Week 19 Wrap vs Parramatta, Gordon and Penrith

1st Grade Round 12: UTS North Sydney vs Parramatta at North Sydney Oval

UTS North Sydney 115 (J Aitken 29) & 3/75 (B Atherton 46*) def by Parramatta 264 (J Campbell 5/43, J Aitken 2/46, H May 2/51)

The Bears resumed on day 2 at 1/15, having cruelly lost Dylan Mares off the last ball of scheduled play the previous week. Thankfully the Oval had largely dried out after mid-week rain and the sun was shining, but the pitch remained tricky as it had been at the start of day 1.

After five overs of resolute defence from Brent Atherton and Tom Jagot, Atherton was caught in the slips, the first of six wickets to fall in a horror session for the Bears. After losing Atherton, Jimmy Greenslade, Tim Reynolds and Robbie Aitken over the course of nine overs, Jagot found a willing accomplice in James Aitken, and the pair added 34 together. But when Jagot was caught for a composed 23 with the score 6/79, it was probably fair to say much of the Bears’ hope was lost, despite Parramatta having been in a similar position the previous week. Aitken top-scored with 29, including a six off the otherwise tight bowling of Hayden Goulstone, and the Bears were bundled out for 115 inside 48 overs to lose by 149 on first innings.

After the law book was checked for the follow on rules and it was confirmed as 100 behind, we were sent back in with 52 overs still to bowl. When Mares, Jagot and Reynolds were all back in the sheds by the 11th over, fears were high of a second successive outright defeat. But Parra were short a bowler (after Evan Pitt, their hero of day 1, pulled up with a side strain in the first innings), and Brent Atherton and Tim Reynolds knuckled down to build a partnership. Atherton was fluent throughout, reaching 46* off just 61 balls, while Reynolds took longer to get going – he was on 3 off his first 43 balls before unfurling three successive fours to the delight of his team-mates, and later a six to make sure we all knew he was back.

Parramatta threw in the towel earlier than we might have expected, at 3/75 off 27 overs, with little assistance left in the pitch or energy in their depleted bowling attack and happy to return to the west with six points. Meanwhile, the Bears took some encouragement from the return to form of two of their key batters, and look forward to Mac Jenkins’s likely return for Round 13. A finals place now looks out of reach, but there’s plenty of pride still at stake for our First Grade side.

2nd Grade Round 12: UTS North Sydney v Parramatta at Old Kings

UTS North Sydney 8/288d (103 Overs) (G Aitken 93*, M Clark 52, A Cavenor 43) def by Parramatta 4/289 (84.2 Overs) (A Cavenor 2/53)

2s turned up at a sweltering hot Old Kings and decided to keep on batting. The pair of Glen Aitken and Jamieson Hedges put on a quick fire 20-odd each, Glenn finishing on 93*.

The Bears knew it was going to a tough one against a strong Parramatta batting side, but they battered away, keeping things tight for the first 30 overs. After lunch the Parra batters started to pull away. Captain Justin Rodgie cycled through bowlers, eventually throwing the ball to part timer Adam Cavenor, who bowled 15 overs.

On an incredibly flat and docile wicket, there were only 4 wickets in the day and 11 wickets in the game. Cavenor opened the game up with 2 wickets to give the Bears a sniff, and a wicket to Rodgie and Lachlan Roughley but after another partnership, the game fell to Parra late in the day.

3rd Grade Round 12: UTS North Sydney v Parramatta at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 162 (R Alexander 47, A Thomas 45) (61.2 Overs) def by Parramatta 8/284d (80 Overs) (I Merlehan 3/63, P Lindsay 2/79)

With Parramatta declaring 8-284 overnight, the Bears had it all to do on a hard Bon Andrews wicket.

Unfortunately we got off to the worst possible start slumping to 3-10 off the back of some careless stroke play.

Aidan Thomas (45) and Ray Alexander (47) continued their strong runs of form, putting on 87 for the 4th wicket, before Ray was dismissed just before tea.

AT followed shortly after tea and that was the match with Jacob Graham (18), Pat Lindsay (21*) and Toby Laybutt (11) showing some resolve, as we were bowled out for 162 in the 62nd over.

A disappointing result, with the Bears not playing their best cricket during the match. We look forward to bouncing back vs the Ghosts in a one dayer in Round 13.

Women's 3rd Grade Round 16: UTS North Sydney v Gordon at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 169 (E Aitken 38, B Robson 33, K Robson 33) (37.4 Overs) def by Gordon 8/173 cc (E Aitken 2/28, A d’Chunha 2/27)

This weekend we took on Gordon in a close match, battling to make it to the finals. After losing the toss, we were sent into the field. This week we had more bowlers than we were used to, but Anjali d’Cunha (2/27 off 7) and Evy McKay (1/24 off 5) opened the bowling. Gordon got off the mark quickly, creating pressure for us to take wickets. Anushka Dongre (1/24 off 5), Nanthana Bhavan (1/21 off 6, including one maiden), and Emily Aitken (2/28 off 7) all did their part, helping us on our way to keeping Gordon to 8/173.

Going in to bat, Sarah Gibbons (14 runs) and Bernie Robson (33) got us off to a good start, creating a stable base for our innings. Things were looking good until our run rate slowed when we lost a few quick wickets. Emily Aitken (38) came to the crease to stabilise our innings once again, coming out in the 12th over and lasting until the 37th. Kayla Robson arguably had the most exciting innings of the weekend and put us back in with a fighting chance. She scored 33 off 21 balls, including three 6s and two 4s, all while batting with a sore quad. In the end, we didn’t have it in us, our last batter being dismissed with a heartbreaking runout call, just four runs off our target. We have a bye this weekend but take on Manly in a must-win match the week after.

