Week 21 Wrap vs Blacktown and Manly

1st Grade Round 14: UTS North Sydney vs Blacktown Mounties at North Sydney Oval

UTS North Sydney 162 (D Mares 30, T Reynolds 29, R Aitken 25) vs Blacktown Mounties 3/54 (F May 2/30)

Topsy-turvy days are becoming the norm for this First Grade side, and that’s exactly what we got again on Saturday, with a fired-up bowling display before the close keeping us in the game after a disappointing showing with the bat.

Before play, Justin Rodgie was presented with First Grade cap 689 by Sam Alexander and Jimmy Greenslade, becoming the fourth Rodgie to represent the club at the top grade after his grandfather, father and brother. It was also the first Belvidere Cup appearance for Jamieson Hedges, who made his First Grade debut in a T20 earlier in the season.

Dylan Mares and Brent Atherton opened up after Mac Jenkins won the toss, and gave us a strong start, pouncing on a few loose balls and taking the score to 34 in the twelfth over before Atherton was caught behind slashing outside the off stump off Jeremy Nunan. A few overs later, Mac Jenkins was also caught behind off Nunan, getting the finest of edges on a superb delivery to hand the Mounties keeper a regulation catch. Nunan struck again with the first ball of his next over to dismiss Greenslade first ball, and the Blacktown team were cock-a-hoop.

Tim Reynolds successfully navigated the hat-trick ball and set about rebuilding the innings, much as he had the previous week against Campbelltown. He lost Mares for a well-made 30 to another caught behind ten minutes before lunch, and the Bears went to the break at 4/78.

Things looked up for the Bears after the interval, albeit tentatively, as Reynolds and Robbie Aitken played with patience and determination, and waited for the bad ball. It took until the 11th over after lunch for either to find the boundary, as Blacktown’s leg-spinner, Smit Raval wheeled away from the southern end as the seamers rotated from the Fig Tree end, but then a few more runs flowed. The partnership reached 49 before Raval broke it, having Aitken caught at slip. Reynolds followed him back to the sheds six overs later after hitting a full toss to the man on the long boundary, attempting the six that the ball deserved.

Olly Knight played a similar innings to many this season, wasting no time to punish a couple of loose balls, including a six that bounced off the grandstand roof, but chipped one to mid on attempting another big shot off Raval and was dismissed for 19. With Raval having bowled non-stop since the 11th over, 66 had been bowled before tea, and the Bears took tea at 7/144. After the break, the tail added a further 18 and we were dismissed for 162 in the 79th over, with Raval taking five in an extraordinary spell of 34.3 overs.

Blacktown’s over rate meant that a further 18 overs were left in the day, but Knight (1/18) needed only until the third to make the first breakthrough, forcing former Bear, Eknoor Singh, to chop on. Fletcher May opened up from the other end, and switched ends after his first three to replace Knight at the Fig Tree end. The switch produced the desired results immediately, as he trapped Puru Gaur lbw first ball, followed up with a clean bowled with the next delivery to reduce the Mounties to 3/29.

At the other end, another ex-Bear, Rafay Shirazi, played confidently to finish the day 41* out of his team’s 3/54, after surviving a big lbw shout off May in the 15th over. Hedges bowled four tight overs for three runs, and Rodgie went for two off two – there’s a bigger role for both to play next week with all to play for.

2nd Grade Round 14: UTS North Sydney v Blacktown Mounties at Joe McAleer Oval

No play due to rain

3rd Grade Round 14: UTS North Sydney v Blacktown Mounties at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 8d/311 (F Nixon Tomko 82, A Amir 70, O Jago Lewis 49, C New 33, H Reynolds 32, K Karan 25) (68 Overs) v Blacktown Mounties 2/25 (10 Overs)

Thirds were hoping to continue from where they left off after a strong performance vs Campbelltown in Round 13.

Bon Andrews was looking a treat which was a credit to the groundsman after a wet week and the debacle involving a helicopter ripping the covers off on Tuesday evening. Skipper Lindsay won the toss and elected to bat on a flat hard surface.

