1st to 5th Grade - Round 15 v Parramatta (1-Day Matches)
Metropolitan Cup – UNSW and Sydney University
The Randy Petes headed into the final round of the regular season with the Top 4 Grades all a chance of advancing into the finals, in what would prove to be a decisive final day. Whilst 1s, 2s and 3s all needed victories and a helping hand, Fourth Grade sat in 6th spot as we took on a Parramatta Club with plenty of motivation. The Two Blues have had a fantastic season, topping the table in both First and Third Grades, as well as being in contention to claim the Club Championship, sitting in second position. Whilst we were sitting in tenth spot, three wins would consolidate that Top 10 finish, which would be a decent way to end the season if we couldn't claim any finals’ berths. Not only was it a big round for our finals’ chances, but also two of the all time greats of the Randy Petes were playing their final game together. Read below my tribute to those two players, as well as how teams and players fared in Round 15.
EDITORS NOTE: A HUGE THANKYOU TO EDDIE OTTO AND LYALL GARDNER FOR THEIR WRITING CONTRIBUTIONS EACH WEEK - WE ARE LUCKY AS A CLUB TO HAVE PEOPLE LIKE ED AND LYALL THAT GIVE UP THEIR TIME TO BENEFIT THE CLUB AND IT'S MEMBERS.
Legends Bow Out With A Win
Editors Note - Before going any further this week, I want to pay tribute to, in my opinion, the two greatest Randy Petes in the Club’s history in Rod Stafford and David Bourke, who retired together this Saturday at their spiritual home Petersham Oval.
Rod has been one of the Club’s all-time great players, and I can honestly say, in my time playing and following this Club, he has been the most influential player the Club has had in terms of helping teams win games over a period of time in whatever grade he played. An outstanding leg spinner, a seriously under-rated batsman that knew his game, and a fantastic bloke and Captain to boot.
David Bourke might not have had the same numbers as Rod Stafford as a cricketer, however he was always a key contributor particularly in close games and his influence across the Club was on an equal footing on and off the field. The atmosphere he has cultivated in Fourth Grade over the past five or so years has been second to none, and I have seen first hand how much kids from his teams enjoy playing under his watch, and the spirit in Third and Fourth Grades this year is a big credit to both Rod and David alongside Ben Stares. Bourkey, despite being a larrikin with his love of a beer and punt, also has one of the best cricket brains in the business, and is a true cricket nerd. His efforts on and off the field have made him perhaps the most popular player I know in the Club’s history, to go with one of the most influential in Rod.
As we all know they are both fantastic blokes, and I know these guys, despite hanging up the boots, will still be putting their energies into the Club in different ways, and making sure the spirit and culture of the Randy Petes is at the forefront of their minds. The cricketers I admired most playing with, were those who didn't care about individual records or accolades, but just loved getting 6 points, and Rod and David personified that, and I wish them the very best in retirement.
1st Grade - Parramatta v Randwick Petersham @ Old Kings Oval
Team - A. Sams (c+), Everett, Sangha, Chhibber, D. Sams, Kemp, Ayre, Eaton, Semple, West, Hemphrey
Result – Randwick Petersham 5/230 - 50 Overs (Kemp 83 n/o, Chibber 58. A.Sams 26, Everett 22) Defeated Parramatta 10/101 - 27.2 Overs (West 5/33-8, Semple 2/11-6, Ayre 2/23-4.4)
First Grade headed West for the final round of the season to take on 1st placed Parramatta, with everything still to play for. Sitting just one point behind 6th placed Gordon, we were 9th, with a host of teams in contention to make the final six on what was sure to be a frenetic final day. Boosting our chances significantly of a victory was the return of both Alex Kemp and Greg West from injury. Kemp has missed the past four games, whilst West has missed the majority of the season.
