Week 15 Wrap vs Hawkesbury, St George-Sutherland, Campbelltown and Randwick-Petersham

1st Grade Round 10: UTS North Sydney vs Hawkesbury at Blacktown International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 5/257cc (50 Overs) (J Greenslade 69, T Jagot 51, J Rew 46) def Hawkesbury 180 (45.2 Overs) (O Knight 5/48, R Aitken 2/34)

The First Grade Bears broke their brief victory drought in comprehensive style, with a convincing win over Hawkesbury, a fitting way to send off our English star, James Rew, who departs to meet up with the England Under 19 squad in Brisbane and then travel to Sri Lanka with England Lions. The manner of Rew’s dismissal in his valedictory innings was less fitting, but more on that later…

With Mac Jenkins on the sidelines due to concussion from a blow to the head the previous week, James Campbell led the side for only the second time in his 11-year First Grade career, proudly boasting a 1 from 1 record going into the fixture. He started well, calling correctly at the toss, and chose to bat.

The Bears were boosted by the return of Tom Jagot from a layoff with an elbow injury, and took the opportunity to re-jig the batting order after three successive one-day defeats. Jagot strode to the middle with Tim Reynolds, but the new opening pair didn’t stay together long, with Reynolds caught in the slips in the fifth over.

This brought together Jagot and Rew, who combined for the best partnership of the match, 94 off 127 balls. Both began watchfully, in particular Jagot in his first innings since early November, but his innings was kick-started in the 12th over, the second delivered by one of the Hawks’ change bowlers, in which he moved from 6 to 17. At drinks after 15 overs we were 1/57, and Rew found the boundary several more times in the overs that follows, including the first six of the innings in the 25th over. But in the 26th, with the score on 110, disaster stuck when Rew took a run to mid off and Jagot realised too late, leaving his partner stranded mid-pitch. It was a sad way to end a superb season which has yielded 712 runs for the club including 441 for First Grade.

Now joined by Jimmy Greenslade, Jagot proceeded to reach his half century, but had to follow Rew back to the sheds the next ball after hitting it straight to mid-wicket. Brent Atherton (22) and Greenslade added 60 in positive fashion, putting pressure on the fielders with sharp running and completing a rare all-run four. When Atherton was caught behind, Dylan Mares took over where he had left off and Greenslade brought up his 50 off 58 balls. Both Mares (18) and Greenslade (59) were dismissed as they sought to keep up the momentum in the last few overs, knowing they had men still in the sheds. Olly Knight (18 off 9), in particular, ensured the final five were productive for the Bears, and Fletcher May hit the final ball for four to finish 7/257.

In reply, a disciplined bowling display meant wickets fell at regular intervals in the first 15 overs and the Hawks couldn’t build a partnership until they were well behind the curve. As has so often been the case this season, Olly Knight took the first – this time thanks to a fantastic catch from Brent Atherton, and he added the Hawks’ overseas import, Josh Blake, lbw shortly afterwards to put the Bears well on top at 2/26. Campbell (1/30) changed ends to replace Knight and struck immediately, and Fletcher May (1/29) got in on the act the next over to remove the new bat first ball. When the big-hitting Zac Honeybrook was bowled by Knight on his return to the attack, the score was 5/62 and the Bears smelled blood.

To gain a bonus point, we’d have needed to restrict Hawkesbury to 154 or fewer, but this the sixth wicket stand of 51 made this more challenging. Robbie Aitken broke the stand and then removed the new man to give us hope of seven, but the tail wagged just a little, with 24 added for the eighth wicket. Knight came back for his third spell and took the eighth and ninth poles, securing his maiden five wicket haul in First Grade with a catch to Rew, and celebrating accordingly! The match was wrapped up with a simple catch to the skipper, Campbell, off Sam Alexander, and the Bears enjoyed a return to winning ways.

It was particularly pleasing to see the attack of five front-line bowlers (when so often we have six or seven) do the job so convincingly, led by Knight, as well as Jagot making runs at the first opportunity back. More of the same will be needed next round against Sydney University, who sit two places ahead of us in fourth place.

2nd Grade Round 10: UTS North Sydney v Hawkesbury at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 2/117 (21.3 Overs) (G Aitken 78*, J Aitken 32*) def Hawkesbury 114 (36.3 Overs) (H Lee Young 3/1, J Aitken 3/16, J Rodgie 2/15)

Persistent drizzle meant a delayed start for 2nd grade against the Hawks at an otherwise picturesque Bon Andrews. Despite its green appearance the pitch looked good as the Bears lost the toss and bowled, early wickets would be key.

