Week 8 Wrap vs Campbelltown-Camden

1st Grade Round 8: UTS North Sydney v Campbelltown-Camden at North Sydney Oval

No play due to rain.

2nd Grade Round 8: UTS North Sydney v Campbelltown-Camden at Bon Andrews

UTS North Sydney 8/230 (49.4 overs) (J Greenslade 94, G Aitken 41* RD Alexander 32) def Campbelltown-Camden 9/229 (cc) (J Hedges 3/43, JD Graham 2/44, EJ Oxenham 2/49)

After a few unfortunate losses leading into the Christmas break, Second Grade resumed the season with a home game against the Campbelltown-Camden Ghosts. With COVID forcing multiple last minute changes among the grades, a young side took the field for the Bears this weekend, led by the experienced Glenn Aitken who won the toss and sent the Ghosts out to bat first.

Jamieson Hedges started the bowling innings off well, beating the bat on many occasions and claiming the first wicket as their opener chipped a straightforward catch to mid-wicket. With a few overs passing and a partnership emerging between the existing opener and the new batsmen, the time came for Everett Oxenham to roll out his tidy off-spin. In just his second over, Everett claimed his man, beating the batsmen in flight and spin to sneak the ball through the gate, which was received by John Nevell behind the stumps, whipping the bails off in a flash. Everett also went on to claim another wicket, caught by Jordan Vilensky on his return to cricket for the season.

The experience of Jacob Graham was on display not long after the fall of the previous wicket, picking up two of his own in the space of a few overs, trapping the first LBW and his second coming with a flat catch directly to the tallest short cover in the club, Jimmy Greenslade. Some resistance was formed in the lower order, which saw the return of Hedges to the bowling crease, dismissing a further two batsmen clean bowled in an excellent display of one-day bowling. The remaining two wickets went to Raymond Alexander and Chris Savage, seeing the Ghosts bat out the 50 overs and ending 9/229.

The team’s enthusiasm was felt in the field with many runs saved and clean hands during the fielding innings, however some may have been more prepared than others as sub-fielder and Club Captain, Sam Alexander took to the field in his dress shoes from the night before, causing a few slip and slides, which unfortunately resulted in a late boundary. Nonetheless, the Bears were determined to chase 230 runs and send the visitors back on the M5 with no additional points.

After a refreshing break from the heat at lunch, Jordan Vilensky strode out to the crease alongside Jimmy Greenslade, a new look opening partnership for 2s this season. Both openers started well and led the chase in fine fashion bringing up a 50 partnership inside the first 11 overs. Unfortunately, Vilensky’s wicket fell not long after the milestone, but he compiled a solid 22 which is a good sign for the rest of his season. This brought out Nevell to the crease with the in-form Greenslade hitting the ball as well as he has all season. Not long after the first drink had been taken, Nevell’s wicket fell and we sat at 2/85 after 20 overs. Ray Alexander settled in to his time at the crease and battled through the middle overs running well with Greenslade and bringing the Bears closer to the winning total.

Greenslade’s innings was one to savour as he played effortless shots all around the ground, striking the ball cleanly over the heads of fielders and looking in total control of the game. We watched on as he gathered momentum and was pulling himself closer to the three-figure milestone. His score sitting on 94, he was one big shot away from a maiden ton for the Bears. Without knowledge of his score, the opportunity came in the form of a short ball which he bludgeoned to deep mid-wicket,falling just metres short of the boundary and being caught by the fielder on the fence. It was almost to be, however it was a fantastic innings from a batsman in great touch this season.

Ray Alexander was joined by the skipper, Glenn Aitken, and another mini partnership was formed between the pair. When Alexander fell for 32, there were still 59 runs required for victory. Glenn Aitken remained at the crease and saw the next 4 wickets fall around him leaving the Bears 8/219.