Despite a dominant performance, and thumping bonus point’s victory, our boys fell agonisingly one point short of the Belvedere Cup Finals’ Series. We dominated this match against a finals’ bound team from start to finish, running out comfortable 129-run winners, after managing 5/230 from our 50 overs, and rolling the Two Blues for just 101 in 27.4 overs to claim all 7 points.
Starring were ex-Captain Alex Kemp (83) and left arm paceman Greg West (5/33-8), who both played a huge role in the comprehensive victory. Kemp, batting from Number 6, smashed 83 not out from just 81 balls, including four 6’s, to elevate the Randwick Petersham innings. Kemp shared a 134-run fifth wicket partnership with Soumil Chhibber (58) who held the innings together with 58 from 92 balls.
Greg West then ripped the heart out of the hosts’ batting order on his way to 5/33 from eight overs. West showed what he is capable of, and hopefully he can start next season fully fit. Both Semple (2/11-6) and Ayre (2/23-4.4) chipped in with a couple of wickets each, as we run amok, playing one of our best all-round games of the year in the final round.
Unfortunately, in a very tightly contested final round, results went against us, and we finished one point behind sixth placed Sydney on 51 points in 9th spot. The ladder was unbelievable close this year, with 1st placed Campbelltown finishing on 58 points, and 12th placed Wests finishing on 43 points. Sadly for us, despite winning 8 matches and losing just 5, it marked the fourth season in a row that we have missed the finals by a point or so.
Captain Sams wanted to pay a tribute to the coaching staff, team scorer (Veena Naidu), all family and friends that came to support throughout the year as well as the ladies in the canteen led by Robyn and Sue. Sams also paid a special mention to Bill Anderson for again being a rock around the team every week. He commented "As players we all know how much effort goes into running a club, we greatly appreciate everything you do and it doesn’t go unappreciated"
2nd Grade - Randwick Petersham v Parramatta @ Coogee Oval
Team – Mahony-Brack, Tector, James, Calder, Lyle, Ram, Frith, Mullins (+), Jenkins, Magann, Dellar
Result - Parramatta 10/152 - 47 Overs (Magann 3/15-9, Ram 3/40-10, Jenkins 2/15-100 Defeated By Randwick Petersham 6/156 - 42 Overs (Ram 68n/o, Mahony-Brack 27)
Second Grade were looking to continue their outstanding finish to the season as they searched for a fifth win from six games, as they hosted 13thplaced Parramatta at Coogee Oval. Sitting 6 points behind 6th placed Sydney, we needed a miracle of results to snake into the finals, but could ensure a Top 10 finish with another good performance. Tom Frith and Kushall Ram were included into the side to add some experience to the batting order, whilst Jack Tector would Captain the side in his final game for the Club with the young batsman returning to Ireland on Sunday.
Once again 2s showed what a strong side they have become post-Christmas with a 4-wicket victory, chasing down Parramatta’s 152 for the loss of 6 wickets, with 8 overs to spare.
It was a great effort from the bowling attack, with five of our six bowlers being Under 21s and showing what a potent PG’s side we could have in a year or two. Pat Magann (3/15-9) like Greg West has spent the majority of the season on the sidelines, however now fully fit, he has been excellent in the back end of the season, claiming another 3 wickets here, and going for less than 2 runs per over. Mac Jenkins (2/15-10) was full of confidence coming off his First Grade debut, bowling an outstanding 10 overs tying the Two Blues to the crease and picking up two wickets, whilst conceding just 15 runs. Kushall Ram (3/40-10) has proved a strike bowler in First Grade this season and chipped in with three key wickets as he made another big impact on the game.
With the bat, Tector (18) and Mahony-Brack (27) got the run chase off to a solid start, putting on 44 for the opening wicket before we suffered a collapse of sorts. The Two Blues hit back claiming 4 wickets for 23 runs, as we slumped to 4/67 and the game swung back into the balance. However, all rounder Kushaal Ram (68n/o) had other ideas, coming out full of aggressive intent and blowing away the visitors with some crunching cover drives and lofted shots on his way to an unbeaten 68. Ram was not in the mood to do much running, as he hit four 4s and five massive 6s, with Tom Frith (7n/o) holding firm at the other end to see us through to victory.