Justin Rodgie started proceedings with an 11 ball over, offering a smorgasbord of wides and no balls before finally deciding it would be appropriate to take a wicket. Having dusted off the remaining cobwebs Rodgie took another wicket in his 3rd over with Alexander claiming his first pole in his 2nd over. Another strong start with the new ball from the pair took the score to 3/15. Some good batting from the Hawks saw a partnership beginning to build making it 3/70 in the 20th over. As he has done countless times already this season James Aitken took the ball and had an immediate impact, breaking the partnership with a ball that jagged back off the seam to skittle the stumps. This was a pivotal moment in the context of the game, starting a roll of wickets and claiming 2 more to finish with 3/16 from his 7 overs. Lee-Young complimented Aitken’s control and wile with some raw pace and energy. He was highly effective in executing his plans and deploying his impressive repertoire of yorkers and bouncers. Lee-Young blasted out the tail taking 3/1 from his 3.3 overs and bowling the Hawks out for 114.

With a lush, fast Bon outfield and a good batting wicket, the Bears were confident they would be able to knock the modest total off quickly. Some quality swing bowling and control mixed with a dubious LBW saw the Bears go to 2/9. One might be forgiven for thinking that the Hawks might yet make a game of it, but when you have 2 Aitkens batting together, anything is possible. Glenn continued his immaculate form this season with a fine display of calculated aggression and power hitting finishing 78* from only 48 balls. An impressive counterpunch from Glenn with ever solid support from James (32*) saw the Bears cruise past the total in the 23rd over to seal a convincing bonus point win.

As we move to the business end of the season 2nd grade are well poised for a strong run into finals

3rd Grade Round 10: UTS North Sydney v Hawkesbury at Owen Earl Oval

UTS North Sydney 194 (48.4 Overs) (M Clark 44, N Desai 32, H Reynolds 27) def Hawkesbury 112 (29.4 Overs) (N Desai 3/7, J Graham 3/30, J Thomas 2/19)

With three wins on the bounce under their belt, 3rd grade travelled to Bensons Lane to take on the Hawks in a one dayer.

Owen Earle looked in fine fettle and the Bears were greeted by the obligatory flies on arrival to the playing surface. Skipper Lindsay won the toss and elected to bat, keen to avoid the heat and utilise the hard looking wicket.

The Bears ended up with a competitive total of 194 when they were dismissed in the 49th over. The total was probably about 25 runs short of par, but the wicket did nip around early in the innings. Max Clark’s 44 and debutant Nihal Desai’s 32 were the pick of the batsman with both lads looking fluent before their dismissals. Ultimately the Bears needed someone to get a big score to put the game out of reach.

The Bears defence got off to an ideal start with a Jack Thomas (2-19 off 8) removing both openers, one a result of a sharp catch by Desai at 2nd slip. Jacob Graham (3-30 off 7) was introduced and he removed the Hawks middle order courtesy of some tidy work behind the bat from Nevell and J Thomas. Nihal Desai (3-7 off 4) then did as all good leggies should and mopped up the tail with Lindsay and Merlehan chipping in with a wicket each.

In the end Hawksbury were dismissed for 112, 4 short of the Bonus Point target. The Bears catching was the highlight in the innings particularly John Nevell who had a great day behind the stumps with 6 dismissals. The Bears take on Syd Uni at St Paul’s and will hope to solidify their spot in the top 6.

Women's 3rd Grade Round 12: UTS North Sydney v St George Sutherland at Tunks International Sports Park 2

UTS North Sydney 4/123cc (K Robson 30*, B Robson 33*, I Selems 27) def by St George Sutherlend 2/138cc (A D’Cunha 2/8)

In our first match back for the year, we went up against St George-Sutherland in a top-of-the-table clash. We were sent in to bat, opening with Kayla Robson and Evy McKay. Kayla accelerated right from the beginning, finishing at 30* off just 14 balls, including four 4s and two massive 6s. Evy (15 off 14, including three 4s) stuck at the crease with Kayla and then with Isabel Selems (27 off 35). Bernie Robson also hit mandatory retirement, finishing on 33* off 27, with two 4s and a 6. Charlotte Moss (9) and Abby Williams (2) grabbed some quick singles in our last couple of overs for us to finish on 4/123 off our 20 overs.

After a solid batting performance, we opened up the bowling with Anjali d’Cunha and Abby Williams. Anjali’s bowling was tidy, as usual, and she picked up two wickets to finish on 2/8 off her four overs. This included a maiden over. Isabel Selems (0/24 off 4), Evy McKay (0/24 off 4), and Charlotte Moss (0/19 off 3) also had some tidy overs against a very strong St George batting line up. There were some good moments in the field, including a catch each from Bernie Robson and Isabel Selems, and consistently great keeping from Kayla Robson.

In the end, St George finished on 2/138. Everyone was happy with individual performances and our efforts to keep the loss to a minimum against such a strong team. We look forward to taking on St George again in a few rounds time in a 40-over match.

