Week 12 Wrap vs Gordon, UNSW and Sydney

1st Grade Round 8: UTS North Sydney vs Gordon at Chatswood 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 were greeted with overcast skies at Chatswood Oval to do battle with local rivals Gordon. Skipper Tom Jagot won the toss and decided to have a bat.

After having a look at the first over, Jack James caressed four lovely cover drives and played another off his hip to the square boundary to race to 23 runs off his first 20 balls. Brent Atherton was more circumspect but when the wider ball was presented he threw everything at it, which was more than enough on the lightning outfield. The pair put on 35 runs for the first wicket inside 7 overs before James edged one that moved marginally off the seam.

The skipper was next in and he too cashed in on anything slightly wide or short. Atherton picked up the pace while batting with his captain, crunching several cut shots for four, with the pair moving the score past 100. Unfortunately, just when he was looking set for a really big score, Brent, who had smashed nine boundaries, was dismissed for 42 punching a short ball straight to gully. This left the Bears 2/106. Tim Reynolds faced just a few balls before being bowled through the gate by the spinner with a ball that spun from outside off, and it was 3/111. Jagot, who had 7 fours of his own, was looking in great touch as he moved his score to 38, but he too lost his wicket, being bowled by another ball that seemed to deviate just a touch from the Station end. All of a sudden the black and red team had slumped to 4/111, losing 3/5 in the space of 13 balls.

Despite the pitch appearing to be a belter, the Bears had lost four wickets and were in desperate need of a partnership - Enter Max Papworth and Aiden Bariol. The pair of wicket-keeper batsmen continued to play positively and punished any width, with a number of balls being dispatched to the square boundaries, as well as the odd drive down the ground. They progressed the score beyond 200 and put on 90 before Papworth (34) top edged a pull shot and was brilliantly caught with a one-handed dive with the score at 201.

Bariol brought up his run-a-ball fifty, shortly after being joined at the crease by veteran Robbie Aitken. With a few home duties to attend to the club photographer and author of this report politely asked the scorer if she wouldn’t mind taking the photos of Baz when he reached his hundred and Robbie when he reached fifty. What a prediction! I am looking forward to seeing the photos because Robbie did make fifty and Baz produced his second hundred of the season, off 134 balls. [The scorer and proof-reader notes that rumours of her ability to multi-task have clearly been grossly exaggerated ;-)].

The pair dominated the Gordon attack with a combination of quick singles and boundaries eventually putting on 130 runs for the sixth wicket and placing UTS North Sydney in a great position of 6/331 with nearly 20 overs still to go. However, as is often the case after a big partnership, when one wicket falls another follows soon after. This was the case with Robbie out for 58 with the score at 331 and Aiden out for 116 in the 76th over with the score 332. What wasn’t expected was the three further wickets falling and only another 8 runs added. Effectively, the Bears had lost 5/9 in 7 overs, the seconf collapse of the game, and were all out 340 with 10 overs remaining in the day.

Those 10 overs saw Gordon see off James Campbell, Matt Alexander, James Aitken and Jack James to be 0/12, despite several big appeals in Campbell’s third over.

The lower-order collapse was a disappointing end to an innings that could have been 400+, so a strong bowling performance next week is needed to ice the victory that Aiden Bariol and Rob Aitken’s outstanding partnership deserves.

2nd Grade Round 8: UTS North Sydney vs Gordon at North Sydney Oval

Gordon 10/372 (S Alexander 3/93. B Knox 2/48, F May 2/82)

For the first time in living memory, the second grade team was scheduled to play at the No. 1 ground, the home of North Sydney cricket. It was the first Bears game of the season played at the oval due to the WBBL. It also saw the first use of the impressive new digital scoreboard that now dominates the hill.

North Sydney Oval looked more resplendent than ever, the outfield and wicket immaculate, a picture-perfect location for the local derby against Gordon. The second grade side arrived at the ground with much enthusiasm and energy. The newly appointed vice captain confidently took the toss due to his recent luck with the coin. Ray’s poor form from the night before carried into the next day, the coin came down in favour of the visitors and, unfortunately, Gordon did not hesitate in sending the sorty Bears into the field.

