In what shaped as an important day, we were hoping to bounce back in Round 4 against Blacktown after some narrow misses resulted in 3 losses and 2 draws against a strong Northern Districts outfit in Round 3. On a day when weather threatened to play a huge role, the skies opened on Friday night and Saturday morning giving the battle-weary bowlers across Sydney reason for optimism. In the end plenty of cricket was played on Saturday under cloudy skies until the skies cleared mid-way through the afternoon. Despite holding commanding positions in First Grade and Second Grade earlier in the day, fortunes turned and Blacktown dominated both after tea sessions to leave both higher grade games evenly poised. In the lower Grades, 3rd and 4th Grades are both on the back foot, whilst 5th Grade looks like a game that is on a knife edge as we head into Day 2 with all to play for. Read below for match reports from around the grounds including two milestones reached by RPCC veterans in 3rd Grade and 4th Grade. Also read about all the team changes, the star performers and a favourite son’s return in 5th Grade.

Round 4 Day 1 – Match Reports Randwick Petersham (13th Club Championship) v Blacktown (19th Club Championship)

In what shaped as an important day, we were hoping to bounce back in Round 4 against Blacktown after some narrow misses resulted in 3 losses and 2 draws against a strong Northern Districts outfit in Round 3. On a day when weather threatened to play a huge role, the skies opened on Friday night and Saturday morning giving the battle-weary bowlers across Sydney reason for optimism. In the end plenty of cricket was played on Saturday under cloudy skies until the skies cleared mid-way through the afternoon. Despite holding commanding positions in First Grade and Second Grade earlier in the day, fortunes turned and Blacktown dominated both after tea sessions to leave both higher grade games evenly poised. In the lower Grades, 3rd and 4th Grades are both on the back foot, whilst 5th Grade looks like a game that is on a knife edge as we head into Day 2 with all to play for. Read below for match reports from around the grounds including two milestones reached by RPCC veterans in 3rd Grade and 4th Grade. Also read about all the team changes, the star performers and a favourite son’s return in 5th Grade.  

Beastwear 1st Grade – Blacktown (10th) v Randwick Petersham (7th) @ Joe McAleer Oval

Team – Kemp (c), A.Sams (+), Price, Scicluna, D.Sams, Psarakis, Sangha, Critchley, Semple, Neser, West

Result – Blacktown 9/363 – 92 Overs (D.Sams 3/57-15, Price 2/20-6, Semple 1/11-8, Neser 1/67-15)

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Our 1st Grade team were looking to remain undefeated as they headed to Joe McAllen Oval to take on a Blacktown side that are far more potent these days than in their formative years. The team welcomed back Jason Sangha, fresh from making his Matador Cup debut for the Cricket Australia X1 at Hurstville Oval the previous Saturday. With Soumil Chhibber failing to recover from a back injury, our English import, Matt Critchley from Derbyshire, made his debut for the club after just a few days in the country. Matt already has 13 First Class matches for Derbyshire under his belt with over 500 runs and one century. Critchley also has 8 first class wickers and did particularly well in the English T20 competition, claiming 11 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 23.

Winning the toss after a delayed start and inserting Blacktown to bat, our boys looked on top for much of the first two sessions. However, heavy resistance from the Blacktown lower to middle order saw them post a very competitive score of 9/363 from their 92 overs. Go back 5 years and 362 would have been close to unassailable in First Grade. However with changes to the first class ball and the strength of our batting line up, it’s probably only slightly about par these days. We looked to have the hosts on the ropes at 3/51 early with key man Simon Keen back in the shed and former Randwick Petersham English import Paul Horton managing just 4. Daniel Sams (3/57-15), Nathan Price (2/20-6) and Adam Semple (1/11-8) all made early inroads and when we reduced the hosts to 6/157 we had our sights on batting on Day 1 and rolling the Warriors for under 250.

However the story of the afternoon session was about near misses and crucial chances going astray, and we were made to pay as the hosts got away from us in the final session. Greg West (1/65-14) bowled with good pace and aggression and his figures probably don’t reflect the quality of his work. It was a great opportunity for Jason Sangha (0-66-19) and Matt Critchley (1/74-17) our new leg spinning duo to get some overs under their belt. On a wicket that had completely flattened out, both toiled away along with Francois Neser (1/67-15) as the hosts took control.

