laybutt 3/14, B Kumar 2/12)

4th grade arrived to Bon Andrews with a spring in their step, buoyed by a strong team performance in the heat a week earlier. Stand in skipper Jack Thomas won the toss and had no hesitation to bat on a slightly green but hard wicket. Hamish Reynolds and Adi Nigul opened up, but there was little love found for the top order, as silly decision making and strong disciplined bowling from the Randwick-Petersham openers meant that we found ourselves 3 wickets down at drinks, with 2 more quick wickets falling immediately after. Despite a relative turnstile of partners at the other end, Reynolds was calm in his innings, politely finding singles to rotate the strike and capitalising on the bad balls that were offered.

The fifth wicket in the Bears innings proved to be the game changing moment, as it brought Baran Kumar to the crease. With the score at 5/69 and around 30 overs left to bat, Kumar’s instructions were to rotate the strike and find a way to be there with around 10 overs to go. With Reynolds firing at the other end, Kumar consistently tried to find the big shot to break the game open, including a huge 6 onto the highway and a lofted drive over cover for 4. After a 70 run partnership, the Randwick skipper brought back his opening quick and Reynolds unfortunately caught himself searching for a ball, departing for 81 off 114 balls. It was a superb innings under the circumstances, and on another day when the outfield was not as slow, it could have been a 3 digit score. Thomas was the new batsmen and with 15 overs to go the intent to score for the Bears batsmen improved, as he and Kumar pushed the fielders with some smart running between the wickets. After a 50 run stand, Thomas (18) departed with the score at 7/182, a tremendous fightback.

It was now that Kumar decided to make the game his own. With just 5 overs left, the new batsmen Luke Opacic barely faced a ball as Kumar bludgeoned his way around the ground and then snuck a single on the last ball of each over with ease. Kumar dealt 7 boundaries and 4 sixes on his way to 84* off 84 deliveries, a rapid innings considering he was just 10 off 38. At the end of the 50 overs the Bears had delivered a very competitive total of 8/228.

Thomas and Toby Laybutt opened with the ball for the Bears, finding some tight corridors. The pair were unlucky with the new ball, with a couple of chances going down and half chances not going to hand, but importantly the run rate was kept low. The effort in the field was impressive, with two direct hit throws, including one from Drew Sellers, giving the umpires plenty to think about. Opacic and Reynolds came into the attack, but the Randwick Petersham openers were unable to increase the run rate, amplifying the pressure on themselves. Finally, after 18 overs, Nick Hay got the breakthrough, with Shiv Vohra taking a composed catch. The floodgates would then open for the Bears, with Kumar unable to be kept out of the game, bowling other opener with a well-hidden slower ball to make it 2/64.

Kumar grabbed another in his next over, caught at first slip by Thomas, and the Bears were as energetic as ever, immediately sniffing not just 6 but 7 points. Laybutt was reintroduced from the other end and almost immediately was rewarded, giving the skipper plenty to do at first slip with another catch. When Thomas took his third catch, again off the bowling of Laybutt, the Bears were well and truly putting the foot to the throat. Opacic came back into the attack from the other end and was rewarded with a wicket in his first over, before Laybutt took his third wicket to finish off his spell, bringing the score to 8/101.

Laybutt was phenomenal, with figures of 3/14 off his 10 overs, and bowled through most of that time with Thomas, Charlie Rose and Hay waiting in the cordon. As the ball fizzed through the infield from the hands of the fielders, it was clear that the fourth grade Bears were enjoying their cricket. Opacic decided that he didn’t want to spend any more time out in the field though, knocking out the stumps of the three remaining batsmen to finish with tremendous figures of 4/16 off 6.1 overs. With Randy Petes all out for 113 from 36.1 overs, the Bears had done a tremendous job to get the 6 points plus a bonus, and will go into next week’s top of the table clash with UNSW with plenty of confidence.

5th Grade Round 6: UTS North Sydney vs Randwick Petersham at Kensington Oval

UTS North Sydney 1/123 (M Oliver 63*, D Singh 33*) def Randwick Petersham 122 (S Balbi 4/24, B Wilson 3/35)

A young Bears fifth grade side travelled to Kensington Oval to take on a winless Randwick Petersham side.