Overcast weather, a great team vibe and the occasion itself saw the Bears excited for the opportunity to attack Gordon despite the favourable batting conditions. Gordon capitalised on winning the toss, starting with a strong opening partnership reducing the surviving the Bears opening attack, spearheaded by the Big Horse Harrison May (1/57 off 15) and man mountain Fraser Noack (0/39 off 10). Unfortunately, the Big Horse had some hoof issues with a few loose spikes, but managed to control his aggression, seeming to be a lot calmer with less pedestrian traffic around the sight screens. With Gordon edging ahead in the contest, Fletcher “Small Horse” May (2/82 off 20) decided to kick and produce a dominant spell of bowling, unlucky to not finish with a few early poles. Despite quality spells from all bowlers, the superb wicket and outfield saw runs leaking every over. Gordon rode their luck with a few missed opportunities in the cordon and headed into lunch with the loss of no wickets for 100 runs.

The middle session saw a turn of fortune for the good guys. Fletcher “Small Horse” May was rewarded for his toil, taking the first of the wickets with a cheeky outside edge to our keeper, James Leary’s waiting hands. This was followed by a spectacular piece of fielding from Ben Van der Merwe! . His bullet throw from the outfield caught the set batsman well out of his crease, with an audible sigh of “oh no” emanating from the batsman as he saw the rocket released from Ben’s hand! The middle session was dominated by quality spells of bowling from the spinners Sam “the Sort” Alexander (3/93 off 23) and Ben “Featherweight” Knox (2/48 of 15.3). They controlled the flow of runs and pressured the batsmen. However, again the favourable conditions allowed Gordon to dull the blows of the spinners leading into tea. A final burst before the break resulted in another wicket, Fletcher blowing off the pad of their number 3 batsman - in other words he missed an absolute straight one from the Small Horse!

The last session saw quality penetration from Olly “The String” Knight (1/44 off 12)! He toiled hard despite coming back from injury and his hard work payed dividends, resulting in a faint edge straight into the ever-ready arms of the wicketkeeper Leary who caught it with his armpit. The Bears' deep arsenal of bowlers united together to provide a strong push at the end of the day. The fielding and energy of the squad was truly impressive. The cunning Big Horse decided to change his mentality from brute pace to deception to pick up another well-earnt wicket. This brought along the spin twins who astoundingly brought back the Bears to a fighting position, The Sort and the Featherweight combined together with some clever fielding positions and some excellent flight to bamboozle the wagging tail of Gordon, taking a whopping 5 wickets in the last session. In an unlikely finish, the Gordon were dismissed for 372 in the 96th over with Ben Knox taking back-to-back wickets.

James Leary continued his good form with 4 dismissals. 2 catches, a sharp stumping off Samoz and involvement in a run out! Ben Van de Merwe impressed in the field with energy and athleticism. Overall the team impressed with excellent toil from the bowlers and fielders. This gave the Bears a fighting position despite the tough task the vice-captain laid out for them. The day was won and commemorated with a few beers.

3rd Grade Round 7: UTS North Sydney vs UNSW at Bon Andrews

UTS North Sydney 8/215 (L Stewart 44, L Smith 40, JD Graham 33*) def UNSW 181 (IR Merlehan 5/38, JD Graham 2/30, N Whyte 2/30)

On a day that threatened to be a washout, the Bears were presented with the task of tackling UNSW. This was a team who last year provided very little resistance as the Bears took home six points before tea on the first day, but had so far this year been toppling their recent opposition with ease. It would turn out to be quite the contest.

A familiar figure lined up for the men in yellow and black, with David Barber (a former Bear) loudly proclaiming his return to Bon after having already faced off against us once this season in 2s (and lost his middle stump to Nuwan Whyte in the process). The boys were up and about as the clearing clouds drifted off and presented us with a beautiful warming morning, and even more so when the opposition skip correctly called the coin toss and we found out we would be batting first on what looked to be a pretty good docile deck.

Adam Cavenor and Finn Nixon Tomko opened up and set the pace early, piercing the field and clocking up plenty of ones and twos. Until the 10th over, we were cruising at 4 an over, at which point the Bees’ captain tossed the ball to the aforementioned ex-Bear. Barber had an immediate effect, unfortunately being the undoing of both Finn and Cameron New in the space of three balls of his first over.

Unfortunately, the loss of those two wickets also brought with it a complete stalling of the run rate. The next 15 overs delivered only 30 runs as our third-wicket pair, Luke Smith and Adam, went about the rebuild. Tight bowling and aggressive lines meant that neither could score freely. The return of the opening bowler for his fifth over brought with it the wicket of Cavenor.

The next partnership however between Luke Smith and number five, Lachlan Stewart, threatened to completely kill off the game as they added 60 off the next 6 overs before the second drinks break, completely dismantling the UNSW change bowlers and forcing the UNSW skipper to bring back their opening bowlers far too early.

