Week 7 Wrap vs Sydney, Gordon and Parramatta

1st Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney vs Sydney at Drummoyne Oval

UTS North Sydney 9/272 (A Bariol 58, J Avendano 51, JN James 42, BS Atherton 25) def by Sydney 8/355 (JN James 4/37)

The boys arrived to an amazing looking Drummoyne Oval to face off against one of the benchmarks of the competition in the short form version of the game. The toss was won and the decision was made to send the Tigers in.

Matt Alexander opened with six dots and a wide from the river end, while James Aitken (in for James Campbell) took the new ball from the city end and conceded just four runs from his first over. This was to be the calm before the storm as Justin Mosca rattled off 3 fours and a six in the next two overs and then Ryan Felsch followed suit with a four and 3 sixes to take 24 runs from the fifth over to have Sydney 0/50 from five overs. When Olly Knight was introduced into the attack, he was given the same treatment being launched for six by Felsch. However, he got the last laugh and the wicket of Mosca three balls later with the skied catch taken comfortably by Tom Jagot.

Despite losing a wicket, the boundaries and bombs kept coming from the opposition and it was 1/85 after 10. When Mac Jenkins was introduced, he and Knight (1/53) did a good job to slow the run rate. Jack James took over from Knight and had immediate success, removing the dangerous Felsch – clean bowled for 69 from 39 balls. James and Jenkins built pressure on the opposition with 21 dots in their eight overs together and also stemmed the flow of boundaries to zero. Unfortunately, they could not get the third Sydney wicket. Alexander was brought back from the city end for Jenkins and Robbie Aitken replaced James. Robbie kept the scoring under a run a ball, but the batsmen took a liking to Alexander and then Knight, so James Aitken was given another spell. Despite 17 runs coming from the over, JA got his man, Eskinazi, who had quietly moved to 75 from 56 pills with the catch taken behind the stumps by Aiden Bariol as the batsman attempted a ramp shot. At 3/231 after 32 overs Sydney were well on top and with the depth of their batting order a very big score was on the cards. The Aitkens bowled in tandem for 11 overs to the 41st over, keeping the run rate under control, with Robbie (1/60) taking the fourth Sydney wicket in the 39th courtesy of a quality catch on the boundary by Tom Jagot.

With 7 overs remaining and Sydney progressing to 4/308, James and Jenkins were reunited and asked to bowl to a plan. Jenkins (1/59) struck first dismissing AJ Mosca who had just reached 100, with James taking the catch at deep mid wicket. In the next over, James dismissed Sydney Sixer Ben Manenti with Jenkins taking the catch this time, also at deep mid wicket. James then kept things in the family by clean bowling Harry Manenti. In his eighth and final over, the 49th of the game, James (4/37) struck again, courtesy of a lightning stumping by Bariol. The 4fa was James’ best bowling figures of his career in any grade. Sydney walked off at 8/355 and, despite enthusiasm from the Bears captain, it was going to be a tough assignment.

Jack James and Tom Jagot faced up to new ball bowlers Bills and Sheriff who kept it tight putting the ball in good areas. With 15 on the board, Tom skied a catch to give the opposition the ascendency. Justin Avendano looked ready to play and led from the front, crunching 3 fours and 3 sixes to move the score to 1/71 after 13 overs. James took a more conservative approach but did take a liking to Ben Manenti taking 11 runs from his first over. Justin reached fifty from 40 balls, but was dismissed lbw on 51, with the score on 96 and after a partnership of 81. Justin has been in great form and it was a shame to see him go in the early stages of the chase.

