Week 9 Wrap vs Easts, Bankstown, Mosman and Hunter

1st Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney vs Eastern Suburbs at Waverley Oval

UTS North Sydney 263 (123.1 overs) (J Greenslade 110, J Rew 53) drew with Eastern Suburbs 8/186 (66.5 overs) (J Campbell 2/28, F May 2/38, O Knight 2/45)

Resuming 9/215 with an unbroken stand of 48 for the final wicket, the question on everyone’s lips was how long into the morning would Jimmy Greenslade and Sam Alexander last? The answer was another 25 overs or 98 minutes, with the Wall of Cremorne keeping up his vigil to face another 79 balls for just two further runs while Greenslade brought up his second First Grade ton. After facing 258 balls to accumulate 99 runs along the ground, Greenslade lofted Easts skipper Marcus Atallah over his head for a six to bring up a quite extraordinary milestone that seemed highly unlikely on Day 1 at 9/167.

The instructions the came from the skipper (Mac Jenkins, standing in for Justin Avendano who was absent playing against the West Indies) to accelerate to give us a shot at bowling the Dolphins out. Sure enough, Greenslade hit a few more runs and then holed out, and we were dismissed for 263. Since Easts had bowled their overs quickly, the umpires determined that 67 overs were left in the day, and three were available before lunch.

What followed completed a morning session that dreams are made of – both openers removed in the space of two balls caught by James Rew, one off James Campbell’s sixth ball and the other off Olly Knight’s first. 2/0 became 2/7 at lunch and the Bears were cock-a-hoop.

After lunch, the Dolphins rebuilt through two senior players, Angus Robson and Nick Taylor, before Fletcher May drew the edge from Robson and Rew took his third grab of the innings to give May his first wicket in the Belvidere Cup. May added a second, clean bowled, to have Easts 4/76. Two balls later, the new batter, Marcus Atallah pulled a calf muscle and had to be helped off the field – was this effectively 5/76? It turned out not, but more on that later – for now the door was more than ajar for the Bears to register the win.

A smart stumping by Rew off Alexander secured the fifth wicket, before Mac Jenkins got the key wicket of Taylor for 64. At 6/127, the equation was 137 required off 27 overs, but the Dolphins never looked interested after Taylor’s departure, probably in part due to two injured batters in the sheds (not just Atallah, but young quick Jack Heuston had pulled up on Day 1). Jenkins rotated his bowlers and set attacking fields, and the Bears eked out two more wicket thanks to the opening pair of Knight and Campbell. With Atallah hobbling back to the crease and looking highly uncomfortable, opportunity was there once again with 10 and a half overs to go.

But it was not to be – Atallah held firm despite clearly being in pain, blocking a total of 36 balls, while Ken Chu made 41* at the other end. When the penultimate scheduled ball didn’t yield a wicket, there were handshakes all round and the Bears had to make do with one point. Disappointing, but we’d have certainly taken it at tea on Day 1! We drop a place to second on the ladder with Manly having won outright, and travel to Howell Oval next week to play Penrith.

2nd Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney v Eastern Suburbs at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 160 (75 overs) (L Stewart 50, J Aitken 33) & 7/89 def Eastern Suburbs 86 (21 Overs) (J Hedges 4/20, L Roughley 2/7, H May 2/22)

With another beautiful day at Tunks International Sports Park the Bears were in a great position but needing to start the day off well. With Easts starting at 5/60 it was always going to be a tough challenge to chase down the required 160. The Bears bowlers started well and applied immediate pressure on the Easts middle order.

The Horse, Harrison May, charged in and combined with Justin Rodgie for an opening bowling partnership of high quality seam bowling, Justin claimed the first wicket of the day and the Bears grabbed the momentum and charged with it.

Jameson Hedges was brought on and picked up where he left off last week grabbing his 4th for the innings and Lachy Roughley claimed the final 2 wickets to finish off the Easts innings on 86. A great effort by the Bears bowlers defending a low total.

After winning the first innings the Bears decided to have a crack at the outright and as we went into bat with the pitch still seaming around and spinning it proved a tough task and the game was called with no chance of outright and the Bears finishing 7/89 in the 2nd innings.

Another great game for the 2nd grade boys as they continue their great form and look to charge into the Christmas break sitting high on the ladder and posing a massive threat come finals.

3rd Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney v Eastern Suburbs at Trumper Park

UTS North Sydney 245 (R Alexander 42, P Lindsay 41*, H Reynolds 30, N Whyte 29) def by Eastern Suburbs 7-343d (80 Overs) (P Lindsay 4/117)

With Eastern Suburbs declaring over night, the Bears prepared to chase down an imposing total. New, Clark, Amir and Jago Lewis all got starts early on in the day, however none were unfortunately able to kick on and convert their starts into the score the Bears needed.

Ray Alexander and Hamish Reynolds then tried their hand at running down Easts, however after an applied 42 with some glorious stroke play, Alexander was undone by spin.