With the drinks break often comes wickets and this was no different, Luke Smith trapped by a ball that kept low in the first over after the return to the field, and unfortunate end to what was a partnership on the move. Kobe Allison provided some added spark and life to the game as he dispatched the Bees’ captain to all corners of the ground on his way to 16 and Izaak Merlehan followed suit. Both provided key runs as Lachlan continued to be an anchor to bat around, his wicket key to us getting to that golden 200 mark.

Merlehan fell in the 44th over, selflessly looking to increase the rate. Jake Holmes strode to the crease to join Lachlan but it was short lived as Lachlan was given out LBW with the score on 178. Jake fell 2 overs later in the 47 and, between them, Jacob Graham and Nuwan Whyte put on a crucial 33 runs together including a massive 19 run over to finish the innings.

Debutant Luke Opacic and Nuwan Whyte opened the bowling for the good guys, and together they built up some serious scoreboard pressure. Luke didn’t look phased in what was his first game in 3s, but it was Nuwan that was rewarded, the opening batsman snicking off to keeper Jake Holmes.

In the 13th over, skipper Graham brought on man of the match Izaak Merlehan, who immediately found his way through the defences of the number three. His first spell was full of changes of pace, natural variation and some serious guile as he provided a key support to the captain bowling from the other end. Merlehan’s first seven over spell went only for 25, which was a fantastic effort and testament to his bowling as the pitch was starting to flatten out in the afternoon heat. He took with him the opener, the number three and the number five. He and Jacob Graham combined to take 5/40 as the UNSW run chase fell in a heap.

With every good story there’s a twist in the tail and this one is no different, with the ex-Bear Barber adding just that. His 43 at the back end of the innings gave us a little bit of a scare but it was Merlehan who came back into the attack and took his wicket, well caught on the fence by Kobe Alison who was roaming in the deep and reportedly put on his Nostradamus hat and called the entire thing.

Luke Opacic was recalled into the attack and was finally rewarded with a wicket of his own, the key scalp off the captain and the last semblance of hope that the Bees had to get close to the Bears’ 215. Izaak took his fifth wicket in his 9th over and, when Nuwan Whyte returned to the attack, the game was done UNSW all out for 181.

Another excellent all-round team performance by the Bears gave us the six points. Special mention goes to Izaak for his magnificent five wickets and to Luke Opacic taking his first at this level – without doubt the first of many.

4th Grade Round 7: UTS North Sydney vs UNSW at David Phillips North

UTS North Sydney 8/236 (B Kumar 71, D Sellers 50 C Rose 44, J Nevell 28) def UNSW 213 (B Wilson 3/34, H Reynolds 3/37)

Fourth grade arrived at the David Phillips Sports Complex ready for what would be a top of the ladder clash. After some sub-par foot skills in the warm-up, Jack Thomas called correctly and confidently decided to bat. Hamish Reynolds and Dhruva Thorat opened up, but were unfortunately unable to stay too long at the crease. With the score at 2/17, John Nevell and Charlie Rose began the rebuild. The runs came regularly, but with Nevell falling for 28, and Hay quickly after, the Bears were in trouble at drinks, with the score placed precariously at 4/68. Similar to last week, the batsmen continued to push the total through the middle of the innings, with Rose in particular, getting on with the job, making 44 from 50 balls. When he unfortunately picked out a fielder, the score had progressed to 5/107.

With Drew Sellers, the set batsmen, and last week’s hero, Baran Kumar, at the crease, the Bears had a lot of important work to come. The pair were merciless on an unsuspecting UNSW team who believed they had the ascendency, with the pair dispatching spinners and medium pacers alike. Sellers hit 3 sixes and 2 fours on his way to 50, his first half century at fourth grade level. He and Kumar put on 82 for the fifth wicket, putting the Bears back in the driver’s seat. The skipper joined Kumar at the crease, but did not face too much of the strike, running hard and noodling singles to allow the “X Factor” to take control. Kumar picked his spots, and almost everything hit the middle of the bat. He hit 8 fours and 2 sixes, including a trademark shot over cover into the carpark on his way to 71 off 72 balls, leaving the score at 227/7. Over the past 2 rounds Kumar has plundered 155 runs off 156 balls, including 15 fours and 6 sixes, a tremendous effort when considering the situations he has found himself in.

Shiv Vohra connected nicely with his first ball to find a boundary and the Bears finished their innings with the score at an ominous 236/8. Despite losing wickets steadily, our fourth grade side has shown a resilience to continue scoring runs all the way down the order over the past few rounds, foreshadowing a scary prospect when the top order gets back to firing.