Brent Atherton was next man in. He came out full of intent, quickly dispatching 5 fours from the two spinners in operation. James’ innings came to an end in the 23rd over after reaching 42 with the score on 131. Brent (25 off 22) fell in the next over with the score still on 131. The two new bats were Tim Reynolds and Aiden Bariol, with Bariol starting with a four. However, with the score at 135, both Reynolds and Olly Knight perished to the bowling of Ryan Felsch and all of a sudden it was 6/135. The Bears had lost 4/4 in the space a few overs and, with Sydney on top, an early afternoon was a distinct possibly. However, the boys did not roll over. Mac Jenkins (15) did a good job of rebuilding with Bariol who continued to play aggressively, with the pair putting on 44 for the 7th wicket. Aiden then combined with Robbie Aitken, passing fifty for the second time this season and proving a valuable addition to the team. When Aiden was caught on 58 off 41 balls, he had accumulated 6 fours and 3 sixes – effectively using the sweep and the pull shot.

At 8/214, the tail was presented with the equation of 142 runs from 12 overs! Robbie Aitken (18) got a few pull shots of his own away but was dismissed with a sharp catch in the gully in the 41st with 229 on the board. James Aitken (28) and Matt Alexander 13) fought to the end and, despite the 127 runs required being rather too tall an order, they did keep their wickets intact and put together a fruitful 43-run partnership to finish with a respectable 9/272.

2nd Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney vs Sydney at Tunks International Sports Park

Sydney 8/257 (W Graham 2/49, S Alexander 2/52, H May 2/55) def UTS North Sydney 203 (G Aitken 50, M Papworth 29, N Naguleswaran 26)

UTS North Sydney headed to picturesque Tunks Park for a one-day fixture against Sydney with a lot of confidence after some strong showings in previous rounds that had unfortunately resulted in draws.

A week of rain had flooded the Tunks basin and Bernie had to work all Friday on the sopper to soak up the inundation. When the covers were peeled back to reveal a bone-dry deck, all were impressed by the seemingly magical handiwork of the artful groundskeeper.

The North Sydney Second grade sorts warmed up in characteristic good form. Plenty of quality bant and an impressive display of ball skills were evident in the game of warm up touch. Max Papworth tearing defensive lines apart with ease.

Unfortunately, we lost the toss on a flat dry wicket that looked to provide the best of the batting early. Solid opening spells from all the bowlers did not produce immediate results. A few missed chances combined with aggressive batsmen who rode their luck, resulted in some positive start for the visitors. With half the overs completed Sydney were well placed with the score 2/166.

But discipline and perseverance improved the home team’s chances. The second half of their innings saw the Bears restrict Sydney to 8/257. The honours were shared around by the bowling unit who all contributed. Will Graham took 2/49 including his 150th pole for the Bears, Harrison May 2/55 and Sam Alexander 2/52. This was still quite an imposing total, with a classic sluggish Tunks outfield. The chase would require discipline and control and a few good partnerships.

Our response did not start well with the loss of two early wickets, the Bears reeling at 2/14. Max Papworth and Jake Hardy, the sortiest of sorts, started to consolidate the innings before Jake was unfortunately dismissed off a bouncer that ricocheted from his ample shoulders. From then on the 2nd Grade sorts were not able to form any meaningful partnership, or relationships in their personal lives, with wickets falling at regular intervals. Most players got “starts” but did not go on with it - notably Max Papworth (29), Jake Hardy (22), James Leary (22), Niranjan Naguleswaran (26). Skipper Glenn Aitken (50) was the solitary score of note, but unfortunately he was dismissed as he passed the milestone. This was not before registering his 5,000th run in Bears colours – only the fourth current player to achieve this impressive feat.

The tail needed to wag harder than ever. There were some lusty hitting and valiant attempts to attack the total, but unfortunately the Bears fell short in the 48th over

3rd Grade Round 2: UTS North Sydney vs Sydney at Birchgrove Oval

UTS North Sydney 1/104 (B Van der Merwe 66*) def Sydney 103 (B Knox 3/5, F Noack 3/19, C Savage 2/17)

Newly appointed Bears captain Jacob Graham won his third consecutive toss of the year and, with blue skies overhead and a soft Birchgrove pitch in view, he elected to send the home side in.