4th Grade Round 10: UTS North Sydney v Hawkesbury at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 2/135 (27.1 Overs) (C New 75*) def Hawkesbury 134 (41.3 Overs) (V Kumar 2/17, R Alexander 2/26, A MacGill 2/31, M Cole 2/41)

Another week, another morning of rain. A morning deluge welcomed the 4th grade Bears and Hawks to Tunks International Sports Park, which was enough to throw doubt about a days play into the mind of even the great Bernie. However, the master, as always, had done the work during the week, and the surface water soaked away like the sorrows of the wash out last week.

Perry won the toss, and as is customary in one day games, decided to bowl first. This time, the bears were met with stiff opposition in the form of the Hawks top order.

Wilson bowled tightly with the new ball, picking up the first wicket, and led the way in the field by honing in on the stumps from gully and running out the number 3 in the following overs.

However, the counter punch came, as the Hawks began to push the scoring rate, playing aggressively and taking the attack to Cole, MacGill and Wilson.

The bears fought back, Ray Alexander dismissing one of the danger men before drinks, caught sharply by Karan at cover. At drinks the game was in the balance with the Hawks at 3/60.

Knowing they were in a dog fight, the Bears came out hungry, and Alexander took the key wicket shortly there after to have the Hawks 4 down, caught by the man of the moment Wilson at gully.

There was some middle order resistance from the captain, but Matt Cole & Vrushab Kumar wouldn’t be denied, opening the game up with four quick wickets, Kumar in back to back deliveries. MacGill closed the innings out cleaning up the tail, with the Hawks ending their innings on 134.

In stepped Cam New. A blistering performance from ball one, sending the ball to all parts of Tunks International Sports park. He took the life and energy out of the Hawks early with dominating batting straight and square of the wicket. He was amply supported by fellow opener Dilraj Singh, and they brought the score to 70 inside of 12 overs, before Singh was dismissed.

Bonus point in sight, Nigul went out with the intent to keep the scoreboard moving, pushing 5 2s in his short stint before being dismissed for 11.

Kaustav Karan (20*) then needed no direction, playing fluently with New as the pair knocked off the total in 27.1 overs 2 down, gaining the bonus point in what was a clinical win. New 75 red was best on ground for the Bears.

The side maintain their top 3 spot on the ladder, and are looking to continue their momentum in a crucial two day match up with Sydney Uni at the other International Sports Park in Sydney, Blacktown.

5th Grade Round 10: UTS North Sydney v Hawkesbury at Bensons Lane No.2

UTS North Sydney 8/215cc (O Jennings 81, J Mannix 32) def Hawkesbury 118 (42.2 Overs) (S Vohra 3/24, O Jennings 2/14, R Adabala 2/18)

It was a Bears team low on experience but high on enthusiasm that made its way out to Benson’s Lane to take on a rising Hawks side. The pitch was hard but some tell-tale cracking made it a no-brainer to bat first when the coin fell in accordance with skipper Lavery’s sagely prognostication of “heads”.

Olly Jennings and new opener, Krishna Vanapamula, made steady progress through the early exchanges. Some exquisite strokeplay from “the Juice”, as well as some profligate bowling, allowed the Bears to move to 38 before Krishna fell. Henry Riseborough and OJ battled through some very disciplined Hawks bowling to advance the total 84 before Henry’s departure for 21 brought Jack Mannix to the crease.

Jack and the Juice batted beautifully together to add 77 before Jack was unlucky to be given out caught behind on 32. Despite OJ departing shortly after for a breathtaking 81, Kishna Dhawan (20*) and the tail batted judiciously to take the Bears’ score to 215 at the close. It was a total that looked well above par and was buttressed by 23* from the ever-pivotal W.Ides.

Eesa Omar and Tom Cole made the Hawks’ life difficult early in the Hawkesbury innings. The combination of Tom’s classic away swing and Eesa’s unconventional inward movement posed real challenges, and the open bowling duo were unlucky to only claim one wicket between them in their initial burst.

From the double bowling change, the squeeze was on as the Bears’ phalanx of spinners eagerly took advantage of a wearing track. Shiv Vohra played tempter to the Hawk’s no.3, throwing the ball further and further above the eyeline, while Ravi Adabala’s energetic leggies tied both batters in knots. As the dots piled up, Ravi claimed the other Hawks’ opener stumped before Shiv finally put an end to the torture, having the Hawk’s no.3 caught at mid-on off a steepling top edge.

From that point the Bears were dominant, with Shiv and Ravi bowling through their maximum allocations for 3 and 2 wickets respectively and going at a combined RPO of a touch above 2. The orthodox offerings of Divesh Thakur and the over-the-wrist guile of the irrepressible Juice did the rest, the Juice’s first wicket coming courtesy of an inarguable screamer at slip by J.Mannix.