The 6 points gave us an outstanding record for season 2017/18, with 9 victories and just 5 losses with 1 draw. Sometimes 55 point is enough to make the finals, however the cards didn't fall our way and we finished in 10th place, despite winning four more games than we lost. Overall, it was a fabulous season from a very young side that was somewhat written off at the start of the season after a couple of heavy defeats.
The Second Grade boys would like to say a big thank you to David Holland for all his help this season, as well as a fond farewell to Jack Tector, one of the great imports, who is heading back to Ireland after a fruitful season in Sydney. Tec's final game in NSW Premier Cricket will be remember fondly by his team mates, as he turned up to the field with his whites, a coffee, and no kit. Tec locked his gear inside his house, and proceeded to mix and match the rest of his required gear from the boys. We wish him all the best, and foresee a bright future ahead.
3rd Grade - Parramatta v Randwick Petersham @ Merrylands Oval
Team – Powell (+), Eldridge, Burton, De Silva, B. Stares (c), Graham, Hodges, McKenzie, Tsalikidis, Loth
Result - Parramatta 10/261 - 49.5 Overs (McKenzie 4/33-9.5, Loth 4/53-10) Defeated Randwick Petersham 10/96 - 30 Overs (Hart 31, Burton 26)
Third Grade were well and truly alive heading into their final round clash at Merrylands Oval, with a finals’ place still a possibility with a victory. A great win over Sydney last week had put us in in 7th place, just one point behind 6th placed Sydney. However, there was a mountain to climb with the hosts having a dominant season, sitting pretty at the top of the table, and with the Club itself in contention to win the Club Championship, nothing would come easily.
Unfortunately it wasn't a happy ending to what has been a great season for Third Grade as we were comprehensively beaten by 165 runs by a strong outfit. The Two Blues batted first and showed their power, posting 261 from their 50 overs, before we were out for just 96 in reply. Despite being found out for less than 100, the boys went down swinging, as we tried desperately to chase down a huge total, rather than simply play for an honourable loss.
The highlights of the day were our two leading pacemen Tom McKenzie (4/33-9.5) and Doug Loth (4/53-10) being rewarded for their toil, taking 8 of the 10 wickets to fall against a strong batting outfit. There has been no player in hotter form than McKenzie post-Christmas, as the big quick once again ripped out another 4-wicket haul, showing he has been a class above Third Grade batsmen most of the season. Remarkably, McKenzie has now taken 17 wickets in his last four games, including three 4-wicket hauls and one 5-wicket haul. He finishes the Third Grade season with 28 wickets at just 14, and shows he will be ready to rip and tear into higher grades next season.
With the bat, both Joe Hart (31) and Ashley Burton (26) stemmed the tide of wickets as they threatened to build a partnership that could get us back in the game. However, it wasn't to be, as the hosts were far too strong on the day. Captain Stares was proud of his troops in the post-match, stating that some would use this season as a stepping stone to playing a lot of higher grades. In the absence of a senior player, where we previously had Nigel Singh, John McLaughlin and Rod Stafford, we had a few aim up and take on a leader’s role which will be invaluable in the coming years.
Third Grade can be really proud of their efforts this season, finishing with 8 wins and 6 losses, to finish the season in 8th place on 50 points, just 6 points outside of the finals’ positions. The team came into season 2017/18 with a new Captain, Ben Stares, who did an outstanding job taking over from Rod Stafford. Stares galvanised a fantastic team spirit throughout the season, despite having several young players that had not played much Third Grade before.
