A stoic 73 from No.3 Dom Goddard helped Sydney University Third Grade force a draw with Manly Warringah and collect the 2023-24 Mitchell Cup in the NSW Men’s Premier Cricket competition.

Having lost just one match throughout the season to claim the minor premiership, the Students only needed to draw the final to collect the major title, and that’s they did, with four wickets in hand. Chasing Manly-Warringah’s 200 off 86.2 overs, Sydney University were 6-197 when stumps were drawn.

Goddard and Henry Snyman put on a108-run fourth-wicket partnership to help the Students reach 6-197 off 103 overs – in sight of victory – when play was called off. His epic 172-ball innings included seven boundaries and a pair of 6s. He was duly awarded Man of the Match honours. Snyman also settled in for the long haul, with his 39 coming off 168 deliveries and including three boundaries.

Sydney University skipper Josh Toyer had earlier helped put the Students in a good position to claim the title at their home ground when he collected 4-46 from his 17 overs, including three of the top four Manly Warringah batsmen after they had won the toss and elected to bat. Shivam Wadhera (2-32) and Darcy Manners (2-40) also helped the cause.

It was the fourth time in the past nine seasons Sydney University have hoisted the Mitchell Cup having won the grade in 2019-20, 2017-18 and 2015-16. They lost just one game throughout the season – a Round 12 match against Bankstown at University Oval – to claim the minor premiership by a hefty margin. The Students finished the season on 88 points, with Manly Warringah (73), Eastern Suburbs (71), Northern District (69), Parramatta (68) and St George (67) making up the top six.

Sydney University then accounted for St George with a 58-run result at University Oval in their qualifying final to move to the semi-final and cemented a place in the decider with a 174-run semi-final victory against Northern District.

Heading into the final, Matthew Powys led the batting aggregate with 467 runs (29.19 average) for the season, with an unbeaten 132 against Mosman in round 8 being the pick of his innings. And Darcy Manners was the danger man with the ball for the Students, claiming 28 wickets at 11.93, with a best spell in Round 15 when he collected 6-15 against Parramatta.

What a season it was for the Thirds.