Cam New and Finn Nixon-Tomko got the bears off to a fast start with New punishing any poor bowling, before he was dismissed for 33 in the 10th over with the score on 51. Ahmer Amir joined Finn and they put on 98 for the 2nd wicket. Amir was dismissed for a well made 70 in which he was particularly aggressive towards the Blacktown spinners.

Hamish Reynolds (33) and Ray Alexander (11) also batted around Finn who was the rock of the innings with a well compiled 82.

The Bears were looking to have a bowl at Blacktown before the close of play and Oscar Jago Lewis (49) and Kaustav Karan (25) accelerated the run rate brilliantly to make the declaration a reality. OJLs knock was off approx 20 balls and was a whirlwind innings with some outrageous power hitting.

Ultimately the Bears declared their innings closed at 8/311 with 10 overs left in the day. Toby Laybutt and Pat Lindsay grabbed a wicket each - both thanks to some sharp slips catching from Jacob Graham. The warriors finished 2/25 and thirds feel well placed heading into day 2.

Women's 3rd Grade Round 18: UTS North Sydney v Manly Warringah at Tunks International Sports Park 2

UTS North Sydney 8/133 cc (B Robson 36, I Selems 26) def Manly Warringah 8/129 cc (A Dongre 3/23, E McKay 3/29)

The closest match of the season! The supporting crowd of mostly men's 5th grade players were counting down every run and every ball with us ... super exciting!

But let's start at the beginning ...

On Saturday we took on Manly in a must-win match. It was the last round of our regular season, and we were sitting in 5th place, just 0.5 points behind Parramatta in 4th place. Parramatta had a bye, so our formula was simple: win and we make semi's; lose or get rained out, and we're out. Pressure on.

The Tunks outfield was slow after the rain, and boundaries were hard to come by. We were thinking 160-180 would be a par score; 200 would be better! If we could reach 30 after 10 overs, 70 after 20, 120 after 30 and 180 after 40, we'd be well set. Plans look so good ahead of time, right?

We won the toss, and elected to bat. Sarah Gibbons (7) and Bernie Robson (36) got us off to a solid start against Manly’s strong openers, with our left-right combination working well to disrupt some very good bowling. We were close to our targeted 30 runs off 10, just 2 runs short and only 1 wicket down. Evy McKay (13) joined Bernie at the crease, as the pair tried to accelerate the run rate. We lost a couple more wickets in quick succession and were in a bit of trouble and behind the plan at 4-68 off 20 overs. Kayla Robson (17) came to the middle for a quick and very effective cameo, including two magnificent 6s; she was one of only two batters with a strike rate of more than 100 from both teams. But at 7-89 off 26 overs, we were in deep trouble. Plan, what plan, make sure you bat out all the overs, every run is gold. Isabel Selems (26) and Anna Peterson (8*) were brilliant, creating a partnership that stabilised the innings as we fought our way to 133 off our 40 overs; not an extraordinary score, but just enough to give us a chance.

We knew Manly had a few key batters that we had to target in the early overs if we wanted to stay in the game. Anjali d’Cunha (1/19 off 7) and Anushka Dongre (3/23 off 7) got us off to a great start, but it was clear Manly’s openers were ready to fight back. Our first wicket came from an amazing caught behind from Amy Gibbons off Anushka’s bowling. Nanthana Bhavan (0/12 off 5) and Emily Aitken (0/25 off 6) gave us some more tidy overs. The breakthrough came from Evy McKay (3/29 off 7) who took the wicket of Manly’s other opener, with a brilliant catch from Anna Peterson. After 25 overs Manly were 2-91, needing only 43 runs off 15 overs with 8 wickets standing. We realised that at the same point in the game we had 89 runs, ust 2 runs in it really and much closer than everyone realised, but we'd need some wickets and plenty of dot balls ...