4th Grade - Randwick Petersham v Parramatta @ Petersham Oval
Team - Gracias Flor, Murdita, Standing, Ahmed (+), Montedoro, Bourke (c), Radford, Stafford, Fox, Stirling
Result - Randwick Petersham 10/175-49 Overs (Bourke 35, Montedoro 33, Gracias Flor 24, Radford 21) Defeated Parramatta 8/171 - 50 Overs (Radford 3/??, Stafford 1/8-10)
Fourth Grade had all to play for at Petersham Oval on Saturday as they hosted 9th placed Parramatta, as we sat in 6th place with one round remaining. Whilst a victory could be enough to get us into the finals, the fact both Sydney University and Penrith in 7th and 8th positions respectively, playing against sides with nothing to play for, and every chance of picking up a bonus point victory. Returning to boost the side’s chances was powerful young all-rounder Jack Standing, who has been in and out of sides all season.
In the end it was a day of mixed emotions, with a fantastic last ball victory, slightly dampened by the fact both Sydney University and Penrith picked up bonus points to relegate us to 8th place on quotient. Despite the unsurprising bad news at other venues, it was still a great final ball victory for our boys against a side in Parra who were looking to help their club secure the Club Championship.
Captain Bourke was desperate to win the toss and bowl, given how much easier it is to claim a bonus point bowling first, however the coin fell the wrong way and we found ourselves batting on a wicket that was well grassed and going to be easier to bat in the afternoon. The boys put up a pretty solid performance to reach 10/175 against a young Parramatta attack who bowled with good pace, with some solid partnerships elevating our score after we had slumped to 4/58. Sav Gracias Flor (23) returned to form, striking the ball well and batting with good intent early in the innings. Ben Montedoro (35) and David Bourke (35) then put on an outstanding partnership to swing the momentum of the game.
In the end the game was a thrilling finish, with the Two Blues enjoying batting once the sun had come out and the wicket flattened out. It came down to the final ball with 4 runs required for victory, with the team holding his nerve to secure us a great victory to finish the season. Luke Radford (3/31-10) and Rod Stafford (1/8-10) both led the way once more with the ball. Stafford, showing his competitive spirit and quality never dies, controlling the innings like few leg spinners could do under pressure.
Captain Bourke wanted to give a shout out to the Third Grade boys for coming down with a few overs to go, to cheer the lads on, then hang around for beers in the sheds and out on the deck. In the end, despite winning 9 games and losing just 5, and finishing with a big tally of 59 points, we were pushed out of the Top 6 on quotient to finish in 8th spot. It was another great season for 4s, with Captain David Bourke cultivating a great club spirit and bringing through several young players who have improved in leaps and bounds throughout the season.
5th Grade - Parramatta v Randwick Petersham @ Castlewood Oval
Team – Lopes, House (+), Crawford, Papathanasiou, Andonopoulous, Lesson, Stewart (c) Tsalikidis, Kashyap, Sachs, L. O'Laughlin
Result - Parramatta 6/270 - 50 Overs (L O’Loughlin 3/41 -10) Defeated Randwick Petersham 10/79-37 Overs
Fifth Grade were looking to finish a tough season on a high when they headed to Castlewood Oval to take on 4th placed Parramatta. Despite the side having a huge turnover of players this year, they have continued to battle away and produced some more competitive performances post-Christmas, including a victory. John Stewart would take the reins for the second game running, whilst female cricketer Carly Lesson played her third match in Fifth Grade.
The match didn't turn out as we hoped with the home side running out comfortable 191-run winners, to score a well deserved Top 4 spot.
With murky skies overhead, we won the toss and elected to bowl with a wet outfield. Whilst the the bowlers applied pressure, things got away from us in the second half of the innings, as Parra reached 6/270 from their 50 overs.
Liam O'Loughlin was again the pick of the bowlers, bowling a tight line and picking up another 3 wickets. It completes a good season for Liam, who finished the season with 27 wickets, to be the side’s most consistent spinner all season. Carly Leeson was unplayable at times and so was Ed House.
As per this season, our batsmen struggled to score runs and turn the tide, however the team will definitely improve from all the experiences of this season coming up against good oppositions. At the post-match meeting, all the players were positive and look to turn things around in 2018/19.