With all our Top 6 batsman in fine form, and with the likes of Sangha, Critchley and Semple down the order, if we bat the overs next week I’m sure we can register a 3rd win in 4 games to complete a great start to the new season. With the draw having dropped us to 9th place, 6 points next week will ensure “Kempy’s” men get back into the Top 6 heading into Round 5.

frankienswiss 250x125Frankie & Swiss 2nd Grade – Randwick Petersham (17th) v Blacktown (18th) @ Coogee

Team – Moran, Everett (+), Balbirnie, Eaton, Hassan, Holland (c), Ram, Hart, Magann, Wood, Tyson

Result – Blacktown 10/253 – 64 Overs (Ram 4/67-13, Tyson 3/24-8, Magann 2/10-9) v Randwick Petersham 4/59 (Eaton 17 n/o, Balbirnie 16)

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Second Grade hosted 18th place Blacktown at Coogee Oval, desperate for a first win of the season after a confidence building draw against the Rangers at the same venue the previous week. The side looked particular strong this week with Andrew Balbirnie returning from 1st Grade and Sean Eaton slotting in after he was unavailable in Round 3, ensuring the batting line up looked formidable on paper. Pat Magaan was fit again after he missed the Round 1 PG’s game against Penrith through a niggling injury.

Despite dominating the day for long periods, we ended up losing vital late wickets as the Warriors reduced us to 4/59 in chase of their 254. Despite an hour long delay, the Coogee surface was typically flat, however a little fresh given the covers had been on all morning, so it was a little surprising when the Warriors won the toss and elected to bat. Our quick bowlers relished getting the ball to nip about a bit early and the Warriors looked in all sorts of trouble at 5/60. Both left hand quicks, Magaan (2/10-9) and Tyson (3/24-8), caused the Warriors all sorts of problems. Magaan has taken to 2nd Grade with relative aplomb, bowling with good accuracy and pace that makes him difficult to deal with. James Tyson is one of the veterans of the club and, despite being in his twilight years, refuses to go quietly putting in a great display of fast bowling here. Tyson is one of the few bowlers who can genuinely swing the ball when he is in rhythm and bowl at decent pace.

After the freshness went out of the wicket things became more of a grind and some some frustrating lower order partnerships saw the Warriors get out of trouble to post a moderate score. Kushal Ram (4-69-13) is proving an X-factor this year for 2nd Grade with his ability to take wickets at regular intervals. Whilst he is still a little bit inconsistent with his line and length, wicket takers are invaluable and the more bowling “Kush” gets the better he will be. Sam Wood (0-38-14) bowled economically without reward after his star performance in PG’s narrow Round 1 loss to Penrith.

Unfortunately the day was spoiled somewhat by the loss of 4 crucial wickets in a nasty 22 over period before stumps. Former West Indian fast bowler Corey Collymore has played for the Warriors the past 3 or 4 years and, despite being 39 year remains a very classy fast bowler. He managed to rattle those gold chains coming into bowl and dismiss man of the moment Matt Everett (6) and Andrew Balbirnie (16) to leave us in a precarious position at stumps. With Sean Eaton (17n/o) looking in good touch and captain Tom Holland to resume next week, one or two decent partnerships are what is required to overhaul the Warriors. It should be noted Blacktown were in an even worse position, however managed to scramble together a decent score, so with plenty of lower order batting to come this game remains on a knife edge heading into next week.

prsl 250x125Petersham RSL 3rd Grade – Blacktown (19th) v Randwick Petersham (10th) @ Whalan Park

Team – Stares, Schubert (c), Mackay, Lyle, McLoughlin, Burton, Calder, Stafford (c) Nawaz, Ali, McKenzie

Result – Randwick Petersham 10/129 – 50 overs (Stafford 43 n/o, Stares 20) v Blacktown 3/76 – 28 overs (Ali 2/11-9, McKenzie 1/31-8)

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Third Grade headed to the vast surrounds of Whalan Park to take on 19th placed Blacktown and looking to rebound from two close losses to Wests and Northern Districts. The side was strengthened with the return of Jack Lyle and Sam Mackay from 2nd Grade, while Matt Calder was rewarded for his great start to the season with a promotion from 4th Grade.

On another frustrating day for Rod Stafford’s men, we clearly had the worst of the conditions and are right up against it with the Warriors reaching 3/76 in reply to our meagre 129. With overnight and early morning rain around Sydney, there was plenty in the Whalan Park wicket, and Stafford was seen looking to the heavens for divine intervention after losing a 4th straight toss and unsurprisingly being inserted in to bat. Conditions were particular gloomy and in favour of the bowlers, however we made a pretty good start with Schubert (13), Stares (20) and Mackay (12) getting us to 1/44 and through the worst of the conditions.

Unfortunately the Warriors hit back hard and we lost 5/29 to slump to 6/73. The likes of McLoughlin, Lyle, Burton, and Calder represent an in-form middle order, however today was not their day as they could only manage 23 runs between them. You have to give the Warriors credit for using the conditions as they built pressure and were rewarded for their patience. Captain Stafford (43n/o) again came to the rescue as he has so many times over the years. If you looked at Stafford’s technique, you might think there is not much there. However you can’t measure grit, hand/eye and game sense. Stafford has always made runs whether it be in 1s, 2s or 3s, and with his simple yet highly effective approach has saved us many a time over the years. Unfortunately in his exploits the skipper pulled a hamstring and was unable to bowl as we chased late wickets.