Continuing the strong energy in the field from previous weeks, Thomas and Brad Wilson opened up. The pair were unable to attack the stumps enough early, but after 9 overs Wilson found the edge which was gleefully accepted by Nevell and the Bears had opened their account. Sol Balbi entered the attack and was immediately on the spot, bowling 4 overs into drinks for just the 5 runs. Wilson continued to tempt the batsmen outside the off stump, and was rewarded with a double wicket maiden to send some alarm bells ringing in the UNSW camp. At drinks, the score was 3/36, the Bears well on top. Thomas was clear with his message at drinks, continue with the pressure and take the next chance that came.

Despite an injury to Balbi, Nick Hay and Kumar continued piling on the pressure. The half chance came, and Sellers was quick to pounce, coming in from his cover position for a diving direct-hit run-out, taking out the opposition captain. Reynolds came into the attack to replace Kumar and had almost immediate effect, providing Nevell with his fourth catch behind the stumps.

After not getting a chance last week, Vohra was eager to get into the attack and make an impact. After a tight first over, he was rewarded for beating the batsmen through the air with a mistimed shot that was hit straight to Sellers. At 6/72, the Bears had full control of the game, but the university batsmen continued to fight. At the second drinks break, the score was 6/101. Wilson returned to the attack for his final three overs and was near unplayable, finishing his spell with figures of 3/24. Vohra continued, but was unable to find another breakthrough, with the UNSW score gradually climbing towards the target. With 10 overs to go, the score had climbed to 150 thanks to the seventh-wicket pair.

Thomas began his second spell, attacking the stumps, but the batsmen continued to find runs freely, consistently attacking the field with some smart running between the wickets. With the injuries preventing Balbi and Wilson from moving freely, the Bears were feeling the heat with effectively 9 on the field. Reynolds came into the attack from the opposite end to close out, and was extremely successful bowling to his field. His captain from the other end was not as successful, as the UNSW lower order batsmen hit three big sixes back over his head to bring the game to an even ball game.

With 3 overs to go, Reynolds found the long-awaited breakthrough, as Sellers helped himself to his third dismissal of the innings with a smart catch. Reynolds found the stumps the next ball and the Bears were back on top again with the score at 8/205. Reynolds finished with exceptional figures of 3/37 off his 10 overs, and for 14 years of age, was extremely calm and mature in his role at the death. Thomas found his groove to claim a wicket off a slower ball and UNSW required 27 off the last over to win. Nick Hay stepped up to finish the innings and produced the wicket of the no. 8 (who had made 65) with his second ball with a smart catch to Rose. The Bears had won the game by 23 runs and would finish the day on top of the ladder.

Whilst a very impressive stand of 133 for the UNSW 7th wicket threatened to steal the show, UTS North Sydney won the game by consistently finding a way to get back into a position of power after small lapses. Special mention must go to the whole fielding unit, but especially Sellers and Hay who worked tirelessly to cover up the gaps left by injured teammates. Overall, it was an impressive display with both bat and ball, and the Bears will be full of confidence atop the ladder going into next week’s matchup against rivals Gordon.

5th Grade Round 7: UTS North Sydney vs UNSW at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 10/131 (B Revai 28) def by UNSW 6/132

The day had arrived, finally the first home game of the season for the fifth grade Bears at the home of cricket, Tunks International Sports Park. The opponent, third-placed UNSW. A huge test for the Bears who have ambitions of finals cricket and a repeat premiership.

Greeted by the ever-enthusiastic Bernie, the team lifted the covers off to reveal a hard deck and despite the rain around, indications were to bat first. A lost toss saw the Bears sent in, which was always going to be the result.

Olly Jennings was back after his brief stint in 4s, and set to open the innings alongside Aden Clark. The young duo started explosively in the first few overs before a bizarre series of events saw Clark dismissed caught behind down the leg side. Jennings was joined by the enforcer, Michael Lloyd, also back in the side. The two continued to tick the score over to 40 before Jennings was dismissed for 21 after a leading edge was skied.

The opposition then introduced spin and, unfortunately, this brought about the undoing of Lloyd after a promising start. Captain Alex Perry, desperate for some luck, alongside Michael Oliver who was fresh from his match winning 60 not out last week, set about plans of rebuilding. Unfortunately, Oliver picked out short fine leg with a pull shot off the spinner and he joined the others back under the trees.