Whyte and skipper Lindsay refused to lay down, fighting back with 29 and 41 not out respectively, however it was not enough, as Lindsay remained not out at the end of the day, 9 short of his maiden grade half century, and the Bears short 99 laps of the 22 yard strip.

A missed opportunity for a lot of the top order sticks, with plenty of runs on offer. One that got away today perhaps? However, credit to Easts who batted with tenacity and class to post a total too far out of reach.

The winners circle again beckons next week as the Bears head out to Bill Ball to take on the Panthers in Penrith.

Women's 3rd Grade Round 7: UTS North Sydney v Bankstown at O'Neill Park

UTS North Sydney 69 (A Gibbons 20, E Aitken 20) def Bankstown 42(N Bhavan 3/2, B Robson 2/12)

This week we took on Bankstown in a low-scoring thriller. After winning the toss, we decided to have a bat. Anna Peterson (4) and Sarah Gibbons (7) were sent in, soaking up a number of balls from the opening bowlers. Amy Gibbons and Emily Aitken top scored with 20 runs each, but with a slow outfield and some very good catching, Bankstown had us all out for 69 runs. Everyone was a little disappointed with the low total, but we went into the field with a positive attitude.

In the field, we had some outstanding individual and team performances. Nanthana Bhavan was the standout, taking the insane figures of 3/2 off 4.1 overs (including 2 maiden overs). Bernie Robson took 2/12, Emily Aitken took 1/13, and Evy McKay took 1/15. There were excellent fielding displays all around, including a catch from Kayla Robson, two catches from Evy McKay, one from Manvek Jawanda, and two catches and run out from Karman Jawanda. We managed to get Bankstown out for 42 runs; everyone was very relieved and looks forward to taking on Bankstown again in two weeks time.

4th Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney v Eastern Suburbs at Snape Park

UTS North Sydney 178 (83 Overs) (W Carlile 55*, D Johnson 45, A Nigul 28) def by Eastern Suburbs 8/179 (74.2 Overs) (V Kumar 4/52, B Wilson 2/18)

The Bears arrived at Snape for day two with only one thing in mind, securing the all important six points. Carlile and the tail added an extra ten runs to the overnight total, setting the Dolphins 179 for a tough victory.

On a tough deck, keeping low already, the Bears felt confident they could get the job done, and they were well on their way when Wilson struck, nabbing an opener caught behind by Johnson. The pressure was on, with numerous LBW shouts at Jack Thomas’ end, and what would turn out to be a key drop catch.

The Easts 2 and 3 batted with patience until tea on a wicket offering little to the ball, taking the score to 1/70, putting the home side securely in the box seat.

Vrushab Kumar had other ideas. The Bears came out after tea full of energy, ready to stage a fight back, and it begun when Kumar brilliantly removed the number 3, bamboozling him with his variations. He and Merlehan begun to spin a web around the Easts batsmen, taking the next 5 wickets between them.

Momentum had definitely shifted in this matchup, and with Wilson steaming in, anything was possible. He dismissed the captaining, claiming his middle peg, and suddenly the Bears had Easts 7 down with 40 to get.

A fightback from Easts number 8 with a flurry of boundaries added to the tension, but a run out from Merlehan made the air feel thin again.

With the visitors requiring a handful more, another runout chance presented itself, however the team couldn’t convert, and Easts ended up passing the total eight down.

A game of missed opportunity, one that could have gone either way, didn’t fall to North Sydney this week.

The Bears now look to get back in the winning circle and maintain their top six spot against Penrith this week at the hallowed turf of Bon Andrews.

5th Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney v Eastern Suburbs at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 241 (64.5 Overs) (K Karan 110, M Lloyd 58, K Dhawan 28) def Eastern Suburbs 112 (41.2 Overs) (H Charles 5/40, T Cole 3/43, D Thakur 2/8) & 7/85 (19 Overs) (H Charles 3/8, T Cole 3/41)

Now I am become Death, the destroyer of Worlds.' Bhagavad Gita

Outright victories require sacrifice and steadfast dedication to duty; and not unlike hapless Prince Arjuna made to bear witness on the true form of Vishnu so were 5th grade also humbled via their own apparitions of multi-armed embodiments of deity.

Chapter 1. The Cricket

Having the pleasure of a lowest grade fixture at Bon Andrews was certainly a highlight for most of the team who for 9 of the 11 players had not played at the ground before. The sun was out, the breeze was low and the gentle hum of Gore Hill road rage lapped across the field in a lackadaisical fashion; one could be forgiven for thinking that summer was here or that this was what life would be like after the horrors of la nina.

The home (away) captain found it unusual to be calling a toss however it broke to North Sydney and with bat in hand good work was made of the innings despite a shaky start and a collapsing end. Kaustav Karan displayed poise and talent for a very silky and powerful 110 and was ably supported by a burger-less Michael Lloyd who contributed 58 to their partnership of 167; perhaps the highlight of Kaustav’s dominant display was the first 3 balls after the drinks break: one over mid on, one over mid off, and then one to split long on and long off right down the middle for three straight boundaries.