Aitken remained as composed as ever, taking the game right down to the final over in which 11 was required to win. The first ball was clipped off the pads to short fine leg who in his haste attempted to run-out Oxenham and this drew a misfield from the fielder backing up, and resulted in an extra run and Aitken back on strike. Nine to win. The next ball was straight and whisked away to the vacant mid-wicket boundary for four. Five to win. The Ghosts captain and bowler decided no change to the field was required and an almost identical ball was bowled, which resulted in the same treatment, another four. Scores are level. With the field remaining spread out and three balls left to come, it was all too easy for the skipper as he nudged the ball through cover to the man on the fence and brought up the second win of the season for 2s.

As much as this game was a last over thriller, it was a clinical performance with bat and bal,l highlighted by the performances of Jamieson Hedges, Raymond Alexander, Glenn Aitken and, of course, Jimmy Greenslade. The Bears will look to take this momentum into the remaining half of the season and collect more points along the way.

3rd Grade Round 8: UTS North Sydney v Campbelltown-Camden at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 6/214 (48 overs) (A Cavenor 59, B Kumar 52*, A Thomas 30, H Reynolds 25*) def Campbelltown-Camden 9/213 (cc) (A Thomas 4/37, B Kumar 3/41)

Returning after the Christmas break, a relatively fresh-faced Third Grade side were spared of a matchless trip to Raby on Saturday, and instead lined up on Sunday at Bon Andrews due to the fabulous work of the clubs’ administrators once Raby 2 was deemed unfit on Friday. After a Covid-struck week, the reigns were handed over to Bears debutant John Saint, who had the boys bouncing around in a high tempo warm up. The Ghosts won the toss and the Bears would be bowling first.

Opening up, Fraser Noack and Jack Thomas bowled full lengths with little help from the conditions, but some sharp fielding displays kept the scores tight. The introduction of Hamish Reynolds in tandem with Thomas then brought about the fall of the first wicket, with Pat Heuzenroeder gladly accepting a catch behind the wicket off Reynolds. The Ghosts then bunkered down, working hard to keep their wickets and progressing the score slowly. Adam Cavenor came on and bowled tidily, with his 7 overs going for just 23 runs, and was well supported in the field. As the Ghosts’ score ticked over 100 for just the loss of one wicket, the X-factor of Baran Kumar was introduced into the attack. In typical fashion, Baran made things happen, first being turned down twice for some tight LBW shouts, before finally breaking through with a much needed wicket. He immediately followed up with another, moving the score to 3/144. Rhys Burinaga was tight from the other end, but when 3s debutant Aidan Thomas was introduced, the Bears finally took control of the game. Aidan would finish with impressive figures of 4/37, and was well supported with some sharp catches from Matt Cole, Hamish Reynolds and his brother Jack. As the rain started to drizzle down, skipper Saint also decided to get into the fielding act, combining with Pat Heuzenroeder for a sharp run out from backward point. Kumar would finish his 10 overs at the other end with three important top-order wickets and, along with Aidan Thomas, was the clear pick of the bowlers. The Ghosts finished a 9/213 at the end of their 50 overs, and the Bears had definitely seized the game’s momentum going into lunch.

With the rain stopping after the innings break, the Bears knew that it would be tough to get value for shots throughout the afternoon. Dilraj Singh and Adam Cavenor opened up and were immediately on the front foot, taking nine from the first over. The early loss of Singh brought Cole to the crease, but the scoring rate continued as he latched onto some below par bowling, and played imperiously through the covers. However, the Ghosts kept themselves in the game, gaining their second wicket with the score at 2/39. This brought Aidan Thomas to the middle, and he and Cavenor worked to build the innings further. This partnership was perfect for the Bears, as both players knew each other’s games very well, having played a large chunk of junior cricket and Green Shield together for the club. In particular, the running between the wickets was impressive from both, with Aidan Thomas scoring 30 runs without a boundary.

