Week 5 Wrap vs Mosman, Gordon, Sydney and Randwick-Petersham

1st Grade Round 3: UTS North Sydney v Mosman at North Sydney Oval

UTS North Sydney 6/321 (J Greenslade 118*, J Rew 91, R Aitken 52*) def Mosman 320 (J Campbell 6/55, O Knight 3/81)

In last week’s report, we hinted at a tantalising contest in store for Day 2, and that is exactly what we got – one of the finest days’ cricket this correspondent has enjoyed in five seasons with the Bears. The ultimate win being thanks to a combination of two phenomenal young cricketers (with seven First Grade caps between them) and Premier Cricket’s all-time most capped player (in his 513th First Grade appearance) is a delightful narrative for a very special day.

Like any good story, there were twists and turns along the way – more on those later – but the day began with more of a stutter with Brent Atherton bowled by the very first ball. Rain during the week meant there was a lot more life in the pitch than there had been the previous Saturday, and the Mosman opening quicks had their tails up after the early wicket. James Rew, in his long-awaited first showing with the bat in Bears colours, and Justin Avendano weathered the storm, patiently seeing off some testing bowling. After four successive maidens, the score was 1/13 off 9 overs, before Dean Crawford’s length strayed and Avendano took 15 off the over. Unfortunately, the high didn’t last, with Justin sent back lbw for 23 the next over. The Bears were 2/28 and Elijah Eales had the James Campbell-like figures of 2/5 off 6.

Tom Jagot came to the crease and Rew upped a gear, taking four fours off Eales’s next three overs, and a couple from the new bowler, Zac Hall, for good measure as his skipper too got into his work. A fluent partnership of 43 was brought to an end when Jagot was caught behind for 15, and Rew returned to watchful mode in the run-up to lunch and with Matt Moran giving little away as he entered the attack. We lost Jenkins just before the break to a brilliant caught and bowled by fellow left-arm spinner, Jayden Park, and little did we know as Jimmy Greenslade walked in that this was the beginning of a brilliant partnership. Moran practically sprinted back to his mark to get an extra over in before lunch, but the resolute defence of Rew held firm, Greenslade didn’t have to face a ball, and the session ended at 4/79 with Rew 39*. With Greenslade in just his second First Grade two-day innings and the lower order short of batting opportunity last season due to so much limited overs cricket, I don’t think I was the only Bears faithful a little concerned about the situation!

After lunch, it was a classic case of “start again” with the Whales bowlers rejuvenated by Kathy’s hamburgers and giving little away. In what ended up being a pivotal moment, Greenslade was dropped by Peter Forrest at short mid-wicket in the sixth over back, but that was the last mistake either young Bear made in the session, and the partnership blossomed. Rew brought up 50 off 117 balls with a beautiful lofted drive over mid-wicket, his ninth four, which seemed to super-charge the chase. From here, the runs flowed, in particular from Greenslade who hit 13 boundaries in the session, while Rew delighted his team-mates watching on with several reverse sweeps and the first six of the day. Mosman heads went down, and their scorer declared the game to be “slipping away”, as no matter what bowling combination was tried, the runs kept flowing. At tea, the score was 4/209, with 112 more required but 130 having been scored in the session with no loss.

And then the big twist, which made the target feel a very long way away – Rew adjudged lbw to Eales on the first ball back, followed by Knight edging behind two overs later. Eales, who was magnificent for the Whales (and eventually bowled a mammoth shift of 27 overs) had four poles, and Mosman were rampant knowing they were right back in the game. Enter Robbie Aitken, and we all know how it ends, but there was no shortage of nerves in the

Bears’ camp when a big caught behind shout went up on 228. As players from other grades filed into North Sydney Oval after their own games ended early, and Greenslade closed in on three figures, Matt Alexander was shadow batting in front of the grandstand, wondering if and when he’d be called upon.