Fletcher May combined with debutant Chris Savage to take the new ball in the opening stanza of the clash with one of Sydney’s more reputable cricket clubs. After nine overs of constant pressure on a soft and slow pitch and the ball seaming around everywhere, the Bears quicks were finally rewarded with Savage making the first breakthrough. The ball found its way through the gate to rip out the opening bat’s leg stump and reduce Sydney to 1/23 after 10 overs.

Fletcher bowled in good areas, constantly challenging both edges of the bat for no reward, but was instrumental in building immense pressure on the batsman so that the introduction of Fraser Noack produced an almost immediate result. Noack started with a maiden and then picked up two wickets with the first two balls of his following over to have Sydney 3/23 from 13 overs. Savage finished a successful 7 over spell at 1/6. He was replaced by captain Jacob Graham, who started with two maidens while Noack was causing havoc from the other end. Noack claimed his third pole of the match dismissing the defiant number 5, arguably the best bat we’d seen so far in the Sydney lineup, who guided one to gully that was ably taken by Dhruva Thorat. Sydney were 4/30 off 17 and the Bears were on top.

Not to be outdone, the skipper took his first wicket in his fifth over. Following the Noack spell (3/19 off 6), Izaak Merlehan (1/19 off 5) found himself in the attack and had his first wicket in his second over. The pitch was turning square and, with some able hands from wicket-keeper Jake Holmes, Sydney were reeling at 6-54 in the 27th over. Graham finished a his 10 over spell in an astonishing 24 minutes with figures of 1/16. Ben Knox took over proceedings at the Merlehan end. With immediate effect, Knox weaved his magic and had his first wicket caught behind. Two more wickets followed for Ben (3/5 off 4) as Savage (2/17 off 9.2) continued his magic from the captain’s end finishing the Sydney innings off in style, removing leg stump (again) to dismiss the number 11. Too fast, too accurate, too good. It was also Chris’s 50th wicket for the Bears, a milestone he’s achieved at a very rapid pace.

The Sydney innings came to a close at 103 and, with the pitch still soft but hardening up, the Bears knew we had to work hard to knock off the runs. New opening pair Ben Van der Merwe and Dhruva Thorat set about the task, but looked in unison as quick singles and twos set the platform for some more expansive batting as the pair raced to 40 from the first 10 overs. Ben continued to punish any bad bowling as the Sydney captain rang the changes to no effect, and soon enough a bonus point result became in focus for the Bears. Ben VDM passed his first Bears fifty with a glorious pull shot - the final straw it seemed for the fielding unit whose heads bowed as the Bears stood to clap and cheer. At the 20 over mark we were at 80, and as Cameron New strolled to the crease after the valiant Thorat was stumped, the end result was inevitable. Some power hitting from the stylish number 3 was the shot in the arm the Bears needed, and 4 overs later we had passed the Tigers’ total and pocketed 7 points for the win.

After a washout in Round 1, it was an absolute clinic from start to finish.

4th Grade Round 2: UTS North Sydney vs Sydney at Blick Oval

UTS North Sydney 137 (K Allison 45) def by Sydney 8/138(K Allison 2/15, P Lindsay 2/29)

4s travelled to Blick for a home game against Sydney in Round 2. We were fixtured at Blick due to WBBL fixtures ruling North Sydney Oval and Bon Andrews out for this weekend.

The Bears’ inner west spies had informed the 4s brains trust that the pitch was not covered on the Thursday prior (~ an inch of rain fell over this day) so a tacky wicket was expected.

Sure enough, that’s what was on offer on Friday evening when a number of Bears volunteers put the covers down and little changed on Saturday morning. Win the toss and bowl was the plan. Alas, the toss was not won and the Bears would have to bat first.