When Cavenor took down the opposition spinner with a six down the ground to bring up his half century, the Bears looked in a commanding position. Disaster then struck, with Thomas falling, and Cavenor being run out shortly after by a direct hit from the boundary. His innings finishing on 59 off just 66 balls. Rhys Burinaga and skipper Saint played some flashy shots, but were unable to make too much impact, both getting caught for 8 with the score now in dangerous territory at 6/133, and the required run rate slowly rising. Hamish Reynolds, caught in the middle of a thick Green Shield fixture list, showed no signs of lethargy as he began the rebuild with Baran Kumar. The pair continued to go at just under the required rate, and played intelligently as the Ghosts brought back their opening quick, looking for the killer blow. Resolute, both batsmen saw him off, and reached the final 10 overs with the required rate around 6 an over. With strong running between the wickets and shot placement, Reynolds farmed the strike for Kumar, who would eventually break the game with three boundaries in the 47th over. The pair passed the target with two overs to spare, sharing in an unbeaten 81 run partnership. Kumar would finish with 52* from 47 deliveries, whilst Reynolds had a tidy 25*.

In just a couple years at the club, Kumar has built a reputation as a lethal finisher toward the back end of the innings. Despite arguably slow starts, he has impressive ability to stay calm and end up finishing his innings at better than a run a ball. In this case, he was the difference in the game with both bat and ball, and is the undisputed player of the round.

Having secured victory, Third Grade have solidified themselves in the top six, and will welcome back some Covid impacted squad members in the next round. The team will be looking to continue the good form next week at the same venue against Penrith.

4th Grade Round 8: UTS North Sydney v Campbelltown-Camden at Raby 2

No play due to rain.

5th Grade Round 8: UTS North Sydney v Campbelltown-Camden at Tunks International Sports Park

No play due to rain.

U16 AW Green Shield Round 5: UTS North Sydney v Northern Districts at Roseville Chase Oval

UTS North Sydney 163 (49.5 overs) (TJ Harradine 41*, EJ Oxenham 30) Tied Northern District 163 (45.4 overs) (H Reynolds 2/20, J Edwards 2/23)

After a last-minute venue change due to Northern District’s ground being waterlogged, we made a few calls and arranged to host it at Roseville Chase to give both sides a shot at six points (spot the recurring theme… our administrators had a busy week!). With NDs sitting top of the table undefeated, the Bears were the underdogs, but captain Hamish Reynolds had a feeling something special was going to happen. He was right, at least if you’re a neutral.

On a re-used pitch, Reynolds won the toss and invited the Rangers to bat first. The first wicket fell in the second over with a chaotic run out effected by Dilraj Singh and Henry Charles. It took another 11 overs before the second fell with the score on 33 – another run-out, this time from an Everett Oxenham direct hit. James Edwards was introduced to the attack and this brought about the next wicket – a screamer of a catch by Ben Champion diving to high right behind the stumps, catching the ball one-handed just above the ground. One of the catches of the season.

The Bear Cubs kept chipping away and never let the Rangers settle, taking wickets at regular intervals and bowling them out for 163 in the 46th over with the third run out of the innings. The remaining poles were shared around, with two each for Reynolds and Edwards, and Charles, Kai Brunker and Thor Harradine chipping in with one apiece.

After the loss of an early wicket, our chase had a solid platform due to a partnership of 35 between Pranav Sampath (14) and Dilraj Singh (22). Both were patient on a challenging wicket, realising that wickets in hand were key since the run rate required was barely over three an over. When Singh was dismissed, a cluster of wickets fell, and we were 4/45 and in danger of being rolled. But this brought together Ben Champion and Thor Harradine, who steadied the ship until Champion was dismissed for 10 with the score 5/81. This became 8/112 when Harradine was caught for 41, the top score of the day for either side, and many wondered if the Bears were dead and buried.

But Everett Oxenham had other ideas, combining with first Henry Riseborough (14) and then Henry Charles to inch us closer to the target. With one over left, the score was 9/159, so five to win. Charles clipped one off his legs for a single off the first ball, putting Everett on strike on 27*. Dot. A lovely chip over mid-off off the third ball meant the equation was two to win off three, and the scores were levelled with a comfortable single to Everett. But there was one more twist in the rollercoaster, and Charles was dismissed with one ball left, meaning that this remarkable game ended in a tie, Oxenham marooned on 30*.

It was an outstanding fightback against an excellent side, and the three points may yet be vital as we sit just outside the top eight with two matches to play. Next up is table-topping St George on Thursday.

Media courtesy of Tony Johnson, David James, Sarah Berman, Adam Cavenor, Malcolm Trees and team captains.