Week 6 Wrap vs Wests, Campbelltown, Gordon, Mosman and St George

1st Grade Round 4: UTS North Sydney vs Western Suburbs at Pratten Park

UTS North Sydney 0/177 (JN James 98* T Jagot 76) drew Western Suburbs (match abandoned)

In late September the Bureau of Meteorology declared that La Nina was underway and we could expect a wet spring and summer. The science appears to be on the mark as the Bears encountered another wet Saturday causing the First Grade fixture to be abandoned at around 2:10pm.

After losing the toss, we were sent in with play commencing 30 minutes after the scheduled start time. Tom Jagot (76*) and Jack James (98*) made the best of the situation, turning the strike over regularly and hitting a number of balls to the boundary. Jack started with a couple of uncharacteristic lofted shots including a boundary to quickly race to 10; Tom got in on the action in overs 6 and 7, cracking two fours, and both player were underway. After 10 overs the pair had put on 50 runs, and then were 85 at the first drinks break. While Tom hit down the ground, Jack played off his pads and nudged behind the keeper to keep the scoreboard ticking. Jack collected his second fifty of the competition shortly after drinks and then hit a memorable sweep shot for four to bring up the 100-run partnership from 130 balls. Tom notched up his fifty shortly after from 67 balls. At the completion of the 37th over, the final drinks break was taken with Jack on 98 and Tom 76 and the score an imposing 0/177. We looked set for an assault in the final 13 overs to bring up a big score off our allotted 50 overs.

Unfortunately, the umpires saw a lightning strike in the distance and instructed all players to leave the ground immediately – leaving the pitch uncovered. A heavy shower rolled through and was gone within thirty minutes. A short time later, as the sunshine emerged, the umpires inspected the pitch and presented the bad news that the game was to be abandoned. The players shook hands and left the ground with Jack left stranded on 98, an innings that included 9 fours, at one end, and Tom on 76 with 4 fours and a six, at the other end.

It was disappointing to be washed out two weeks in a row, both times in a commanding position, but luckily many of the other games were also washed out and this has created a very congested table. Tom now sits atop the run aggregates for NSW Premier Cricket with 259 runs at a very healthy average of 129.5, with Justin Avendano (257) sitting in third and Jack (226) in 8th place. Our next game will present a stern test as we face the highly rated Sydney at Drummoyne Oval (weather permitting) in another one-day fixture.

2nd Grade Round 4: UTS North Sydney vs Western Suburbs at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 9/388 (dec) (JD Vilensky 106, M Papworth 74, J Leary 26*) drew with Wests 0/74

From the pen of James Aitken

Round 4 of the Premier Cricket season saw the warriors of second grade return to their happy hunting ground of Bon Andrews. After suffering at the hands of Tunks’ notorious morning session, the top order were keen to make amends by wreaking terrible vengeance on the Western Suburbs bowling attack. The Bears’ opponents were still haunted by the memories of last season’s shellacking, and no amount of therapy had been of any use in healing the psychological wounds that they had sustained. Undoubtedly, their PTSD nightmares over the previous 12 months would have been endless re-runs of Olly Knight hitting towering bombs over the Pratten Park pickets. As they trudged into the ground on a gloomy Saturday morning, their hopes for redemption lay in a tossed coin and a successful call to give them any chance to turn the tide against their foes.

As luck would have it, the coin fell their way and their captain eagerly exclaimed that they would be bowling first. No amount of reverse psychology from Max Papworth could convince him otherwise when he saw the greenish tinge to the pitch and the ominous weather circling the ground. On the Bears side, there was trepidation amongst the batsmen at being sent in. As any veteran knows, the first hour at number 2 can be a batsman’s graveyard, but as Jordan Vilensky and Max Papworth set about the task, the eager spectators soon felt at ease. They cruised through the opening barrage with aplomb. Max was cautious, with contained aggression and plenty of singles to keep the fielders on their toes. At the other end, Jordan soon started adding regular boundaries to the equation, with powerful drives, and delicate touches off the hip, periodically peppering the fences. By the time the first drinks break arrived, the pair had pushed the score into the 70s.

After some much-needed refreshment, the openers picked up where they had left off. The Wests bowlers had no answers as they continued to haemorrhage runs at a healthy rate. Vilensky continued to aggressively plunder 4s and 6s. Papworth got into his rhythm and started to follow suit. The run rate climbed steadily to 5 per over and the enthusiastic Bears supporters gave full voice as both batsmen brought up their half centuries – Vilensky with a 6 and Papworth with a 4.

Max Papworth was the first to fall, on a well-made 74 from 97 deliveries, with the score at 188. At the other end, Vilenksy was in the 90s and looking unfazed. He was joined by Ray Alexander. With an air of composure, Jordan took no chances as he neared his milestone. He nudged a ball into a gap for an easy single to bring up three figures, then raised his bat to acknowledge the resounding cheers of his teammates. At the other end, Alexander sought to continue the mayhem. With clouds closing in, he looked to deposit the part-time bowler to the long-on boundary, but instead fell victim to a spectacular one-handed catch from the mid-on fieldsman. The ball had barely come to rest in the fielder’s hand when thunder and lightning appeared overhead, as if God himself was displeased with the dismissal of the North Sydney No. 3. The umpires declared, “We’re off”, and proceeded to shepherd both teams from the field. By some as yet unexplained miscommunication, Glenn Aitken and the North Sydney boys had not understood this edict, and managed to set an array of well-laid tarpaulins to mitigate the oncoming tempest’s fury.