Metropolitan Cup - Randwick Petersham Gold v Sydney University @ St Pauls
Team - A Hookey, J Hookey, T Fox, Jastrzab (c+), Sherriff, Richardson, Robertson, Segal, Jedwood, Coombs, Trindall
Result - Randwick Petersham Gold 188 - 43.2 Overs (Trindall 67, T Fox 25) defeated Sydney University 161 - 32.1 Overs (J Segal 2-21, C Sherriff 2-33)
The Gold's season came somewhat full circle, as they begun and finished with away matches against Sydney University. Thankfully this time there was a much more favourable result, as the Golds held off a spirited but undermanned effort from the students. A bit more dampness had crept into the deck than was anticipated, and batting first proved to be a real challenge. After slumping to 3-17, Tobi Fox (25) led the fight back with another enterprising knock mixed with controlled aggression. Josh Segal (20) then took up fight with similar grit. But at 6-75, things were looking a little grim until Jason 'Tricky' Trindall (67) faced up to his second ball...
Much of the quaint old English of St Pauls had been lost behind the construction work, and Tricky's second ball was almost lost behind it as well, as he launch into the Sydney Uni leg spinner. But it was not all crash and bash from the big marn, as he worked the singles and twos that were on offer. His innings was interspersed with 8 boundaries and 4 sixes that all cleared the boundary by at least 20 metres. Good thing construction sites mandate hard hats. The fun ended with a good catch on the boundary, after a 51 run stand with Adrian Hookey (20) who made 3 runs in that stand. Adrian got in a few big hits of own, before being the last man out and the score on 188.
Sydney University then unveiled a few players that might make a splash in lower grades next season, as they rollicked to 110 without loss in 22 overs. Josh Segal (2-21) afforded the much needed breakthrough, as the better of two openers mowed one straight to Tobi Fox at mid-on. Panic seemed to set in, as the number 3 perished swinging for the hills. And just as the other opener unveiled his sledgehammer and took Tricky for a huge over, Corey Sherriff (2-33) returned to show that there wasn't room in town for both of them, thanks to a nerveless steepling catch by Dane Coombs. From there, the rest folded meekly for 161, as the Golds got their spring back to field and bowl with renewed intensity. Coombs (1-23) capped off a good season with the final wicket to go with two catches. The win takes Gold to a 9th placed finish and season where several young players made rapid strides in their development - and an honorable mention to the Sydney University team who played undermanned but with great spirit to make it a close contest.
Metropolitan Cup - Randwick Petersham Green v UNSW Black @ Kensington Oval
Team - Coovre (c), Ganesh, Mohan, Genner, Sapariya, W Deller (+), Whalebone, Wanzare, A Bhavsar, Mitchell, C De Silva
Result - Randwick Petersham Green 84- 33.1 Overs (A Bhavsar 17) defeated Eastern Suburbs - 20.2 Overs (A Bhavsar 2-17)
RP lost the toss, and were sent into bat on what looked to be a well-prepared wicket. UNSW Black revelled in the early overcast conditions, consistently bowling a perfect straight seam on a good length. The ball chattered away, finding its way through open gates, the top six all succumbing. Abbie Bhavsar fought bravely with a counter-punching 17, but when he was bowled, the score was 5/47, with 22 of those runs coming from extras. Spin was then introduced, the Green batsmen faring little better save for a 23-run partnership between Genner and Coovre. Genner smote two fours and a six, before creaming one straight to cover, and Coovre also creamed one - straight to short cover. Shortly after we were all out for 84, in 33 overs.
Bhavsar took the new ball, bowling with good pace and carry, getting the Black's veteran opener snicking behind to W. Deller. Chaz then bowled their dangerous number three with a corker, before Bhavsar had the other opener trapped in front, to have Black 3/36 in the seventh. The change bowlers bowled admirably, but batsmen four and five held fast, ticking over the scoreboard, and belting anything remotely loose. Black found the winning runs in the 20th over, defeating us by seven wickets.