Second and Thirds into semi-finals

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Sydney University Cricket Club’s Second and Third grades remain alive in the hunt for 2012-13 season titles after securing solid first innings win in their qualifying finals at the weekend.

Jack Hill cracked 101 in Second Grade’s win over Parramatta, while Steve Hobson scored 106 in Third Grade’s win over Bankstown.

Second Grade’s pursuit of the Abert Cup moved one step closer when they accounted for Parramatta on a good deck at Old Kings Oval.

A shaky start saw the Students lose a wicket on the second ball of the innings and slump to 3-43 against a team that defeated them by eight wickets in the regular competition round.

However, some solid performances from the middle order saw the Students declare at 7-288, allowing them eight overs against the hosts before stumps on day one.

The recovery was led by a magnificent century from Hill, who shared partnerships of 62 with Liam Robertson (36), 42 with Tom Kierath (23) and 125 with Josh Richards (77). It was Hill’s second century in Second Grade this season. Richards’ 77 off 99 balls was also a defining knock.

Parramatta ended the day at 0-21, but the good start was undone on day two with some outstanding fast bowling from Kerrod McPherson (5-17) and Nigel Cowell (4-33), who combined to skittle the hosts for 95. While the Students might have been fortunate to make the finals series, they are now on track to defend their 2011-12 title.

Meanwhile, Third Grade’s pursuit of the Mitchell Cup also moved one step closer when they accounted for minor premiers Bankstown on a beautifully prepared wicket at Jensen Oval.

University skipper Pete Murray won the toss and had no hesitation in choosing to bat. Ed Arnott (58) and Alex Logan (23) batted steadily and patiently to give the Students a solid 74-run start.

Steve Hobson consolidated with 106 off 111 balls. He showed his intentions from the outset when he greeted the Bankstown’s spinner’s first ball with a straight hit for six and followed that with two boundaries.

Hobson shared a 125-run partnership with Ash Cowan (38), before the promising Darius Visser joined the fray with 49 not out off 55 balls. Rob Edwards (31 off 35 balls) and Alasdair Grant (32 off 32 balls) also provided useful contributions as the Students declared at  5-352, giving them 13 overs at the minor premiers before stumps.

Charles Cull captured an early wicket and Bankstown ended the day at 1-41.

Bankstown were well in the match when they went to lunch at 2-130, but the Students took 7-111 in the second session, with Brendan Pryke snaring 4-41. One of the highlights of the second session was an excellent run out executed by wicketkeeper Ed Arnott, who took a return high over his head and, with one glove off, in one motion threw the stumps down at the bowler’s end. The match ended soon after tea with another run out, and the Students were home by 100 runs.



Sydney Men’s Grade competition – Qualifying finals (Two-day matches)

Second Grade: Sydney University 7(dec)-288 (Jack Hill 101, Joshua Richards 77, Liam Robertson 36; Scott Copperfield 2-43, Anthony Child 2-63) d Parramatta 95 (Luke McNaught 19, Richard Potter 19  not out, Raza Rizwan 16; Kerrod McPherson 5-17, Nigel Cowell 4-33) on the first innings at Old Kings Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Sydney University. Other Qualifying Finals results: Bankstown 178 and 0-90 d Randwick-Petersham 104; and St George 191 d Sydney 74 and 196.

Third Grade: Sydney University 5(dec)-352 (Steven Hobson 106, Ed Arnott 58, Darius Visser 49 not out, Ash Cowan 38, Alasdair Grant 32 not out, Robert Edwards 31, Alex Logan 23; Ethan Leten 4-55) d Bankstown 252 (Ethan Leten 80, Mark Morley 46, James Bourne 36; Brendan Pryke 4-41) on the first innings at Jensen Park. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Sydney University. Other Qualifying Finals results: Gordon 232 d Hawkesbury 65; and Sutherland 228 d North Sydney 111.

Sydney Women’s Grade competition – Final (Limited Overs)

Bankstown 7-165 off 38.5 overs  (Sarah Aley 51, Carly Ryan 32, Corinne Hall 25; Rachel Haynes 3-7,  Maisy Gibson 2-41) d Universities 164 off 50 overs (Kara Sutherland 51, Sara Sutherland 17, Georgia Redmayne 16, Alison Parkin 16; Sara Aley 3-21, Sharon Millanta 2-29) by three wickets at Sydney University No.1 Oval. Toss: Bankstown. Batted first: Universities. Premiers 2012-13 season: Bankstown.