The pre-match intelligence all pointed towards batting first on a wicket notorious for playing lower and slower as the day progresses. However, the Bears were greeted with a tacky greenish wicket that invited skipper Perry to bowl first. And that he did after winning the toss and unleashing the returning Brad Wilson and the inform Sol Balbi on the Petes batsman. Balbi first removed the talkative opening batsman and then Perry struck with a brilliant run out and the Petes were in trouble at 2/16.

Alex MacGill (1 for 11 off 6) removed WBBL player Carly Leeson with a perfect in swinging yorker and then young Aden Clark took a screamer at slip off Jamieson Hedges (1 for 14 off 6) for his maiden grade wicket on debut. RPs consolidated but then it was the Balbi (4 for 24 off 9) and Wilson (3 for 35 off 9.5) show as they combined for the remaining 6 wickets bundling RPs out for 122 in the 41st over.

With the weather looking a little unsettled, openers Lindsay and Singh strode out to the middle. A solid start was made until Pat Lindsay got a little excited after one nice shot and lost his middle stump for 13 with the score on 24. From then on Green Shielder Dilraj Singh (33*) and Michael Oliver (63*) saw the Bears home with ease in the 43rd over with a 99 run partnership. Both batsmen showed good concentration and application in their innings.

Although the bonus point was on offer, with the questionable weather and the newly implemented DLS system for lower grades, wicket preservation was the order of the day. This secured the 6 points and a hearty rendition of the song! 5s are well placed in 8th on the ladder with a big match against 3rd placed UNSW next week.

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

Bankstown 5/226 (E Buckley 2/37) def UTS North Sydney 114 (G Keating 40*, L Warren 28)

It was a beautiful Sunday, the sun was shining, a gentle breeze was blowing and the girls were looking forward to a home match at Bon Andrews. Yet again we kicked probability in the teeth and for the eighth time this season we lost the toss with the opposition choosing to bat first yet again. After last weeks improved performance with the ball, the girls felt quietly confident at the start of the match.

The Bears got off to a good start, with the opening bowlers bowling at good pace and captain Lucy Warren bowling one of the openers in the third over, keeping them to 1/36 off the first 10 overs. Former Bear Mridula, on about 20 at the time, then edged one down the leg side which was snaffled by keeper Bianca Lozell. The girls went up on mass only to have the appeal turned down by the umpire. Mridrula then made the most of the opportunity, going on to score 58. The girls continue to bowl well keeping Bankstown at 1/74 after 20 overs. A few expensive overs hurt us in the next ten overs until Lucy threw the ball to her opening partner Liz Buckley, who combined with her partner in crime Grace Keating to dismiss Mridula with a great catch at square leg, leaving the opposition 2/124 after 30. Liz then doubled down in her next over clean bowling the new batsman and was unlucky not to have a third when the girls again went up on mass again for a caught behind against Sarah Lawler (3 at the time) who went on to score 37.

Despite some solid bowling performances, the girls let themselves down by not bowling straight enough with 42 extras and missing approximately 8 run out opportunities before India Keating hit the stumps. A late wicket to Bianca Lozell, aided by a great catch from Tuvini Jayakody, saw the last of the highlights with the score at 5/178 after 40. With the bowling performance seemingly in the balance, we lost our way a little in the next 10 overs and were unable to take any more wickets with the visitors finishing on 5/226. Despite not picking up a wicket, Ani Uthappa was, for the second week running, the pick of the bowlers bowling a very economical 6 overs for 16 runs with only 1 extra. She again bowled well in partnership with Liz.

Following last week's performance with the bat, we knew that we had the runs in us to chase down this total. However, some overly aggressive batting in the first over and some back foot defence started a top order collapse, with the team slumping to 4/18 after just 4 overs. This brought captain Lucy Warren to the crease early, and she began rebuilding the innings with Grace Keating, the pair putting on 48 runs in the next 10 overs. Lucy Warren then hit possibly the biggest six in Brewers history with a slog sweep hitting two thirds of the way up the fence protecting the freeway. She battled hard but never truly looked comfortable, putting on 28 much needed runs. Grace continued to bat well despite the continued loss of wickets at the other end putting together a well compiled 40 of 63 balls, until a loss of concentration after the drinks break saw her bowled and the girls all out for 114.


Media courtesy of Tony Johnson, David James, Sarah Berman and team captains.