But in the end, it all happened remarkably quickly. Greenslade smashed two bombs to get to 97, and punished a short, wide one from the tired Eales to bring up a hundred that nobody in the ground will ever forget, least of all Jimmy himself. Although the job wasn’t quite done – 25 to win so another wicket would certainly have kept the Whales interested – the momentum was all ours. Aitken too hit them beautifully, bringing up his own half century (his 40th for the club in First Grade!) in just 65 balls before Greenslade had the last laugh – four fours in quick succession to seal the win with 11 overs to spare in the day, a roar from the crowd and a song sung very loud and very proud.

The contribution of Rew, who kept us in the contest as wickets fell around him and deserved a ton for his masterclass in pacing an innings, will not be forgotten, and nor will James Campbell, who bowled his heart out on Day 1. But the day belonged to Greenslade – the statistics of 118 undefeated off 177 balls with 21 fours and two sixes (that’s over 80% in boundaries) and sharing two 100+ partnerships rather speak for themselves! To score your maiden ton in any form of cricket at North Sydney Oval, in front of half of the club and your parents, against your old club… does it get any better?!

2nd Grade Round 3: UTS North Sydney v Mosman at Allan Border Oval

UTS North Sydney 214, 85.5 Overs (G Aitken 95*, J Hedges 43) def by Mosman 9/218, 81.5 Overs (J Rodgie 2/20, H Lee Young 2/21, L Roughley 2/41)

After some determined and courageous batting on day 1 the bears were defending 214 on an overcast day 2. The wicket looked to have a bit in it for the bowlers after some weather during the week and it was vital that the bowlers were patient and disciplined in order to capitalise on favourable conditions.

They were able to do just that with Justin Rodgie starting proceedings, consistently hitting the right areas and letting the pitch do just enough, picking up both openers. Fletcher May was also impressive, supporting Rodgie, hitting the deck hard and asking questions of the Mosman batters. A combination of energy in the field, disciplined bowling and a well looked after ball meant the bowlers took 4/50 in the first session, keeping the Bears well and truly in the game.

The middle session was no different, with discipline and patience the name of the game. James Aitken was impressive as always, restricting the flow of runs, tying up an end and challenging both edges of the bat. This allowed the other bowlers to be rotated in short bursts at the other end, each contributing and having an immediate impact with wickets shared evenly across the board. Harri Lee-Young and Lachlan Roughley impressed, bowling with courage and energy to create chances that moved the game forward in the Bears favour.

A mighty combined effort from the bowling unit got us to within a wicket of victory but unfortunately there simply weren’t enough runs on the board to defend. Contributions from Glenn Aitken, Jamieson Hedges and the lower order with the bat gave us the opportunity to get close but with some more from the top order, 2nd grade will certainly be a force to be reckoned with come finals time.

3rd Grade Round 3: UTS North Sydney v Mosman at Bon Andrews

UUTS North Sydney 5d/376, 80 Overs (D Mares 119*, O Jago Lewis 65, M Clark 54, J Nevell 59, C New 30, R Alexander 25) def Mosman 169 (N Whyte 4/44, D Mares 2/8, H May 2/32)

3s arrived at Bon Andrews to clear skies and pulled back the covers to find a slightly tacky wicket - a result of Friday rain. The declaration was a formality and the Bears would defend 376.

Harrison May and Chris Savage started proceedings and struck early. The Big Horse had one of the openers LBW not offering a shot and the took the edge of the #3. Sav took the edge of the other opener and it was 3-20. A perfect start.

Nuwan Whyte was introduced and he struck immediately removing the skipper cheaply and the score was 4-26. A little further into his spell Whyte broke a small partnership that was developing in a double wicket over, reducing Mosman to 6-56 and the game over as a contest.

From here the Whales lower order played with freedom before they were bowled out for 169 in the 50th over. Mares complemented his 119* with a miserly 2/8 off 7 to be a clear man of the match. Whyte was the pick of the bowlers however, finishing with 4/44 of 9.4 overs.

A thumping win for the Bears who returned to the winners circle. No doubt the side enjoyed the pick of the conditions and will need to be on top form to tackle the Stags next round.