When the maelstrom had passed, North Sydney’s allotted overs were reduced to 46, and big hitting was called for. Wickets fell rapidly in the pursuit of runs, but a daring cameo from James Leary (26* off 19 balls) managed to push the total to 251 at the close of the innings. Through the black magic of Messrs Duckworth and Lewis, the target was raised to 270 which seemed altogether imposing.

The Western Suburbs team got little chance to pursue their goal. Barely 10 overs could be squeezed in between the assault of rain, storm, lightning and black of night. They attacked valiantly, but it was all for nought as the game ebbed meekly to a tame draw as night-time gathered. Both sides were left disappointed with the dividends of their weekend work, though none could compare to Vilensky, who took the honours of the day for his illustrious 106 from 141 balls.

3rd Grade Round 1: UTS North Sydney vs Western Suburbs at Punchbowl Oval

UTS North Sydney drew Western Suburbs (match abandoned)

4th Grade Round 1: UTS North Sydney vs Western Suburbs at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 4/73 (L Stewart 20*, F Nixon-Tomko 19* ) def Western Suburbs 67 (P Lindsay 3/9, I Merlehan 2/12, K Allison 2/18)

Fourth Grade hosted Wests at Tunks Park with the ground in remarkable condition noting the rain during the week. More rain was forecast so the Bears were happy to be asked to field first after losing the toss.

We got off to a fast start with Toby Laybutt (1/11) and Chris Savage (1/13) dispatching the openers in short order. Izaak Merlehan (2/12) and Kobe Allison (2/18) made light work of the middle order, both taking two wickets and Merlehan being involved in a comical runout. Skipper Pat Lindsay (3/9) tidied up the tail with 3 wickets. It was a highly professional performance from 4s who restricted Wests to 67 off just 33 overs. Special mention to Charlie Rose who took 2 catches and was involved in the run out. Merlehan, Baran Kumar and Allison also impressed in the field. Brad Wilson also made his debut for the club in this game.

The chase started with a storm approaching and some quality bowling from the Wests opening bowlers. The bowlers were able to extract some assistance from the pitch that led to the fall of four Bears wickets. The Bears were reeling at 4/32, however the storm clouds cleared and Lachlan Stewart (20*) and Finn Nixon-Tomko (19*) saw us home in the 17th over to secure the win with a bonus point.

4s will no doubt need a better performance with the bat in upcoming rounds to maintain a 100% record, but can be very pleased with their bowling and fielding showing and with a 7-point start to the season.

5th Grade Round 1: UTS North Sydney vs Western Suburbs at Blick Oval

Western Suburbs 4/63 (J Thomas 1/7, S Balbi 1/10, L Opacic 1/13, O Jennings 1/15) drew UTS North Sydney (match abandoned)

After a morning of rain, the 5th Grade Bears rolled up to Blick Oval with a spring in their step and an optimistic glow in their eye. The first game of the season was upon us, taking on the Western Suburbs Magpies. The pitch was soft and green, the outfield damp, and if the toss was won, bowling first was the only option - and that was how the day started. After a short delay to tidy up the field and a crisp warm up, the Bears ran out with intent to take the first 10 poles of the season.

Jack Thomas (1/7) and Sol Balbi (1/10) bowled tightly with the new ball doing all sorts. Sol struck first with a genuine edge caught behind by keeper John Nevell. Then, after bowling 5 overs for 4 runs, Jack was finally rewarded with a pole with a pop up catch taken by debutant Nick Hay in the gully and we had Wests 2 for not many early doors. Drinks came and went, and on the other side Luke Opacic and Olly Jennings also struck with a wicket each. Luke claimed his wicket lbw, while Olly’s was thanks to a sharp stumping by John Nevell.

In the 25th over, tails up and momentum with the Bears, the heavens opened. Covers were quickly laid down and play came to a halt with Wests 4/63. Despite the Herculean efforts of the team (led by Michael Lloyd – the self-appointed Wests clubman of the day) to get the ground in shape for a restart, the weather circled back around just when it was looking like play could get back underway - and that’s the way the first round ended.

It was an unfortunate way to kick off the season but the team showed great energy through the early part of the morning, championship belief, and heart in an attempt to grind out a result against the weather.

We are looking forward to a full day’s cricket next Saturday and getting the first win on the board.

Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup Round 4: UTS North Sydney vs Mosman at Bon Andrews

UTS North Sydney drew Mosman (Match abandoned)

Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup Round 5: UTS North Sydney vs Gordon at Bon Andrews

UTS North Sydney drew Gordon (Match abandoned)

Brewer Shield Round 3 T20: UTS North Sydney vs St George-Sutherland at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney drew St George-Sutherland (Match abandoned)

Women's Third Grade Round 3: UTS North Sydney vs Campbelltown at Clarke Reserve

UTS North Sydney drew Campbelltown (Match abandoned)

Media courtesy of Tony Johnson, David James, Sarah Berman, and team captains.