Larkin leads Students to Poidevin-Gray final

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Graham Croker

Opener Nick Larkin celebrated his recent selection in the Sydney Colts Under 21 team with an unbeaten century on Sunday in guiding Sydney University to a showdown with Hawkesbury in the final of the Poidevin-Gray Shield (limited overs) competition.

Sydney University rattled up 1-190 off 44.1 overs after restricting Penrith to 9-189 off 50 overs in their semi-final at Cook Park, while Hawkesbury accounted for St George by 23 runs in the other semi-final.

Larkin, 21, hit 15 boundaries in his 106 not out, and shared a 114-run opening partnership with Matthew Morgan (37) and a 76-run stand with Liam Robertson (44 not out).

A Sydney University Sports Scholarship holder on the Elite Athletes Program, Larkin also starred in Sydney University’s first ever Sydney Grade cricket limited overs title seven days earlier when he scored 66 off 70 balls in the Students’ 23-run win over Manly.

The tall right-hand batsman, who is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree, has now scored 979 runs for the season in all forms of the game at a healthy average of 46.6.

Sydney University Cricket Club director of cricket, Gary Whitaker, said Larkin’s selection in the Sydney Under 21 side was a testament to his maturity and development as a cricketer.

“His dedication and strong belief in his ability and his improved work ethic have shown in his results and his selection in the Sydney Colts team to play Country Colts,” he said. “He has shown he has the ability to step up to the next level.”

Meanwhile, Sydney University wrapped up the minor premiership of the Belvidere Cup in the Sydney Grade competition with an outright win in their two-day match against Western Suburbs at Pratten Park on Saturday.

In a low-scoring affair, the Students scored 7(dec)-124 and 4-68 to overhaul Western Suburbs’ scores of 122 and 69.

Ian Moran took 6-54 for the match to move past 300 career wickets in First Grade, while Greg Mail snared 7-44 for the match. Mail also moved past 1000 runs for the season – the fourth time he has achieved the feat. No other players have achieved the feat more than twice in their careers. And his First Grade career run tally of 11,410 has moved him into the top five leading run scorers of all time.

Sydney University meet Penrith in the final round of the 2010-11 season – a limited overs round on Saturday – before the preliminary finals begin the following weekend.

The Students head the First Grade ladder on 87 points, with Randwick-Petersham (72), St George (67), North Sydney (63), Bankstown (62) and Sydney (61) making up the top six.

Sydney University Seconds are fourth on the competition ladder on 54 points, behind North Sydney (75), Gordon (63) and Randwick-Petersham (55), and ahead of Sydney (47) and St George (46) in the top six.

In a closely fought competition, the Club Championship is still on the line in the final round this weekend, with St George (1241), Randwick-Petersham (1232), North Sydney (1219) and Sydney University (1188) making up the top four.


Sydney Men’s Poidevin-Gray Shield (Under 21) competition (Limited overs) – Semi-Final

Sydney University 1-190 off 44.1 overs (Nick Larkin (106 not out, Liam Robertson 44 not out, Matthew Morgan 37; Ben Betros 0-33 off 10 overs) d Penrith 9-189 off 50 overs (Josh Clarke 51, Jordan Silk 33, Tim Cummins 26; Chris Withers 2-27, Liam Robertson 2-37, James Larkin 1-14) by nine wickets at Cook Park, Penrith. Toss: Penrith. Batted first: Penrith. Hawkesbury d St George by 23 runs in the other semi-final. Hawkesbury to play Sydney University in the final from 10am on March 13. Venue to be advised.

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) and 4-68 (Scott Henry 24 not out) d Western Suburbs 122 (Keegan Luiters 30, Phil Hughes 18; Josh Toyer 3-13, Greg Mail 3-19, Ian Moran 3-34) and 69 (Jason Hughes 22; Greg Mail 4-25, Ian Moran 3-20) outright at Pratten Park. Toss: Western Suburbs. Batted first: Western Suburbs). Points: Sydney University 10, Western Suburbs 0.

Second Grade: Sydney University 208 (Matthew Morgan 51, Ben Larkin 34, Robert Edwards 32; Emmanuel Parmakellis 5-39, Geoff Ashmore 2-37) d Western Suburbs 78 (Adam Pengilly 16; Michael Culkoff 4-26, Ben Joy 3-20, Chris Withers 2-16) and 4-182 (Simon McInerney 63, Paul Donovan 37) on the first innings at Sydney University No.1 Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Sydney University. Points: Sydney University 6, Western Suburbs 0.

Third Grade: Western Suburbs 341 (Guy Seymour 137, Mitchell Starc 111; Jimmy Kazaglis 7-89) v Sydney University 280 (Ken Huckel 101, Alasdair Grant 62; David Clarke 6-68) on the first innings at Blick Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Western Suburbs. Points: Western Suburbs 6, Sydney University 0.

Fourth Grade: Sydney University 5(dec)-195 (Jack Hammond 100, Edward Arnott 32, Jarrod Waterlow 23; Gavin Dennett 2-20) d Western Suburbs 151 (Terence Howes 94; Stuart McLean 3-24, Devin Foulis 3-27, Charles Cull 3-32) and 5-155 (Tim Sallway 23. Joel Willis 22) on the first innings at Sydney University No.2 Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Western Suburbs. Points: Sydney University 6, Western Suburbs 0.

Fifth Grade: Western Suburbs 9(dec)-246 (Soumil Chhibber 56, Kevin Tyler 52; Simon Cowell 7-77) d Sydney University 178 (Alex Barwick 57, Edward Lewis 34; Kevin Tyler 4-26, Noor Uddin 3-22) on the first innings at Punchbowl Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Sydney University. Points: Western Suburbs 6, Sydney University 0.

Sydney Women’s Grade competition – Round 16 (Twenty20)

Sydney 2-131 off 11.5 overs (Kira Churchland 52, Alyssa Healy 47; Erin Burns 1-20) d Universities 8-130 off 20 overs (Kate Owen 43,  Alison Parkin 29; Angela Reakes 3-9) at Raby Oval. Toss: Universities. Batted first: Universities. Points: Sydney 6, Universities 0.