The Bears spluttered to be all out 137 in the 40th. Every wicket to fall was caught, perhaps indicating a lack of desire to fight for survival. Only Finn Nixon-Tomko (19 off 70) showed the necessary resilience to scrap out a score. This of course excludes Kobe Allison (45 off 43) who looked like he was batting on another pitch. Kobe played with confidence and had Sydney on the back foot from ball one. It was a brilliant counter punching innings that gave the Bears a chance.

However, defending 137 would be a tall order as the conditions continued to improve. We picked up wickets at regular intervals, with Kobe Allison (2/15 off 10) the pick of the bowlers. Unfortunately sundries totaled 28 over the innings and this would be the Bears’ undoing, eventually going down by 2 wickets in the 49th over. It was a brave defence, but not quite good enough.

5th Grade Round 2: UTS North Sydney vs Sydney at Ryde Oval

UTS North Sydney 8/278 (L Smith 84, NC Hay 60, J Nevell 34) def Sydney 98 (L Opacic 6/18, J Thomas 2/16)

After a week of questionable weather, the Bears only had one thing on their mind at 9am on Saturday the 7th of November 2020, and that was taking at least 6 points from Sydney at Ryde Oval.

There were a few changes this week from last, with Aiden Bennett making his debut for the club and Aki Rana a late addition to the side. Following on from the previous round, the warm up was crisp and intense, signalling to the Tigers that the Bears were there for business. Another toss and another win for captain Alex Perry, boldly declaring that the squad would bat first on a softish wicket.

With throw downs complete and pads on, Olly ‘juice’ Jennings and Drew ‘vintage’ Sellers strode out to the crease to meet the Sydney new ball. A hard-fought opening partnership while the wicket was still soft saw the pair see off most of the new ball. Sellers was dismissed leg before wicket for 7 followed closely by Jennings for 18. This brought Luke Smith and Alex Perry to the crease, both showing intent and with the boundaries beginning to flow. A lapse of concentration saw Perry caught behind for 13.

Striding to the crease confidently with his chest out and the score at 3/69, Nick Hay was ready for a big innings in his first knock for the Bears. What followed was a display of class and stroke-making as Smith and Hay both passed 50 in quick time. With plenty of boundaries and capitalising on loose balls, the pair put on 130 before Hay was caught for 60 beginning to up the rate. Smith shortly fell after for 84, an amazing innings filled with perseverance and aggression, carrying the score to over 200. John Nevell played a strong cameo innings of 34 full of strokes around the wicket, with further contributions from Bennett, Rana, Thomas and Opacic to bump the score after 50 overs to a mammoth 8/278.

Lunch came and went and, with a bonus point on their minds, the Bears were raring to get back out on the field. Fuelled by his large triple Bondi meal during the lunch break, Jack Thomas started off with a maiden featuring plenty of plays and misses. This set the scene for a perfect display from the Bears’ bowling attack. Sol Balbi followed suit with a maiden from the other end and, with the required run rate already creeping above 6, the pressure began to get to the Tigers’ top order, with Thomas to take two early wickets, one caught down leg by Nevell and one spooned to mid off taken by Rana.

Bennett, hungry to impress in his debut, came on first change bowling express, and too quick for the Sydney batsmen, creating more plays and misses. The momentum was with the Bears at drinks, with the score sitting at 2/25. Then Opacic came into the attack and began to rip through the Sydney middle order, taking three quick wickets spearing it into the stumps, bowling two and trapping another in front. Rana chimed in with a pole bowling the Tigers’ keeper, and keeping it tight from the northern end while Jennings took over from Opacic, locking down his end.

With 4 wickets to take, Perry reintroduced pace to finish off the tail. Balbi took a well-deserved wicket first ball, caught at point by Rana, leaving 3 wickets remaining. Opacic took it upon himself, and quickly cleaned up the tail, being on a hat trick for the second time in the game, and finishing with amazing figures of 6/18. The Tigers were dismissed for 98 in the 42nd over, giving the Bears a dominant bonus point victory. The song was sung loud and proud by the Bears from North Sydney, and after the washout last week, we are now sitting 4th on the ladder looking ahead to facing Easts at Snape next weekend...

