From the Pavilion – Round 15 vs Sydney

The regular season came to a close with 1st and 3rd Grade recording good wins to see the Randy Petes finish in 11th position on the Club Championship ladder.

Both RPC Gold and Green also recorded good wins, and RPC Gold also secured a home semi-final be finishing the season in 2nd position on the TriForce Sports Metropolitan Cup ladder.

This weeks from the pavillion is brought to you by:

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The regular season came to a close with 1st and 3rd Grade recording good wins to see the Randy Petes finish in 11th position on the Club Championship ladder.

Both RPC Gold and Green also recorded good wins, and RPC Gold also secured a home semi-final be finishing the season in 2nd position on the TriForce Sports Metropolitan Cup ladder.

1st Grade: Sydney 7-278 vs RPC 4-279 @ Coogee Oval – Win
After winning the toss, skipper Adam Semple elected to send Sydney in at Coogee Oval. Sam Doggett (2-55 from 10 overs) claimed both openers, but Sydney were able to recovered through a blistering innings from Sydney skipper Daniel Smith to post 7-278 from 50 overs. The pick of the bowlers was the consistent Daniel Sams (2-39 from 10 overs), and Nathan Price (2-57 from 9 overs) also claimed 2 wickets.

The run chase got off to a great start as Alex Kemp (34 from 47) and Nathan Price (63 from 69) produced good innings, but the highlight was another Anthony Sams century. Sams racked up 127 not out from 139 balls, to lead the side to a comfortable win, passing Sydney’s total for the loss of 6 wickets in the 48th over.

Unfortunately the side missed out on finals cricket, finishing in 11th position on The Belvidere Cup ladder on 42 points.

Link to scorecard: 

2nd Grade: RPC 189 vs Sydney 7-190 @ Drummoyne Oval – Loss

After being sent in, RPC got off to a solid start with skipper John McLoughlin (22) and Adam Docos (34) leading the way at the top of the order. However the middle order failed to fire apart from Tom Holland (59), and the side was bowled out for 189 in the 50th over.

Early wickets to James Tyson (2-24 from 8.4 overs) and Mohammad Emran (1-48 from 10 overs) saw Sydney struggling at 3-59, but some solid partnerships saw them get over the line 7 down in the 47th over. Sam Wood (1-26 from 10 overs) was unlucky, while Tom McKensire, James Mahony-Brack and McLoughlin all picked up one wicket.

The loss sees the side finish in 13th position on The Abert Cup ladder.

Link to scorecard: 

3rd Grade: Sydney 86 vs RPC 5-89 @ Petersham Oval – Won

The 3rd Grade train rolled into Petersham Oval, and after skipper Rod Stafford won the toss Sydney were asked to bat first. It proved to be great decision, as Matty Wallis (5-13 from 9.4 overs) ripped through the Tigers line up to see them blown away for 86 after 33.4 overs. Wallis was well supported by Stafford (2-16 from 7 overs), while Nigel Singh, Kushaal Ram and Shailen Assani also grab a wicket each.

With a bonus point required to see the side any chance of playing finals cricket, Karl Schubert (24 from 15) and Jack Lyle (25 from 27) lead the way, as the side passed the total after 17 overs for the loss of 5 wickets.

The wins sees the side grab 6th spot on The Mitchell Cup ladder on 50 points, setting up a rematch with 1st placed Sydney in the Qualifying Final.

Link to scorecard: 

4th Grade: Sydney 171 vs RPC 121 @ Birchgrove Park – Loss

The school bus rocked up at Birchgrove Park with a youthful side in tow. Skipper David Bourke finally won a toss and elected to bowl first. Sydney moved to 79 before the introduction of debutant 14 year old Mac Jenkins (3-38 from 10 overs) changed the innings momentum. Wickets to Kyri Tsalikidis (3-21 from 10 overs) saw Sydney 9-134, until a last wicket partnership took them to 171 before Andrew Sprowls (3-40 from 9.5 overs) finished the innings.

The run chase got off the worst possible start with two wickets fall from the first two balls, and despite the best efforts of Bourke (24), Sprowls (27) and debutant Corey Graham (21), RPC were never really able to get back into the game, being dismissed for 121 in the 43rd over.

