Graham Croker

Sydney University’s five grades are in position to grab a clean-sweep in the Round 5 two-day matches against Blacktown and earn valuable Club Championship points.
With Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth grades having won their tosses, batted and set big targets, the pressure is on First Grade, the only team to lose a toss to Blacktown on Saturday.
Blacktown duly batted at Sydney University No.1 Oval and were 7-288 at stumps, thanks largely to solid contributions from Michael Bright (79), Paul Maraziotis (61), Kerrod Gordon (36) and Joshua Bridges (34 not out).
Greg Mail (2-34) and Josh Toyer (2-60) made inroads when they were introduced to the attack late in the innings, but the Students will be relying on Stuart Clark to wrap up the Blacktown tail next Saturday when he returns from Sheffield Shield duties.
Second Grade captain Adam Theobald cracked 132 in Sydney University’s 8(dec)-384) at Joe McAleer Oval, Blacktown, on Saturday. Chris Jones (73), Nick Dunford (36) and Tim Ley (33) also aided the big total before the Students declared late in the day and grabbed a quick wicket to have the hosts 1-25 at stumps.
Blacktown Third Grade quick Nathan Sowter finished with 6-39 as Sydney University amassed 216 at University No.2 Oval.
Mark Hackett (46), Michael Culkoff (44), Suda Sivapalan (37) and Daniel Ward (34) each made solid starts for the Students, who put themselves in a strong position late in the day when they had Blacktown 3-33 at stumps.
Sydney University Fourth Grade opener Nick Fitzgerald scored 131 in the Students’ total of 8-262 at stumps at Jim Hanshaw Oval, Blacktown. Alex Barwick also contributed 59.
Fifth Grade finished day one in a very strong position at St Paul’s College Oval. The Students declared at 5-309 (Jack Lawson 78, Paul O’Halloran 62, Jack Hammond 54 and Chris Davey 45) and had Blacktown 2-22 at stumps.
Sutherland lead the Club Championship on 355 points, but the Students, on 325, could close the gap considerably with a clean-sweep this Saturday.
In other news, Stuart Clark has returned from the sub-continent after helping NSW win the Champions League Twenty20 tournament in India.
He returned 0-15 off eight miserly overs in NSW’s win over Western Australia in the Ford Ranger Cup limited overs match at North Sydney Oval on Sunday, and will turn out for NSW in the opening Sheffield Shield fixture at the SCG this week.
And, with a host of openers vying for positions at the top of the NSW batting order, former Sydney University and NSW opener Ed Cowan has moved to Tasmania to continue his career.

Sydney Grade Cricket – Round 5

Blacktown 7-288 (Michael Bright 79, Paul Maraziotis 61, Kerrod Gordon 36, Joshua Bridges 34 not out; Greg Mail 2-34, Josh Toyer 2-60) v Sydney University, stumps day one at Sydney University No.1 Oval. Toss won by: Blacktown.
Second Grade: 8(dec)- 384 ( Adam Theobald 132, Chris Jones 73, Nick Dunford 36, Tim Ley 33; Peter Spurr 4-94) v Blacktown 1-25, stumps day one at Joe McAleer Oval. Toss won by: Sydney University.
Third Grade: Sydney University 216 (Mark Hackett 46, Michael Culkoff 44, Suda Sivapalan 37, Daniel Ward 34; Nathan Sowter 6-39) v Blacktown 3-33 (Michael Culkoff 2-13), stumps day one at Sydney University No.2 Oval. Toss won by: Sydney University.
Fourth Grade: Sydney University 8-262 (Nick Fitzgerald 131, Alex Barwick 59; Jason Fulwood 3-49) v Blacktown, stumps day one at Jim Hanshaw Oval. Toss won by: Sydney University.
Fifth Grade: Sydney University 5(dec)-309 (Jack Lawson 78, Paul O’Halloran 62, Jack Hammond 54, Chris Davey 45; Neil Bray 2-57) v Blacktown 2-22, stumps day one at St Paul’s College Oval. Toss won by: Sydney University.

Poidevin-Gray Shield – Round 1 (October 25)

UNSW 9-110 (Blake Hutchison 36, James Brown 28 not out; Chris Withers 3-13, Josh Toyer 2-18) drew with Sydney University at Sydney University No.1 Oval Match abandoned due to wet weather. Toss won by: UNSW.