At #6 was Aiden Thomas, making his first start in Bears colours this season. He batted alongside the skipper to get through to drinks, steadying the ship. However, another collapse wasn't far off, triggered when Perry was dismissed leg before for 12. A commendable effort by Ben Revai and Alex MacGill for the 10th wicket helped the Bears to get to a defendable 131, with Revai scoring a commanding 28, which unfortunately came to an end whilst trying to increase the score rapidly in the last few overs.

Having been able to restrict teams earlier this season, the Bears set out with a spring in their step that they could still take the 6 points. An early pole to MacGill with another catch of the season contender by Clark at second slip, set the scene for a tight game.

The run rate was ticking along at around 2.5 an over, and wickets were consistently falling. MacGill (1/30), Revai (1/19), Hedges (1/28) and Rana (1/25) all bowled extremely tightly, taking one wicket a piece to leave UNSW requiring 50 runs after the last drinks break for victory. Thomas (1/17), also bowled extremely tightly, with Perry (1/11) taking a crucial wicket to keep the game close at the death.

Unfortunately, the Bears didn’t get the chocolates, mainly because they did not post enough runs, with UNSW passing our total 6 down in the 46th over. This one may be the game that got away, with plenty of work to be done in the batting department with a lot of soft dismissals for the Bears.

Still sitting one win outside the top 6, the squad is looking forward to bouncing back this weekend in a North Shore derby against Gordon.

Poidevin-Gray Shield Round 5: UTS North Sydney v Mosman at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 1/138 (25.2 Overs) (A Cavenor 54*, T Reynolds 49*, JN James 33) def Mosman 10/135 (F May 4/37, JN James 2/16)

The junior Bears turned up to Bon Andrews knowing that they had to win to keep their season alive despite having only most one game from the four played to date. The opposition were sitting pretty in second position after also winning three from four, but three points ahead of us on the back of winning two 50 over fixtures.

With a few notable omissions from the squad, the warm up game of soccer sent shock waves through the coaching staff with James Leary twisting his ankle and requiring some strapping to play. We then lost the toss, with Mosman deciding to bat.

Fletcher May and Nuwan Whyte opened the bowling with both bowlers a little off their game. Fletcher started with a full toss and Nuwan conceded two wides, with the Mosman openers smacking three boundaries – two overs 0/16 and the score projection 400! Well, that was the end of the Christmas cheer from our boys as we set about decimating the Mosman top order.

In his second over, Fletcher removed the dangerous Matt Calder, with the miscue landing in the safe hands of Mac Jenkins at mid on. In his third over Fletcher bowled a ripping delivery that took the other opener’s edge, deflecting to the keeper Aiden Bariol. Fletcher then took out key Mosman batsman Matt Moran lbw on the next ball and all of sudden he was on a hat-trick. He narrowly missed the hat-trick with the ball flying past the edge of the bat, but Mosman were rattled at 3/22. Nuwan bowled consecutive maidens from the other end building pressure on the new batsman.

Kobe Alison (1/21) was introduced into the attack in the 11th over and he had immediate success with a sharp delivery that also carried through to the keeper and Mosman were 4/34. A couple of overs later with Mosman re-building, the non-striker took off for a quick single, only to have Mac Jenkins pounce with a brilliant direct hit run-out from side on to have the Whales reeling at 5/50 after 15 overs. Jenkins (1/19) then caused more damage with ball in hand knocking over the #7 lbw and leaving Mosman 6/76 after 21 overs. Jack James had switched to the city end and, after three quiet overs, struck on the final ball of his fifth over rattling the stumps of the #8 to have Mosman 7/92. Returning for his second spell from the other end, Fletcher grabbed another pole to have four for the game and figures of 4/19 from 7 overs.

Lachlan Hearne had been doing a good job for Mosman, moving to 49 runs as wickets tumbled around him, but James (2/16) got the better of him with a confident lbw appeal that saw Hearne back in the sheds and James on a hat-trick. The next ball saw players all around the bat as the batsman dug out a fullish ball. The #11 batsman survived the over, but, at 9/93 and Fletcher looking for a fifth, a score under 100 was looking likely. However, somebody forgot to tell the #11 who ended up facing 49 balls for his 2 runs and the #10, who compiled the second top score of 33 for his tea, before being neatly caught and bowled by Ben Knox (1/10). At the close, Mosman were all out 135 from 43.4 overs.

