Sydney University opener and skipper Ben Larkin harked back to the timeless Test era when he guided Second Grade to back-to-back titles in a rain-interrupted final at Blacktown International Sports Park No.1. Oval on April 5, 6 and 7.

The right-hander chose the right occasion to post 151 – his third century and highest score for the club – as the Students built a mammoth first innings total of 468 after losing the toss and being sent in. Sydney University then rolled Parramatta for 211 to retain the Albert Cup.

Larkin hit just seven boundaries from the 498 deliveries he faced in his 598-minute occupation. He shared a 141-run opening stand with Will Hay (61) and a 170-run second-wicket stand with Liam Robertson (98).

Robertson’s 274-minute stay, which produced eight boundaries, was relatively breezy when compared with the skipper and the team. While the Students worked on time at the crease, Parramatta sent down 218.5 overs before they earned the right to have a bat

All-rounder Raza Rizwan was the pick of the eight bowlers employed, claiming 3-57. He backed up that effort by top-scoring with 71 as Parramatta went in pursuit of what turned out to be an impossible target.

Larkin was named man-of-the-match.

The news was not so good for Sydney University Third Grade who were beaten on the first innings by Gordon in a low-scoring, rain-affected final at Sydney University No.1 Oval.

Sent in to bat, the Students could only muster 147, thanks to the efforts of Gordon’s Adaire Durie, who earned man-of-the-match honours with figures of 8-56 from 35 overs.

Robert Edwards (40), Alex Logan (22), Ash Cowan (20) and Henry Clark (20) all made useful starts but the steady loss of wickets saw the Students come up short.

Gordon openers Damon Livermore (63 not out) and Chris Spratt (31) gave their team a 61-run start before Clem Bromwich (23) helped Livermore put the Mitchell Cup result in the bag as the visitors reached 3-151 off 44 overs.

Both Sydney University teams finished sixth in their respective competitions and won their way through to the finals with wins in the qualifying finals and semi-finals.


Sydney Men’s Grade competition – Finals

Second Grade – Three-day match: Sydney University 468 off 218.5 overs (Ben Larkin 151, Liam Robertson 98, Will Hay 61, Jonte Pattison 45, Joshua Richards 24, Adam Theobald 21, Nigel Cowell 21; Raza Rizwan 3-57, Nick Chant 2-58) d Parramatta 211 off 74.3 overs (Raza Rizwan 71, Luke Forbes 60; Tom Kierath 3-16, Kerrod McPherson 3-29, Nigel Cowell 2-50, Liam Robertson 2-52) on the first innings at Blacktown International Sports Park No.1. Toss: Parramatta. Batted first: Sydney University. Man of the match: Ben Larkin. Sydney University retain the Abert Cup.

Third Grade – Two-day match: Gordon 3-151 (Damon Livermore 63 not out, Chris Spratt 31, Clem Bromwich 23; Darius Visser 2-29) d Sydney University  147 (Robert Edwards 40, Alex Logan 22, Ash Cowan 20, Henry Clark 20; Adaire Durie 8-56) on the first innings at Sydney University No.1 Oval. Toss: Gordon. Batted first: Sydney University. Man of the match: Adaire Durie. Gordon win Mitchell Cup.

First Grade: St George (177 and 1-140) d Sutherland (224 and 88) outright at Bankstown Memorial Oval to win the Belvidere Cup.

Fourth Grade: St George 191 d Sydney on the first innings to win the Reid Cup.

Fifth Grade: Gordon (139 and 6-146) d St George 121 on the first innings to win the David Sherwood Cup.