A pair of 21-year-olds helped Sydney University claim the 2010-11 Sydney Grade cricket Limited Overs title with a 23-run win over Manly-Warringah in the final at Manly Oval on Sunday.
Scott Henry and Nick Larkin put on a 103-run sixth-wicket partnership to help Sydney University to 8-235 off 50 overs before the Students dismissed Manly-Warringah for 212 off 48.2 overs.
In a closely fought final, the hosts needed 36 runs from the final three overs with three wickets in hand, but Greg Mail snared topscorer Nat Hill (75) thanks to a classic leap-over-the-boundary catch from Josh Toyer, and all-rounder Ian Moran wrapped up the tail to secure the title for the Students.
After skipper Will Hay won the toss and elected to bat, Sydney University slumped to 5-113 before Henry (74) and Larkin (66) put their stamp on the game to provide a competitive target.
The hosts reached 5-156 with victory in their sights before Hay introduced spinners Beau Casson (2-47) and Tom Kierath (1-45), who each bowled their 10 overs.
Henry, a student at ACPE and a member of the Sydney University’s Elite Athlete Program, has had a productive year since returning from an off-season stint in the Northern League in England. A left-hander, he’s posted 681 runs at a shade over 37.
Larkin, the captain of Sydney University’s Poidevin-Gray (Under 21) side, is also in the Elite Athlete Program. A right-hander, who opens the innings in Poidevin-Gray and bats down the order in First Grade, he has racked up 843 runs in all forms of the game this season at 43.65.
Sydney University Cricket Club coach Gary Whitaker said both players reaped the benefits of hard work. “They are promising young players who have shown they are up to the next level,” he said.
“They got us back into the game with their maturity and ability. Scott has worked hard on his game, particularly since Christmas and it has paid off, while Nick, apart from batting well, produced a great outfield throw to run out Adam Crosthwaite for 51.”
Whitaker said the final was a classic affair, played by two well-drilled and competitive teams in front of a good crowd. “Had Manly produced a couple of high-scoring overs late in the piece, they might have claimed the title,” he said. “The game ebbed and flowed and we were never really comfortable.
“But Will (skipper Will Hay) introduced our two spinners, Beau Casson and Tom Kierath, mid-way through proceedings and our fielders backed them up. They both bowled well and took some crucial wickets.”
The coach said Sydney University were now looking for the treble, with First Grade in sight of claiming the minor premiership in the Belvidere Cup and the Under 21s through to the semi-finals of the Poidevin-Gray competition. “Our Second Grade are also in with a chance of claiming a title, too,” he said.
“We have plenty of young players coming through the program. They work hard academically and on the field and enjoy the great environment the university provides.”
Meanwhile, in the final two-day match of the season, Sydney University have already claimed first innings points over Western Suburbs and will be pushing for an outright result next Saturday. They will then meet Penrith in a limited over fixture at No.1 Oval to wrap-up the season proper, before the finals series begins on March 19.
Sydney Men’s Grade competition – Limited overs final
First Grade: Sydney University 8-235 off 50 overs (Scott Henry 74, Nick Larkin 66, Beau Casson 28, Ian Moran 27; Jackson 3-47, Ben Davis 2-26, Shane Cleary 2-34) d Manly-Warringah 212 off 48.2 overs (Nat Hill 75, Adam Crosthwaite 51, Stephen O’Keefe 26; Ian Moran 3-32, Beau Casson 2-47, Nigel Cowell 1-22, Josh Toyer 1-19) by 23 runs at Manly Oval on Sunday. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Sydney University. Man of the Match (Michael Bevan Medal): Scott Henry (Sydney University).
Sydney Men’s Grade competition – Two-day matches – Round 14
First Grade: Sydney University 7(dec)-124 (Ian Moran 22, Mark Faraday 21, Greg Mail 20, Scott Henry 20; Joe Mennie 4-37, Michael Tudehope 2-19) v Western Suburbs 122 (Keegan Luiters 30, Phil Hughes 18; Josh Toyer 3-13, Greg Mail 3-19, Ian Moran 3-34) and 2-8 (Ian Moran 1-2, Greg Mail 1-5) stumps, day one at Pratten Park. Toss: Western Suburbs. Batted first: Western Suburbs).
Second Grade: Sydney University 208 (Matthew Morgan 51, Ben Larkin 34, Robert Edwards 32; Emmanuel Parmakellis 5-39, Geoff Ashmore 2-37) v Western Suburbs 3-32 (Michael Culkoff 2-12) stumps, day one at Sydney University No.1 Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Sydney University.
Third Grade: Western Suburbs 361 (Guy Seymour 137, Mitchell 111; Jimmy Kazaglis 7-89) v Sydney University 0-48) stumps, day one at Blick Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Western Suburbs.
Fourth Grade: Sydney University 2-119 (Jack Hammond 74 not out, Edward Arnott 24 not out; Gavin Dennett 2-15) v Western Suburbs 151 (Terence Howes 94; Stuart McLean 3-24, Devin Foulis 3-27, Charles Cull 3-32) stumps, day one at Sydney University No.2 Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Western Suburbs.
Fifth Grade: Sydney University 178 (Alex Barwick 57, Edward Lewis 34; Kevin Tyler 4-26, Noor Uddin3-22) v Western Suburbs 0-47 (Tahmid Islam 23 not out) stumps, day one at Punchbowl Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Sydney University.