Brewer Shield Round 4: UTS North Sydney v Parramatta at Merrylands Park

Parramatta 3/151 (G Keating 2/28) def UTS North Sydney 1/105 (L Warren 50*, T Jayakody 43*)

The Bears went into the game feeling confident but with a slightly different game plan, Following last week's loss, we were planning to have a bat, but unfortunately we lost the toss and we were asked to field. This week we tried something a little different, throwing the new ball to our resident spin queen Mabel Oxenham. Similar to last week, we kept the score in check finishing the 10th over at 1/53 with a nice caught and bowled from Grace Keating.

However the lack of early wickets was again telling and the Parramatta team received drinks and instructions to lift the run rate. During the next 10 overs they systematically dismantled the bowling attack putting on 98 runs, with set batsmen sending even good balls to the boundaries. This put added pressure on the fielders, with the team leaking additional runs with misfields and field placements. Captain Lucy Warren tried to respond by bringing back the opening bowlers but everyone bowling in the back end of the innings was punished. Even a couple of nice outfield catches from Tuvini and Liz did little to stem the tide, with Parramatta finishing at 3/151.

With a big target to chase and an early wicket lost, the girls could have easily dropped their heads. However that is not the style of the 2020 Brewers team. After a slow start, seeing off the opening bowlers, both Lucy and Tuvini managed to find the boundaries and hit the lead at 1/56 after 10 overs. However a couple of intelligent fielding changes stemmed the flow of boundaries and we weren't able to shift gears like Parramatta had in their innings earlier in the day.

Like most games the girls were able to hit a few milestones as they continue to improve:

  • Lucy Warren scored the first ever 50 for UTS North Sydney Women's Cricket
  • Tuvini Jayakody produced her highest score of 43*
  • Lucy and Tuvini put on the highest partnership in Brewer Shield history for the Bears (102 Runs)
  • We made our highest ever T20 total of 105 runs

The UTS North Sydney Brewer Shield side is still a very young team with the loss of our two most experienced players this year, and if they remain together they can be competing for titles in the next couple of years. As a lover of team sports, the author (Greg Buckley)’s best part of the day was the way they celebrated the girls’ batting performance and charged onto the field in mass to congratulate their success. They also finished the day knowing a better performance in the back half of both innings could have seen them in the hunt for a win.

Women's Third Grade Round 4: UTS North Sydney v Gordon at Forsyth Park

UTS North Sydney 5/94 (H Blackburn 33*, A Dongre 13) def by Gordon 1/141 (B Bursill 1/12)

Our 3rd grade team set a new record team score of today (94) as we continue to build strength and depth in our team. Captain Hetti Blackburn retired on 33* for the second match in a row, this time off only 27 balls. Anushka Dongre added 13 off 13, Sarah Gibbons 8 off 9, and six other batters all put runs on the board - with five of them making their highest score this season. We're improving our boundary scoring too, with Hetti Blackburn scoring our team's first six of the season and Sarah Gibbons and Evy McKay scoring their first fours at this grade.

Though we struggled to take wickets, with only Bella Bursill picking up 1/12 (thanks to quick hands from keeper Evy McKay), Anushka Dongre bowled extremely well, pinning back their openers and returning 0/5 off her four overs. We also welcomed Lara Eastmann on debut who put in a fine fielding effort today. Gordon were the stronger team and showed great experience and thoughtful batting, something our team noticed and learned from, as well as fine sportsmanship and great spirit. Our team is very pleased to have almost doubled our previous score against Gordon, showing strong improvements in all aspects of our game.


Media courtesy of Tony Johnson, David James, Sarah Berman, Greg Savage, Chris Savage, Greg Buckley, Brent Ridgway and team captains.