Sydney University are still in the hunt to defend their Sydney Grade One Day cricket crown but only after being given an almighty fright by Eastern Suburbs in the qualifying final at No.1 Oval on Sunday.

The Students were cruising at 4-155 in reply to the 180 posted by Eastern Suburbs when things went awry and they lost 5-23 – leaving them nine wickets down and two runs shy.

Enter Stuart MacGill. He didn’t add to the suspense and struck a three from the only delivery he faced to guide the Students into a semi-final encounter with Fairfield-Liverpool at No.1 Oval on February 26.

State player Peter Neville struck 65 to provide the backbone of Easts’ tally after they’d won the toss and batted. But tight bowling from Stuart Clark (3-23), Tim Ley (3-28), Stuart MacGill (1-37) and Ian Moran (1-29) kept the visitors to a gettable target.

And when prolific openers Greg Mail (62) and Ian Moran (27) put on 55 at better than a run a ball the task seemed well in hand. There was a slight hiccup when No.3 Scott Henry went for a duck, but Mark Faraday (28), Nick Larkin (17) and David Miller (21) kept the scoreboard ticking over at a rapid rate.

That’s when the wheels fell off, with Adam Ezekiel (3-46), Ahillen Beadle (2-28) and Tas Yadani (2-38) triggering a collapse that almost bought them success.

But the Students live to fight another day. They are also in contention to retain their two-day (Belvidere Cup) crown after accounting for Northern District at No.1 Oval on Saturday.

Mail was at it again, cracking 82 not out as the Students racked up 3-167 off 42.1 overs to overhaul the 164 Northern Districts had compiled before being all out in 48.3 overs.

Faraday (42) and Larkin (31 not out) made fine contributions with the bat, while Moran (3-35), Miller (2-18), Will Somerville (2-25), Ley (2-34) and Mail (1-13) were the best of the leather slingers.

Sydney University helped their Club Championship cause by picking up wins in Second, Third and Fifth grades.

Round 14 of the Belvidere Cup will see Sydney University up against Hawkesbury at Owen Earle Oval on February 18 and 19 with a 10.30am start on both days. Second Grade will host Hawkesbury at No.1 Oval.


Sydney Men’s Grade competition (Limited Overs qualifying final)

Sydney University 9-181 off 41.4 overs (Greg Mail 62, Mark Faraday 28, Ian Moran 27, David Miller 21; Adam Ezekiel 3-46, Ahillen Beadle 2-28, Tas Yadani 2-38) d Eastern Suburbs 180 off 49 overs (Peter Neville 69, Sam Robson 25, Adam Ezekiel 24, Rob Watts 23, Andrew Harriott 20; Stuart Clark 3-23, Tim Ley 3-28, Stuart MacGill 1-37, Ian Moran 1-29) by one wicket at Sydney University No.1 Oval. Toss: Eastern Suburbs. Batted first: Eastern Suburbs. Umpires: Andrew Hamilton, Anthony Wilds. Semi-finals, February 26: Defending champions Sydney University to host Fairfield-Liverpool at No.1 Oval; UNSW to Randwick-Petersham at the Village Green.

Round 13  (Limited overs)

First Grade: Sydney University 3-167 off 42.1 overs (Greg Mail  82 not out, Mark Faraday 42, Nick Larkin 31 not out; Harry Conway 1-16) d Northern District 164 off 48.3 overs (Jonathon Whealing 39, Tristen McDonald 25; Ian Moran 3-35, David Miller 2-18, Will Somerville 2-25, Tim Ley 2-34, Greg Mail 1-13) by seven wickets at Sydney University No.1 Oval. Toss: Northern District. Batted first: Northern District. Points: Sydney University 6, Northern District 0.

Second  Grade: Sydney University 7-221 off 50 overs (Tom Kierath 108 not out, Michael Culkoff 41, Nigel Cowell 27 not out; Dean Crawford 3-34, Matthew Philips 2-26) d Northern District 195 off 41.2 overs (Clinton Witt 45, Tim McMahon 30, Matthew Phillips 30; Nigel Cowell 3-35, Michael Culkoff 3-38, Josh Toyer 2-28) by 26 runs at Mark Taylor Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first:  Sydney University. Points:  Sydney University 6, Northern District 0.

Third Grade: Sydney University 3-119 off 21.5 overs (Robert Edwards 45 not out, Alasdair Grant 35 not out, Suda Sivapalan 21; Phil Melville 3-22) d Northern District 115 off 42.4 overs (Michael Galbraith 35; Chris Withers 3-12, Robert Edwards 3-26, Kerrod McPherson 2-25) by seven wickets, with a bonus point, at Sydney University No.2 Oval. Toss: Northern District. Batted first: Northern District. Points:  Sydney University 7, Northern District 0.

Fourth Grade: Northern District 5-115 off 23.4 overs (Matthew Griffin 48), d Sydney University 224 off 49.5 overs (Alex Logan 59, Brendan Pyke 35, Jim Kazaglis 29 not out, Peter Murray 26, Stuart McLean 22) by five wickets in rain shortened match at Asquith Oval. Toss: Northern District. Batted first: Sydney University. Points: Northern District 6, Sydney University 0.

Fifth Grade: Sydney University 6-66 off 23 overs (Michael Barwick 25 not out) d Northern District 88 off 45.1 overs (Alexander Rack 2-9, Alex Toomey 2-11, Sam Mahabady 2-16, Hasi Balasuriya 2-20) by four wickets in rain-shortened match at St Paul’s College Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Northern District: Points:  Sydney University 6, Northern District 0.

Sydney Women’s Grade competition – Round 17 (Limited overs)

First Grade: Bankstown 210 off 49.5 overs (Corinne Hall 40, Carly Ryan 34, Laura Wright 23, Sharron Millanta 22, Emma Newman 20; Kate Owen 3-18,Erin Burns 2-49, Felicity Goodwin 1-14) d Universities 105 off 26.5 overs (Alison Parkin 21, Georgina Redmayne 20; Sarah Aley 2-10, Sharron 2-19) by 105 runs at David Phillips North Oval. Toss: Universities. Batted first: Bankstown. Points: Bankstown 6, Universities 0.