Women's 3rd Grade Round 3: UTS North Sydney v Gordon at Koola Park

Gordon 2/113cc, 20 Overs (E McKay 1/13, A Williams 1/15) def UTS North Sydney 6/99cc, 20 Overs (E McKay 33*, B Robson 30*)

Coming off an amazing win last week, all the 3rd-grade girls were keen to take to the park against Gordon.

After losing the toss, Gordon sent us in to field. Wickets proved hard to come by, with just a few half chances in the field. After Gordon’s openers hit the mandatory retirement of 30 runs, we started to capitalise in the field with some great individual performances. Wickets came from Abby Williams (1/15) with a caught behind from Amy Gibbons, and Evy McKay (1/13). Anjali d'Cunha also had a very tidy 4 overs (0/13) and was unlucky to finish without any wickets to her name. Spirits were up with great fielding displays and teamwork all around, Gordon ultimately scoring 113.

We were hopeful, sending Sarah Gibbons and Bernie Robson to get us started with the bat. Sarah soaked up a great number of balls from Gordon’s openers, and Bernie (30*) retired for the third week in a row, scoring 4 boundaries, off just 22 balls. Evy McKay went in next, also retiring (33*) off 22 balls, with 6 boundaries. Evy was joined at the crease by Anna Lucas who put in the leg work, earning us lots of risky singles. With just 25 balls left to go, we needed 26 runs. Unfortunately, our run rate slowed down with Gordon’s tidy fielding. Despite our triumphant efforts to sneak in as many singles as we could in the last couple of overs, we finished on 99 runs, disappointed but excited for our next match.

4th Grade Round 3: UTS North Sydney v Mosman at Balmoral Oval

Mosman 101 (39.3 Overs) (J Graham 4/27, S Balbi 3/31, J Thomas 2/15) & 84 (26.5 Overs) (J Graham 3/16, I Merlehan 3/36 S Balbi 2/14, J Thomas 2/6) def outright by UTS North Sydney 8d/223 (54.5 Overs) (A Amir 67, A Thomas 46, I Merlehan 35)

After a convincing win on day 1 the 4th grade Bears returned to Balmoral with 10 points in their sights.

Dylan Johnson and Rhys Burinaga returned to the crease to add to the Bears lead. The loss of Dylan quickly brought Izaak Merlehan to the wicket who dispatched the Mosman bowlers in all areas of the ground before hitting a juicy full toss straight to mid wicket for 35. Jacob Graham continued in Izaak footsteps playing some solid strokes and finding the boundary. Ravi finished off the Bears innings hitting a glorious slog sweep for a one bounce four. The Bears declared 15 overs into the day 122 in front.

Sol Balbi steamed in again from the Beach end and whilst the Mosman openers showed more resistance than their first innings they didn’t hang around long with Sol cleaning up the leg stump of the number 1 stick. Jack Thomas provided support from the other end bowling his usual line and length opening with 3 maidens. Wickets continued to tumble from both ends with some tidy catching in the slip section. Jacob Graham replaced Balbi at the Beach end and continued his fine form with the ball snicking off the Mosman batters in multiple occasions with his little nibble off the wicket.

The Bears went comfortably into tea with Mosman 5 down.

The Bears took no mercy returning to the field after tea with a slips catch snagged in the mitts of Rhys Burrinaga off Graham. Izaak Merlehan soon grabbed the ball with both hands proving to be too quick for the Mosman batters, cannoning his off spinners into the front pad of the Mosman middle order. Fielders were under the lid and around the bat as the Bears hunted the final whale.

Overall an outstanding display of cricket from the Bears as they took away the 10 points bowling Mosman out for 84 in the second innings. The 4th grade Bears showed a high level with the bat, ball and in the field and proving their dominance, which they look to continue into next weeks rivalry clash with Gordon.