After losing Kaustav and Lloyd the final innings tally of 240 felt as if it should have been closer to 300; Kishna Dhawan’s 28 was a great contribution at the end and left some space for the bowlers to work with.

Eastern Suburbs lost wickets early and never recovered despite a good partnership in the middle of their innings; Henry Charles bowled with pace, bounce and control to overpower the majority of the line up and finished with figures of 5/40 (15). Between he and Tom Cole (3/43) most of the damage was done and first innings concluded at 112. The follow on was enforced and Easts once again found themselves in peril at 7/85 (Charles and Cole unstoppable at 3/8 and 3/41 respectively), staring down a defeat by an innings with 41 overs left to complete...

Chapter 2. The Helicopters

Very rarely would you witness a member of the constabulary enter a cricket field in the tightly held neighbourhood of North Sydney however one such vision did appear whilst the bears did slumber; dreaming of 10 points, a song and the summer night to follow. Instructions to vacate the ground by authorities tore us from that now distant and unlived future and with it came the shock of whirling blades, curling hessian and flying covers.

The natural order of things cricket re-established themselves in a battle of the laws; page after page of frantic playing condition confirmations and phone calls to various administrators for clarity on such delays but alas all in vain as the offending shadows grew longer and darker with each passing minute and over lost.

As that great Prince succumbed to the wisdom of Vishnu so too the valiant bears in turn relinquish to a higher power; and whilst not destroyers of worlds certainly destroyers of outrights.

Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup: UTS North Sydney vs Mosman at Allan Border Oval

UTS North Sydney 9/103 (20 overs, cc) def by Mosman 3/91 (12.5 overs) (F May 2/30)

Our first Thursday afternoon T20 was an occasion to forget, with the Bears outclassed by the Whales in all departments. With the bat, we never really got going, and the opening stand of 28 between Atherton (15 off 16) and Jenkins (20 off 23) was the largest partnership we could muster. When Atherton fell in the fifth over, a clatter of wickets led to us being 6/55 in the 11th. Rob Aitken, as so often before, did his best to rescue the situation and made 16 off 17, and Harri Lee-Young added a cameo of 12.

It was left to James Campbell (8*) and Sam Alexander (3*) to shepherd us through to 20 overs without being bowled out, and scrape to three figures. For the Whales, England international Dom Bess was the stand-out taking 2/8 off his 4 overs and giving nothing away.

The Mosman reply was the Peter Forrest show, after Campbell gave us some hope with a wicket in the second over. Forrest looked to be batting on a different deck to everyone else, amassing 67 off 32 balls including 5 sixes as the Whales strolled it in three down with over seven overs to spare.

We have two fixtures remaining in the competition, the first of which is on Thursday 1 December against Easts at Bon Andrews.

Brewer Shield Round 7: UTS North Sydney v Greater Hunter Coast at Feighan Park

UTS North Sydney 9/149 (50 overs, cc) (S Julien 51, E Jenns 29) def by Greater Hunter Coast 4/150 (35.3 overs)

After our Round 2 clash with Greater Hunter Coast, one of Brewer Shield's new teams, was washed out, we made the long drive to Warners Bay for Round 7. Our skipper, Shiloh Julien, called incorrectly and so had to strap her pads on when we were sent into bat.

Shiloh's opening partner, Liz Buckley, made a very positive start with three fours, but was dismissed for 15, and 1/16 became 3/27 - trouble for the Bears! An outstanding partnership of 63 followed, between Shiloh (51) and Eva Jenns (29). Both were patient against some tight bowling, accumulating in singles but punishing the occasional bad ball. Unfortunately, when the partnership was broken, three wickets fell in in quick succession to have us 6/116.

The priority became batting out the 50 overs, and Isabel Selems stood up, making 19* at number 7 and putting on 22 with Charlotte Moss. Three more wickets fell in the 130s, but Isabel and Karman Jawanda (5*) got us through to 9/149 - below par, but a score often defended in Brewers.

In Greater Hunter Coast's reply, Madeleine Winslow (1/15) got the much-needed early wicket with a catch to Kayla Robson, but we were thwarted by second wicket partnership of 78 between two of the competition's top performers to date with the bat. Isabel Selems (1/16) eventually got the breakthrough with the score on 117, thanks to another catch by Kayla. Georgia MacDonald and Sam Kuncham (each 1/20) chipped in with a wicket each but the damage had been done and Greater Hunter Coast chased the target down 4 down in the 36th over.

It was a fighting performance from our girls, who never gave up despite being second best on the day, and it leaves us 7th out of 12 on a tight ladder. This weekend, we travel to Olds Park to take on St George-Sutherland, who are currently sitting in 4th but we defeated in a T20 in Round 4.

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