Returning after drinks, Evy took the wicket of Manly’s captain who was striking at a threatening rate, through a perfect catch from Kayla Robson on the boundary in what would otherwise have been a six. What a moment!. Isabel Selems (1/19 off 8) was rewarded for tight bowling with an LBW and less than an over later, Amy Gibbons and Evy McKay combined to dismiss another batter through a quick-as-a-flash stumping. Manly were now 5/95 with about 12 overs left, and the Bears were pumped!

A pair of Manly batters then began to form a bit of a partnership, until Anushka Dongre took a much-needed LBW in the 34th over. Emily, Isabel, and Anjali provided more tidy overs with plenty of critical dot balls, each cheered now by the building crowd. Manly started feeling the pressure and started swinging hard, but we stuck to our guns and bowled the tightest line-and-length bowling of our entire season, giving them absolutely nothing to work with. It came down to Manly needing 19 off the last 4 overs, then 11 runs off the last 2 overs. The crowd were losing their minds! World cups are nothing compared with this!

2nd last over, our opener Anjali bowling ... dot, dot, dot, one. Great start! 10 needed off 8 balls. The power of dots. Dots lead to pressure, pressure leads to wickets, 5th ball ... WICKET!

One more dot to finish the over. Manly need 10 runs off the last over. For the first time we feel we might actually win this ...

The Manly team are now all sitting at the sideline, screaming instructions, losing their minds too. Both coaches have lost all fingernails. Strangers in the crowd are staring at each other in amazement. Everyone recites and agrees ... 10 off 6.

Anushka to bowl the final over.


Dot. Crowd goes wild!

One. Crowd nods wildly in agreement with each other, that's OK.

9 needed off 3. Captain moves the field again. Batters chat in the middle.

Two. Nervous chatter.

Two. More nervous chatter. Crowd is restless. Everyone double-checks the scorebook, scoreboard, fielding positions, laws of cricket, TV rights, book sales, ... check.

Four runs needed off the last ball.

Everyone on the boundary. Don't bowl short!

Anushka running in ... nobody breathing ... it's a yorker! ... MIDDLE STUMP FLYING OUT OF THE GROUND!!!!

We've won! We've beaten Manly for the first time ever. We're in the semi finals!

Celebrations, hugs everywhere, high fives all round, biggest smiles ever. And that's just the men's 5th graders! Our players are doing the same. Huge smiles and joy all round.

What a game! You just have to love cricket.

We now look forward to taking on St-George this weekend in a 1st v 4th semi-final clash. Another tough game, it should be fantastic!

4th Grade Round 14: UTS North Sydney v Blacktown Mounties at Jim Hanshaw Oval

UTS North Sydney 9/251 (80 Overs) (R Broom 92, A Nigul 67, H Riseborough 30) v Blacktown Mounties

After a mid-week deluge, the Bears were eager to see how the playing surface would be presented at Jim Hanshaw Oval, and the were greeted by a similar wicket to at Blacktown International Sports Park a few weeks back, lots of dry grass covering and hard underneath.

Perry lost the toss and the Blacktown skipper did not hesitate to send the Bears in. The hosts made the most of their decision, picking up Jennings and Singh early in the peace to put the bears on the back foot. Nigul and Matt Cole steadied the ship, taking the score past 50 and into the second quarter of the days play.

Cole was undone by a little nibble off the pitch, and Perry came and went, enter Robin Broom.

Throughout the season Broom has shown flashes of his destructive ability, but it was on full display today. Brutally taking down the Blacktown attack, through and over cover, straight and square. He was supported by Nigul who rotated the strike and kept the scoreboard moving while Broom dealt heavy blows.

The Bears entered post tea in a strong position, the pair further continuing their partnership through the 3rd session of the day, dismantling the Mounties pace attack.

The heat and lack of wickets saw Blacktown’s heads drop, and Broom cashed in, lifting the scoring rate significantly, before he was dismissed unluckily on 92. A classy innings on a difficult wicket set the Bears up for a mammoth score.