The run chase started positively with Jack James (33) and Tim Reynolds moving the score to 28 from the first 7 overs. In somewhat of a role reversal, Jack then whacked another three fours, with the pair taking 20 runs from overs 8 and 9. Unfortunately, after reaching 33 runs from 28 balls, including 6 fours, Jack clipped a full toss straight to mid-wicket and the Bears had lost their first wicket at 47.

Adam Cavenor was giving an opportunity with the bat in this game and was moved to the #3 position. He started slowly, but soon got into his work, lofting several balls over the infield and to the fence to catch up to a pass his more senior partner as the team score moved past 100. A feature of his batting was two shots hit back over the head of Hearne for 6 and 4 in the same over. With the Bears zeroing in on the target, Cavenor hit a top edge into the vacant deep mid-wicket region, completing two runs and his maiden PGs fifty. He finished 54 not out with 6 fours and a six. Reynolds iced the game with a six to move to 49 not out (3 ours & 2 sixes). The win took just 25.2 overs, presenting the home side with a bonus point victory over their local rivals.

The team now moves inside the top four, and has destiny in their own hands in a must-win game against Gordon early next year to finish the round stage of the competition. The return to Chatswood Oval, the scene of last season’s conference final, has been keenly anticipated since the release of the fixture list!

Brewer Shield Round 9: UTS North Sydney v Sydney at Tunks International Sports Park

Sydney 4/265 (G Keating 3/53) def UTS North Sydney 9/223 (G Keating 99, E Buckley 25)

The Bears arrived at Tunks Park on a perfect cricketing day sun with a cool easterly coming in over the water, ready to take on the competition leaders from Sydney. As per usual Bernie had provided an immaculate pitch for the girls to play on. True to form, we lost our 8th consecutive toss - after a little research we have passed the records of the Australian test captains Tim Paine, Steve Smith (5) and Joe Darling (6). Lucy is fast approaching the international Test record of 10 consecutive, held by former England captain Nasser Hussain! Yet again the opposition elected to bat first.

The girls looked a little flat early with the first 10 overs finishing 0/56. They were not helped as the umpires applied a strict interpretation of the wide lines which lead to a season-high 49 sundries, nor by the solid batting from the Sydney openers providing very little opportunity. At the next of the next 10 overs things were starting to look a little dire for the team who had reverted to early season form and were struggling to take a wicket with the score 0/110 after 20.

A great spell of bowling from a variety of bowlers was able to stem the tide over the next ten limiting them to 0/148. This pressure then turned into our first wicket with Zoey Ridgway taking a simple catch off Grace Keating in the 31st over. Grace and Mabel Oxenham (0/25 off 8) continued to tighten the screws but a few loose overs at the end of this ten saw the Tigers reach 1/198 after 40. With 10 overs to go, we were looking out of the contest, but late wickets helped us contain the runs with Grace picking up her second and the prized scalp of Laura Metry for 111 and Ani Uthappa picking up our last wicket in the final over. Sydney finished their 50 overs on 4/255.

Despite last week's batting woes and an early wicket at the end of the 4th, the team knew they could chase down a total of this magnitude and got off to a solid start. Liz Buckley and Grace again batted beautifully together with the pair facing off against former junior rep teammates and reaching 1/39 after 10 overs. Unfortunately, Sydney then threw the ball to Laura Metry, fresh off her 110, and Liz pushed a little too hard on the forward defence and was caught out for 25 by the short extra cover. The pace then slowed a little as Sydney brought in the field with the girls struggling to pierce the ring with the next 10 finishing at 3/70.

Despite a middle order collapse, Grace continued to bat strongly at the other end for the second consecutive week, and saw the score through to 5/102 after 30. Grace then shifted gears and started attacking the bowling, and this pressure on the bowler combined with the previously mentioned wide lines (Sydney bowling 63 extras) allowed the Bears to score 69 runs of the next 10 and giving them a sniff at the win. Unfortunately, Grace fell after a career best 99 runs, also the highest ever score for a female Bear. Not giving up on the win, Zoey Ridgway pushed hard at the end of the innings, making 20 off 19, with the girls finishing 32 runs short.

The match despite a number of solid contributions the game really came down to a grudge match between former teammates Laura Metry (Sydney) 111 runs, 5/27 Vs Grace Keating (UTS North Sydney) 99 runs, 3/53 with Laura just taking the points. The Bears just need a little self belief to return to form with the bat so we can pick up a few more wins at the back end of the season. Next week's T20 at Manly is a good opportunity to throw caution to the wind and go for it.


Media courtesy of Tony Johnson, David James, Sarah Berman, Greg Buckley, Michael Goode, Gordon Cricket and team captains.