4th Grade Round 12: UTS North Sydney v Parramatta at Merrylands Oval

UTS North Sydney 181 (67.1 Overs) (A Perry 59, D Singh 43, V Kumar 26) def by Parramatta 3/182 (60.2 Overs) (V Kumar 2/44)

A similar pitch greeted both sides at Merrylands Oval on yet another glorious day for cricket. With temperatures sweltering to above 38 degrees throughout the course of play, it was going to be a tough task for the bears to take the 6 points on an even flatter wicket than the previous week.

The side bowled tightly early, Charles and Balbi picking up where they left off the previous week, creating chances that the fielders couldn’t snare.

Kumar and Adabala were injected into the game, and chances continued to present themselves as the two overnight batsmen began to take risks. Kumar finally broke through after numerous missed chances, trapping the number three leg before. He followed it up the very next ball with another leg before, bringing the score to 3/100, the match back in the balance after a big partnership.

A couple of loose overs before tea let the home side off the hook, and from there despite the grind after tea, the Parramatta batsmen showed patience and class to take the six points comfortably.

Missed opportunities on day two and leaving runs on the board day one cost the Bears this one.

Campbelltown at Raby next week, the Bears look to get back to winning ways as things start to heat up in the race for the top six and seeding spots.

5th Grade Round 12: UTS North Sydney v Parramatta at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 76 (48.4 Overs) & 0/39 (22 Overs) (N Batish 27*) def by Parramatta 7/186d (57 Overs) (E Omar 3/22, T Cole 2/17)

It was the best of grinds, it was the worst of grinds, it was the spear of Omar, it was the swing of Cole, it was the guile of Vohra, it was the rotations of Thakur, it was the flash of Batish, it was the grit of the silver fox, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all reversing to the outright, we were all going direct the other way.

In short, for good or for evil, we all went home at a quarter past four, no points the richer or poorer.

Brewer Shield Round 16: UTS North Sydney v Penrith at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 9/188 cc (S Julien 57, S Kuncham 40) def by 191 (49.1 Overs) (A Uthappa 4/17, S Kuncham 2/38, S Julien 2/21)

If you were looking for reasons for UTS North Sydney to be given a second grade team next season, you need look no further than this match. The Round 16 clash with Penrith was shaping up to be an excellent challenge for our girls. Hot on the heels of some thumping victories, the Bears were to be facing off against a Panthers team that had been stacked full of players boasting plenty of second grade experience. Our girls went toe to toe for the duration of the match, with only a couple of pieces of fielding brilliance splitting the two teams.

The Penrith side batted first on a hard, greenish deck and were soon one wicket down thanks to an assured catch by Shiloh Julien off the bowling of Georgia MacDonald. The new ball was eventually seen off and a partnership blossomed for the capable Penrith top order. The runs flowed until Sam Kuncham skittled the number three and the spinners were introduced into the attack. After toiling away with a steady leak of runs, Shiloh claimed two wickets in quick succession before Emily Aitken claimed another. However, the quality Penrith opener continued to resist and kept her score rolling along at almost a run a ball. Anjali Uthappa was the solution to this problem. She tempted the opener with a well flighted ball that drew a drive, rather than her characteristic cross bat stroke play. She was deceived in flight and was snapped up with a tidy running catch from Emily at mid-on. With the backbone of the innings broken, Ani went on to dismantle the lower order and finished with figures of seven overs, four wickets for seventeen runs. Sam then castled the number ten batter and the innings was over in the 49th over.

The Bears welcomed back Liz Buckley and she started where she left off, crunching two boundaries and a six. The innings was off to a flyer by the time she was dismissed, but this only brought Sam Kuncham to the crease and the misery continued for the Panthers. She combined with Shiloh to lift the total toward the hundred and the Bears were in total control. But an accidental drag down from the opposition leggie was Sam’s undoing, chipping a mistimed turn off the hip to square leg. An in form Adelaide Hicks confidently strode to the crease and it was looking like the Panthers’ pain would continue, but a brilliant throw right over the bails at the bowler's end from the boundary saw her run out attempting a two. This wicket meant that the Bears batters went back into their shells in order to rebuild, allowing the accurate Penrith bowlers to reign in the run rate. Isabel Selems found her feet and stroked three much needed boundaries, but just as her momentum was building, she crunched a lofted drive to long on and was brilliantly caught. Eva Jenns joined Shiloh as Penrith tightened the infield in an attempt to choke off the runs. Unfortunately, this partnership was not allowed to blossom as Shiloh was dismissed LBW and the anchor of our inning was dislodged. Sam Williams came in with positive intent and joined Eva in trying to kick start the scoring. The girls ran hard and contributed a few crucial boundaries, before Sam was dismissed with the Bears still having some work to do in order to reel in the total. Emily and Georgia both played expansive hots from ball one and departed cheaply. Eight wickets down and the situation looked grim, but the Bears fought to the end. Madeleine Winslow joined Eva. A few singles, a pull to leg for Eva and a slash through point, followed by a beautifully timed drive from Maddie and we needed four off the last ball to win. The faultless Penrith fielding again raised its head and the innings ended with a sharp caught and bowled.

Even though we were narrowly edged out of a victory, this match was a wonderful learning experience and proof that our girls can go blow for blow with second grade players. This match could have gone either way, but Penrith were slightly better than us in the field. In a game of inches, this made all the difference. Until we meet again, Penrith.

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