A pair of boundaries from Sydney University No.11 Ben Joy – making his First Grade debut – helped the Students to a nail-biting win over Eastern Suburbs in their rain-reduced limited overs encounter at Sydney University No.1 Oval on Saturday.

Joy entered the fray with Sydney University needing nine for victory off seven deliveries chasing down Easts 6-145 off 45 overs.

He calmly stroked the first ball he faced in First Grade through the covers for four. Tim Ley, University’s No.10, faced the first ball of the last over, from Easts skipper Ahillen Beadle, and turned it for a single. Joy then straight drove the next ball for four, bringing the game to an exciting end for the Students.

It also ended an exciting seven days for Joy, who was selected to play Third Grade the previous week. But a withdrawal in 2nd Grade saw him return to the grade where he has had much success this season. 

He made the most of the elevation, taking 8-12 against Penrith, and was promptly promoted to make his First Grade debut against third-placed Easts.

Joy’s batting heroics were preceded by a devastating spell with the ball, causing an early collapse after the visitors had won the toss and batted first in overcast conditions.

Greg Mail bowled dangerous opening batsman Sam Robson, before Joy, bowling second change, dismissed opener Rob Watts (13), No.2 Adam Ezekiel (4) and No.3 Timothy Armstrong (1) to finish with 3-24 off nine overs, leaving Easts 4-43.

A recovery led by the Beadle brothers, Ahillen (54 not out) and Cosikan (30) saw Easts reach a competitive 6-149, with a wet and slow outfield making boundaries very hard to find.

Sydney University lost early wickets in the chase, before the prolific Mail 41 and Ben Larkin 28 led a solid recovery. But more quick wickets, including the run out of Mail, saw the Students in trouble. But Stuart Clark, who cracked his maiden century earlier in the season, redressed the situation in compiling 33.

However, just when Sydney University looked over the line, Robson picked up the wickets of Will Somerville for 15 and Clark.

That was when Joy strode to the wicket, hit the winning runs without fuss and celebrated the win and an accompanying minor premiership for Sydney University in the Limited Over competition.

The Students’ defence of their 2010-11 Limited Over title will continue when they host Eastern Suburbs (who finished 6th following Saturday’s loss) in the first qualifying final on Sunday, February 12.

With Second Grade washed out at Waverley Oval, Sydney University won all of their other grades to go undefeated two rounds in succession.

The highlight of the other grades was the performance of Alex Mihalyka, another player with a last-minute promotion. Alex turned up at the wrong ground, not knowing that he had been promoted to Fourth Grade and promptly scored 81, which included 10 sixes, at Trumper Park.

Sydney University lie second on the Belvidere Cup (two-day) ladder behind UNSW, third on the Second Grade ladder behind Manly-Warringah and Northern District, 16th on the Third Grade ladder which is headed by Western Suburbs, first on the Fourth Grade ladder, and seventh on the Fifth Grade ladder which is headed by Parramatta.

That leaves SUCC third in the Club Championship with 1065 points behind Manly-Warringah (1210) and Sutherland (1128).

Sydney University will contest the Twenty20 final against Randwick-Petersham at Sydney University No.1 Oval this Thursday (January 26) with a 2.30pm start.


Sydney Men’s Grade competition – Round 11 (Limited Overs)

First Grade: Sydney University 9-152 off 44.2 overs (Greg Mail 41, Stuart Clark 33, Ben Larkin 28; Nathan Rowe 2-20, Jake Turner 2-27) d Eastern Suburbs 6-149 off 45 overs (Ahillen Beadle 54 not out, Cosikan Beadle 30; Ben Joy 3-24, Greg Mail 1-19, Will Somerville 1-10) by one wicket in a match rain-reduced to 45 overs each at Sydney University No.1 Oval. Toss: Eastern Suburbs. Batted first: Eastern Suburbs. Points: Sydney University 6, Eastern Suburbs 0.

Second Grade: Match abandoned after 3.2 overs with Eastern Suburbs 1-9 at Waverley Oval. No points awarded.

Third Grade: Sydney University 199 off 37 overs (Kevin Desai 64, Justin Younes 43, Alasdair Grant 25; Naveed Chowdhury 5-42) d Eastern Suburbs 114 off 36.3 overs (Charles Cull 3-16, Jack Hill 2-14) by 85 runs, with a bonus point, in rain-shortened match at Sydney University No.2 Oval. Toss: Eastern Suburbs. Batted first: Sydney University. Points: Sydney University 7, Eastern Suburbs 0.

Fourth Grade: Sydney University 6-265 off 50 overs (Alex Mihalyka 81 not out, Henry Clark 64, Ash Cowan 41, James Larkin 25) d Eastern Suburbs 7-146 off 31 overs (Hasi Balasuriya 3-37, Darius Viser 2-25) with a bonus point in a rain-shortened match at Trumper Park. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Sydney University. Points: Sydney University 7, Eastern Suburbs 0.

Fifth Grade: Sydney University 8-160 off 42.5 overs (Sam Mahabady 51 not out, Benjamin Peacock 27; Tom Petrie 5-24, Dugald Holloway 2-24) d Eastern Suburbs 8-159 off 45 overs (George Black 50 not out, Jack Holloway 24; Sam Mahabady 3-28, Timothy Croft 2-30) by two wickets in a match reduced to 45 overs at St Paul’s College Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Eastern Suburbs. Points: Sydney University 6, Eastern Suburbs 0.

AW Green Shield – Round 7 (Limited Overs)

Sydney University 2-51 0ff 9.5 overs (Jack Maddocks 25 not out) d Hawkesbury 50 off 22 overs (Kieran Tate 4-8, Isaac Wallace 2-3, Ryan Danne 2-13) by eight wickets at St Paul’s College Oval. Toss: Hawkesbury. Batted first: Hawkesbury. Points: Sydney University 6, Hawkesbury 0. Sydney University finished eighth and missed a place in the qualifying finals.

Sydney Women’s Grade competition – Round 15

First Grade: Universities 3-174 (Georgia Redmayne 76, Kara Sutherland 74) d Northern District 69) at David Philips North Oval. Details not posted.