The loss sees the side finish in 18th position on The Reid Cup ladder.

Link to scorecard: 

5th Grade: RPC 147 vs Sydney 6-148 @ Kensington Oval – Loss

The last round of the season saw two significant departures. First, club legend, Chris Singh, played his last game of grade cricket. Second, the Fighting Fives copped a knock-out punch that saw their finals chance hit the canvas harder than Sonny Liston. It has been a long and successful season in many ways for the Fives, but just like Homer told us millennia ago defeat can be cruel.

In one of the driest February-March periods in recent years, the RPCC skipper lost the toss and was sent into bat on a green top. Yes, like an oasis in the desert. The skipper was positive that hard work during the first hour would do the trick. An hour later with 6/49 on the board, the home side was starting to perspire just a little. However, hope springs eternal. Indeed, that hope was found in the Homeric efforts of Jack “of the glinting helmet” Hopkins (18), Cooper “fleet-of-foot” Smith (21), Glen “delighting in thunder” Standing (46*) and Shohel “horse-breaking” Khan (17) who got the score to a competitive 147. Indeed, the 10th wicket stand of 50 between Standing and Khan saw Sydney slump to the change rooms at the change of innings like the Mycenaeans to the Troad.

The Sydney bats came out positively and started rather well against the efforts of Cooper “fleet-of-foot” Smith and Glen “delighting in thunder” Standing. The first wicket fell to Shohel “horse-breaking” Khan (1/13) and at 1/55 the Randy-Petes could just sense a gap in the Sydney phalanx. 1/55 quickly turned into 3/59 at the hands of Jack “of the glinting helmet” Hopkins who finished with 2/40. But the Sydney side plugged the breach and steadied themselves to finish 6/148 in the 34th over.

And with that came the end of the season. There is little solace to be found in an early departure from the competition. Can the Fives look to the fact that the Sutherland and Sydney Uni’s respective wins with bonus points would have edged us out of the finals anyway? No, I think not. What this season has demonstrated is the fact that there is no such thing as an easy opponent in grade cricket. It is one thing to knock off the top sides in the comp, but you also have to crush those below you. The losses to Fairfield-Liverpool, Penrith, Western Suburbs and in this round to Sydney all played their part in bringing the 2015/16 season to an early end.
The loss sees the side finish in 10th position on The Reid Cup ladder.

Link to scorecard: 

Metropolitan Cup: Sydney 6-213 vs RPC Gold 9-214 @ Ryde Oval – Win

Arriving at the last match of the regular season, both metro teams still had a lot to play for – in the case of the Golds: a home semi final and a send off for grounds-keeper Dale McDonough. Teams were greeted by a pristine Ryde Oval, and the unusual site of an umpire at a Metro match. Big skip John Stewart finally managed to win a toss, and send in a Sydney team that had previously struggled against the Gold attack. And with Hayden Fox (2-27) doing some early damage to leave Sydney at 2-25, another early finish was on the cards… but on an immaculate flat deck, and with a few fielding infringements going their way, Sydney were able to claw their way back into the match, firstly through the patience of opener Dhanuka Dissanayake. Toiling on a hot day, the game was in the balance at 3-95, with Mitch Hunt picking up a well-deserved wicket.

However, Sydney skipper Rory Miscampbell certainly didn’t miss a beat with an attacking and at times improvised 41, while Ashane De Silva even pulled out the paddle to Sam Boyns on his way to a impressively constructed 83. Mitchell O’Loughlin (2-58) put aside shoulder troubles and a painful blow to take two wickets at the death, as Sydney managed to compile an imposing 6-213 on a hot March afternoon. Controversially, the umpire penalised the Gold team one over for finishing their overs late… something that metro players are not used to… still, as Dale and Neale Crawford came out to bat, little could we know the drama that was about to unfold. With the first ball of the innings going down leg for 5 wides, it was indicative of the lengthy and see-saw battle that was to follow. The opening bowlers traded wides for fun, as it became clear that Sydney had either forgotten a wicket keeper, or left him out at Whalan…