5th Grade Round 3: UTS North Sydney v Mosman at Tunks International Sports Park

Mosman 91 (H Riseborough 6/23, V Kumar 2/30) & 7/153 (54 Overs) (S Vohra 3/26, H Charles 2/30) def by UTS North Sydney 150 (A Nigul 39)

After a glorious day one, the Bears returned to the home of cricket on a pristine Saturday, looking to acquire four more points to assert their dominance at the top of the ladder.

However, before the side even got to game day, the day one hero Riseborough injured his foot during the week, putting a big blow into their bears hopes for the full ten points.

The Bears batted on from where they left off, with cameos from Kumar, Vohra and Vanapamula to lift the hosts to a lead of 69 heading into the second dig.

Early wickets to Henry Charles set the scene for an exciting afternoon, with the Bears gaining momentum early and captain Wilson with his tail up, another miserly 0/7 off 7 with the ball. However Mosman began to fight back taking the sting out of the game with some tenacious batting.

There were plenty of chances created through the middle and late afternoon by the spin trio of Kumar, Thakur and Vohra, with the group taking five combined wickets, but could have been many more.

With time running down in the day, the Whales finished on 7/153, 93 ahead of the Bears leaving the home side with too much to do in too little time, the captains shook hands and called it a day.

An afternoon of what could have been for the 5s side, four points potentially slipping away. However, a convincing win non the less and continuing to pace the competition. They now turn their attention to next week, which sees a qualifying final rematch from last season at Killara Oval against local rivals Gordon…

Kingsgrove T20 Cup Round 2: Randwick Petersham vs UTS North Sydney at Coogee Oval

UTS North Sydney 8/144 (cc) (J Avendano 74, M Jenkins 27) def by Randwick Petersham 7/149 (cc) (O Knight 3/22, F May 2/30)

After a false start a couple of weeks ago, the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup got underway with a cracker of a game that had everything but the right result!

Fletcher May made his First Grade debut, presented with cap number 683 by Justin Avendano, who skippered as Tom Jagot rested a sore elbow. Avendano called incorrectly at the toss, and Randy Petes elected to bat after much deliberation.

Petes’ overseas import, Tawanda Muyeye looked the goods, hitting a straight six over James Campbell’s head on the second ball, but lost his partner in the second over with Jimmy Greenslade getting under a skied catch off Matt Alexander. Campbell could argue it was really his wicket, since a similar skier was dropped on the final ball of his over, but the same end result for the Bears – first man back in the sheds and Jason Sangha striding to the crease.

Sangha and Muyeye took the score to 39 in the 5th over before Olly Knight (3/22) removed first NSW vice-captain, Sangha, then Australian representative, Dan Sams, in successive balls, to the delight of the Bears (and their scorer / match reporter, who entirely failed to be impartial at that moment!). The hat-trick ball was on the money but safely negotiated by Riley Ayre, who set about rebuilding the innings with Muyeye. Thanks to a superb catch from May off Sam Alexander, Muyeye fell in the 10th and Petes were struggling at 4/62 at the halfway mark, which became 5/73 in the 13th.

Avendano rotated his seven bowlers expertly, never letting the batters settle, but Ayre (41* off 34) and Basit Ali (25 off 12) managed to accelerate, and Petes finished 7/149 off their 20. Fletcher May was the only bowler to bowl 4 overs, taking 2/30 and looking the part on debut, and Jimmy Greenslade (who else after the previous day’s exploits?!) took four catches in the deep. 149 felt about par – and given Petes’ star-studded line-up, we were probably the happier team at the break.

In reply, as so often, it was the Justin Avendano show, and the show started early with Avo striding to the crease to face the second ball from Dan Sams after a weekend to forget for Brent Atherton. Avendano played out a rare maiden in the second over and lost Rew in the third, and it looked very sticky for the Bears at 2/3. It got worse at 3/16 with Greenslade stumped, bringing Mac Jenkins in to join his skipper. The best partnership of the day by a distance got the Bears back in it, with Jenkins content to take singles (other than taking 12 off one over) and play the supporting role while Avendano targeted the short straight boundary, smacking several balls into Dolphin Street.