Ultimately the Hawks were skittled for just 118 in the 42nd over, securing a fine win as well as a crucial bonus point. Discipline served the Bears well, with Ides accruing only 4 runs for the Hawks. It is a discipline that will be crucial going forward, with the stern challenges of Sydney Uni and Parramatta awaiting in the next two rounds.

Brewer Shield Round 12: UTS North Sydney v Campbelltown Camden at Raby Oval 1

UTS North Sydney 4/115cc (S Julien 42, K Robson 30) def Campbelltown Camden 4/84cc (S Julien 2/10, G MacDonald 1/6)

The dry heat & wide expanses of Raby greeted our Brewer girls for their opening T20 & New Year clash with Campbelltown CC on a dusty & flat Raby No. 1. Winning the toss, the Bears chose to bat & showed excellent composure & good technique to compile a more than competitive 4/ 115. The talented opening pair of Kayla Robson (30 off 34) & Shiloh Julien (42 off 48) got the bears off to a great start with a fine opening partnership of 67.

Sam Kuncham (10 off 6) came in at the fall of the first wicket & hit 2 fine boundaries to keep the momentum flowing before being run out looking for an aggressive single. Adelaide Hicks (1 off 2) came and went much the same way – backing up too aggressively to be run out at the bowler's end. Isabel Selems (11 off 14) & Cassie Watson (9 off 15) then closed out the innings in clinical fashion at 4/115.

In response Campbelltown CC struggled with the North Sydney bowlers' fine lengths & our tight fielding. Georgia MacDonald opened the bowling with an impressive 1/6 (3 overs) whilst her opening partner Sam Kuncham 0/15 (4 overs) proved very hard for The Ghosts to get away. Our fielding is improving every week & special mention of Adelaide Hicks who at short cover who showed some excellent ground fielding skills which certainly stopped several run scoring shots & thus built good pressure on The Ghosts batters.

Maddie Winslow 0/8 (3 overs & Shiloh Julien 2/10 (4 overs) then came on & restricted the Campbelltown scoring significantly before Isabel Selems 0/20 (3 overs) & Emily Aitken 0/20 (3 overs) closed out the innings. All our UTS North Sydney bowlers bowled very well (& with good control) as exemplified by our innings sundries of only 4 wides & zero no balls in 20 overs.

Overall, a clinical & methodical bonus point win from the UTS Brewer Bears which has lifted us back into the top 4! Next week we make the trip down to Wollongong to take on the Illawarra girls in a one-day match.

AW Green Shield Round 6: UTS North Sydney v Randwick Petersham at Coogee Oval

UTS North Sydney 6/264cc (N Champion 94, A Grover 63, H Riseborough 34*) def Randwick Petersham 196 (45.1 Overs) (T Cole 2/31, J Strefner 2/30, L Barber 2/36)

The Bear cubs kept their Green Shield finals chances alive beating Randwick-Petersham by 64 runs at Coogee Oval.

Bears batted first, with new opener Hugh Taylor putting on an impressive 23 from 50 with 3 boundaries while facing quick seamers and early swing. Some early wickets saw Nick Champion come in at No. 4 to join Hugh at the crease, and the pair added 49 runs before Gus Grover joined Nick, and the run rate accelerated. Gus smacked a tidy 63 from 81, then skipper Henry Riseborough joined in the run feast, hitting 34 from 25. Nick was bowled at 94 (from 120), agonisingly close to what would have been a well-deserved century. The Bears went to the break at 6/264 after an excellent steady demonstration of running with intent.

Back on the field, opening quick Riseborough took first blood, before Randwick-Petersham settled into a steady, if slow, drive to build runs. First change Ben Hannah bowled the other opener with a tidy inswinger in the 12th over, immediately followed by a snappy run-out from Naman Batish, leaving the chase at 3/41. Despite tight bowling and strong fielding, no joy followed for the Bears for another 81 runs, before the Randy Petes lost 3 in just 3 runs, with spinner Lachie Barber taking two (lbw and bowled), and the other to Aston Wijesinghe, rolling his arm over the first time in the tournament, getting his man caught by Riseborough at mid-on. The boys kept the pressure on for the next 63 runs as the required run rate kept climbing away from the home team, before the inevitable breakthrough came from opening quick Tom Cole in his second stint as Regan Bridgewater took a hard catch at deep midwicket. Seamer Josh Strefner then took 2 (bowled and lbw), and Cole neatly removed the bail from the offside stump for the final wicket, knocking RP over for 196 in the 46th over.

It was a true team effort, with a strong batting effort followed by tight fielding, and bowlers working to a well-set field.

The Bears are now 4-2 in the 7-round competition, and take on Mosman in the final round at Tunks on Thursday.

Media courtesy of Tony Johnson, Malcolm Trees, Jeff Williamson, Greg Buckley Adam Cavenor and UTS North Sydney members.