Nigul continued to play the anchor role, rotating the strike and allowing the fresh legs of Riseborough to hit through and over the field. After 70 overs in the middle, Nigul played a loose shot to end his innings while trying to further up the run rate. His grit and grind was the backbone of the innings and his patience was second to none.

Cameos from Kumar, Balbi and debutant Tom Cole helped push the total over 250 to end the day and put the Bears in a commanding position heading into week two.

5th Grade Round 14: UTS North Sydney v Blacktown Mounties at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 112 (75 Overs) (M Lloyd 33) v Blacktown Mounties 1/15 (8 Overs)

Brewer Shield Round 18: UTS North Sydney v Manly Warringah at North Sydney Oval

UTS North Sydney 3/107 (22.1 Overs) (S Julien 35*, K Robson 34*) def Manly Warringah 106 (46.1 Overs) (E Aitken 3/32, S Kuncham 2/7, G MacDonald 2/11)

It’s not every day that you get to play at the home of women’s cricket in Australia. Today’s Brewer Shield match against Manly at North Sydney Oval was a first for the female UTS North Sydney Bears. A huge thanks to North Sydney Council, Kieran and his ground staff for making this dream a reality.

The Manly side won the toss and elected to bat on a firm wicket tinged with green. The new ball pair of Georgia MacDonald and Madeleine Winslow again set the tone for the fielding innings with a miserly opening spell. Georgia made the initial breakthrough, bowling the opener all ends up. She quickly followed this up with another wicket, a strangle down the leg side that was taken beautifully by the keeper, Karman Jawanda. At the ten over mark, Sam Kuncham and Emily Aitken were introduced into the attack. The patient, tight bowling continued and it wasn’t long before this again bore fruit, with another lovely caught behind to Karmen off the bowling of Emily. Shiloh took over from Emily from the fig tree end and had immediate success, trapping the number five batter LBW. The Bears chased down everything, threw themselves around in the field and made countless great saves. With pressure building, Isabel Selems charged in as usual and shaped a lovely seed away from the dogged opener. She had already had a few lives, but the end of the road finally arrived as she edged to Karmen. Thirty-two overs down and Manly were 5 for 70.

Maddy was then reintroduced into the attack and picked up from where she left off, bowling well in tandem with Shiloh. After several more overs of tight bowling, Maddy seamed a good length ball through the gate and rattled the top of the stumps. Six wickets down. The Manly batters fought hard and nicked and nudged their way to eighty. Sam’s second spell from the city end was as unbelievably frugal as the first. She then received a just reward for her toils, drawing a false shot and Shiloh neatly grabbing a sliced cover drive. Emily was then reintroduced from the fig tree end and claimed the next two wickets, rattling the pegs on both occasions and finishing with three wickets. It was then up to Sam to end proceedings and she did so in short order. The final batter heard the death rattle and Sam finished with the incredible figures of 9.1 overs, 2 maidens, 7 runs and 2 wickets. Manly were bowled out in the forty-sixth over for an under par 106 runs.

The Bears batting inning started with a bang. Liz Buckley crunched an immaculate cover drive and we were under way. The openers combined power with delicate touch to move the score along to 0 for 21 after 4 overs. Liz then crunched a lofted off drive to long off and was beautifully caught for 14 runs. The score was now 1 for 27 off 6 overs. Sam then came to the crease, struck a lovely pull shot off the spinner before being deceived in flight and chipped a catch to the bowler. Adelaide Hicks was then bowled by a beautifully placed yorker and we were suddenly three down. Shiloh Julien quickly counter punched with three quick boundaries to take the score to 3 for 54. After weathering some fiery overs a partnership was established. Kayla launched a bomb towards the Doug Walters Stand and we were back on track and accelerating towards the target. From that point on the runs flowed like a river as Kayla and Shiloh smashed the downcast Manly bowlers to all parts of North Sydney Oval. Shiloh finished unbeaten on 35 and Kayla on 34. The Bears easily ran down the total in twenty-two overs. Another dominant performance at the home of the Bears and two bonus points to boot.

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