The match turned when Avendano was brilliantly caught by Sams attempting his eighth six for 74 off 48, leaving us 4/108 in the 15th, which became 5/112 the next over with the loss of Jenkins. 41 were needed off 25 balls. This became 35 off 24 when Robbie Aitken, clearly seeing it beautifully after his heroics the previous day, hit his first ball back over the bowler’s head for a clean six. Aitken looked like he might bring us home for a second day in a row when he and May ran five successive twos in the 18th over, but wickets at the other end and the class of Sams (who went for four in the 19th and finished with 3/13), meant that 13 were needed from the final over. Aitken, who finished with 21* off 12, couldn’t quite find the fence or keep the strike and we managed only seven runs to lose by five.

The second rollercoaster match of the day and a tough loss to take, but we look forward to turning it around against Gordon next weekend.

Poidevin-Gray Shield Round 2: Randwick Petersham v UTS North Sydney at Coogee Oval

Randwick Petersham 7/145cc (19 overs) (J Hedges 2/21, K Brunker 2/31, H Lee Young 2/37) def by UTS North Sydney 8/146cc (19 Overs) (M Jenkins 47)

Norths PG’s arrived at a wet Coogee oval on Sunday where a brief shower meant the game was cut down to 19 overs. The Bears lost the toss and were sent in on a day 4 wicket.

Unfortunately Rew was strangled down leg early but momentum was gained through Gumms, Cavenor and Jago Lewis rotating the strike and putting away loose balls when on offer. Skipper Jenkins led the way and was the glue to the innings, with a swashbuckling 47. Despite this effort, the bears continued to lose wickets at inopportune times to be able to completely take the game away from Randwick. From the 19 overs the Bears posted a par score of 8-146.

Randwick’s innings started fast and furious, with the hosts getting ahead of the game early. All four spinners bowled tightly throughout the middle, led by youngster Kai Brunker. This pressure building tactic squeezed the games momentum back towards the bears.

Jamison Hedges bowled a superb last two overs in his spell. However it all came down to Harry L-Y’s last over where Randwick needed 16. A six of the third ball made the final three deliveries nail biting for both sides, with just six required. This then broke down to a boundary off the last for the hosts to get home, but they could only muster a shot over cover, fielded safely by Gummsy, which gave Randwick only two runs, the Bears winning a heart stopper at Coogee by one run and getting their campaign underway in style.

Brewer Shield Round 3: UTS North Sydney v Sydney at Bon Andrews Oval

Sydney 2/141(G Macdonald 1/8, S Kunchlam 0/3, A Hicks 0/13) def UTS North Sydney 4/108 (S Kuncham 36, I Selems 27, E Buckley 14)

After both teams won their first game, our Brewer team faced Sydney Cricket Club, one of the teams to beat at our home ground in overcast conditions and a freshly prepared green pitch. Despite losing the toss, the girls got what they wanted: to bowl first. UTS North Sydney got off to a terrific start, taking two wickets early on. Soon after, Sydney took control of their batting, scoring 141 runs for the loss of only two wickets. Sam Kuncham had the best bowling figures of 0/3 with two maidens and Georgia MacDonald returning with the figures of 1/8. UTS North Sydney put forth a good effort on the field in a fast out field.

In response, North Sydney's Sam Kuncham scored 36 runs, holding one end of the batting line up. Sydney's strong bowling and fielding limited the batters to few runs before grabbing a few wickets. The quick singles between the wickets and powerful boundary shots throughout the game had a significant influence on the match. Despite Sydney's efforts to prevent the runs, the girls began to pick up the pace, getting closer to the target. Coming in at No.6, Isabel Selems (27) and Sam formed a 63-run partnership, raising the total to 108 runs. In the end, the Brewers girls put in a great effort, falling 34 runs short. While there are lots to improve in all aspects of the game, this was a great competition for the girls at the beginning of the season, and perhaps the next time we meet Sydney, we'll come out on top.

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