When the bowlers did get it on line, both Neale and Dale (6 each) had the furniture disturbed. Jackson Eldridge (19) looked good until an enthusiastic shout was enough to convince the umpire to fire away, while Kel made an attractive and mature 32, with support from Mitch Hunt (12) and Damian Sidney (12). However, it was the wides that kept the game wide open, as a total of 55 were sent down. Regular wickets came too though, leaving Sam Boyns (24) to try and make up for only taking a solitary wicket… but again the Golds found themselves in a pickle with one wicket left and 20 runs to get. With the light fading and drinks at the Randwick Bowlo getting warm, brothers Liam and Mitchell O’Loughlin saved the day in an impressively paced performance. Liam has already shown plenty of bottle, and now Mitchell showed potential with the bat and in a tight situation, as they showed that they didn’t need that extra over anyway… another close victory by 1 wicket and the Golds can enjoy the home comforts as they take on Gordon in the Metro semi finals next weekend.

A special thanks and congratulations to Dale McDonough, who finished with the title of leading run-scorer of Metro for season 2015-16, with 372 runs and 13 wickets (including a ridiculous 5-8 against Hawkesbury). His energetic work in the field and personable demeanour off the field was especially appreciated by the younger guys on the team, who have had valuable lessons imparted on them across the season. Green Options will no doubt miss him as well.

Link to scorecard: 

Metropolitan Cup: UNSW Black 9-208 vs RPC Green 8-210 @ Marrickville Oval – Win

The Green team had one last opportunity to climb off the bottom of the ladder, but they’d have to work for it against the 4th placed UNSW Black. It had taken up to round 15 for the Black team to oppose one of our Metro sides, following several washouts earlier in the season. In an intriguing twist, a loss for the Blacks would leave them in danger of missing the finals, if Georges River managed to upset Gordon over at Beauchamp. Back at their favourite venue, a much drier than last seen Marrickville Oval, the Greens were asked to bowl first by a team fresh off some heavy scoring. Back opening the bowling, Mark Wall gave the Greens a good start, knocking over one of the openers, before skipper Alexis Coovre had the patient number 3 caught behind. Mark (2-37) and Alexis (2-27) followed up with the other opener and batting gun Ronald Lawrence respectively, leaving the contest quite well poised at 4-63 after 16 overs. However, the usual metro nemesis – wides – had begun to leak faster than a tin shed in an afternoon thunder storm.

Sahil Sekhon (1-28) and Raj Chaudhary (1-44) battled it out with the middle order, with Raj picking up the particularly valuable wicket of Murray Stanton for 1. Unfortunately, the back up bowling could not pick up the rest, as Shimul Nath and Charith De Silva couldn’t quite find their usual magic, and the pair of Agnish Nayak (48) and Nick Janzen (41*) brought UNSW Black back into the game. Just as the pair was looking to barrel past 200, Sunny Metha (2-9) proved to be a surprisingly effective death bowler, to restrict the students to 9-208. The total could have been much lower, had it not been for the 49 wides bowled… On a sweltering afternoon and on a dead pitch with a conservative umpire, the Greens got off to an unfortunate start, to losing both openers with the score totalling 13. From there, Sunny and Mark mounted a comeback, with Sunny (26) playing the aggressor and Mark (42) holding the innings together.

After Sunny was stumped, Bala Mohan (26) played a brisk hand to further the score to 118, while Mark was dismissed to leave the team 5-133, leaving a very gettable 76 runs off the 15 remaining overs. As has been the case with Green, a collapse followed to leave them reeling at 8-177 with 4 overs remaining. However, Raj (36*) had spent a while at the crease and was set, while Sahil left it to the last game of the season to show his talent with the bat. Running hard and picking up smart runs against some tired fielders, the pair entered the final over with 8 runs to win. After a three singles and a double, Sahil (20*) launched the second last ball of the innings to the boundary to spark off wild celebrations, as Green managed to finish a challenging season with a hard fought win. Green will be relieved to have clambered off the bottom of the ladder and with a result more indicative of their true ability, while the UNSW Black team will have only temporary relief – other match results went their way but a trip to Rance awaits them in the semi finals…

Link to scorecard: 

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