With such a paltry score we needed early inroads and Omair Ali (2/11-9) and Tom McKenzie (1/31-9) provided just the tonic with 3 early strikes. Ali has been a quiet achiever the past couple of years having risen from 5th Grade to be a highly regarded member of 3rd Grade. An intelligent left arm seamer with ability to bowl accurately and hit the seam, he was a clear standout on Saturday afternoon as he put the Warriors under all sorts of pressure. Despite plenty of effort we were unable to gain another breakthrough and with the Warriors requiring just another 54 runs for First Innings points we need plenty of early wickets. With plenty of time left in the game, and if we can’t score first innings points, an outright win might not be out of the question in a game that is well advanced.

Despite not enjoying the best of days, cricket is all about memories and camaraderie and that was on show as the boys had a well earned beer to celebrate Karl Schubert’s 200th dismissal for Randwick Petersham CC. “The Shoe” has been an institution over the years for this club with his contributions on and off the field. Despite being in the twilight of his career, Shubert has always played with an infectious enthusiasm over the years and has always been an extremely entertaining and popular team member. Well done “Karlos” from all at RPC.

sct leftSydney City Toyota 4th Grade – Randwick Petersham (8th) v Blacktown (16th) @ Petersham

Team – Ahmed, King, Mitchell, Gracias Flor, Bourke (c), Jordan (+), Murdita, Graham, Sprowls, Boyns, Tsalikidis

Result – Blacktown 7/328 – 80 Overs (Tsalikidis 4/110-25, Sprowls 1/53-17, Graham 1/48-13) Randwick Petersham

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Fourth Grade played a second consecutive home game at Petersham Oval, looking to abolish memories of their narrow 2-wicket loss to the Rangers a week prior. There were a few changes this week with in-form fast bowler Doug Loth unavailable and Matt Calder called up to 3rd Grade. The batting received two injections of class with Kaoser Ahmed and David Mitchell returning to the side. Both Sam Boyns and Corey Graham were rewarded for their strong starts to the season in 5th Grade by being promoted for the first time this season.

It was a long day of toil for 4th Grade in the field with the Warriors capitalising on a strong position at tea to reach a dominating 7/328 at stumps off the scheduled 80 overs of play. Despite the overnight rain, the Petersham Oval covers had done the job and the game started on time with Captain David Bourke winning the toss and inserting the Warriors. After spearhead strike bowler Andrew Sprowls (1/53-17) struck early, the boys were up and about. It was Sprowls’ 100th wicket in all grades for Randwick Petersham and was well celebrated. An honest and consistent performer in 3s, 4s and 5s over the years, Sprowls is a very consistent bowler who can bowl long spells and has proved extremely durable.

The rest of the day saw some good batting from the Warriors, once again showing that once you get in at Petersham Oval these days it has become one of the better venues to bat in Sydney. New additions to the side Boyns (0/42-13) and Graham (1/48-13) both showed promise, however there was not a lot of sideways movement to take advantage of. The bulk of the donkey work was once again left to young leg spinner Kyri Tsalikidis (4/110-25). Young leg spinners can only improve one way and that is by giving them the keys and letting them bowl long spells, and Bourke is giving Tsalikidis that opportunity here, and he picked up another 4 wickets to continue his impressive start to the season.

Whilst 329 is a tall order for 4th Grade, they do have the batting personnel to make a decent fist of it. Like most run chases, if the top order can get through to tea with 7 or 8 wickers still in the shed, you can score 200 runs in the final session at a ground like Petersham with its flat wicket and fast outfield.

244x121 adinaAdina Hotel Apartment Coogee 5th Grade – Blacktown (14th) v Randwick Petersham (9th) @ Whalan Park

Team – De Silva, Saini, Eldridge Powell, Kakkereni, Montedoro, Hilder, House (+), Singh (c), Budwee, Waugh

Result – Blacktown 10/220 – 65 Overs v Randwick Petersham 1/25 – 6 Overs

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Fifth Grade travelled with 3rd Grade to Whalan Park to take on the 14th place Warriors, looking to bounce back from a narrow defeat to the Rangers at Storey Park last week. The Club welcomed back Gabriel Budwee, after a long 5-year absence. Budwee has spent time interstate through his work, and his deadly in-swing bowling and brutal hitting has been sorely missed from our Lower Grade sides that have in general functioned rather than flourished in recent years. Budwee was a very valuable member of 3rd and 4th Grade in years gone by and I don’t think it will take him long to start hitting his straps and pushing for higher honors.

It was an evenly contested day with our boys managing to knock over the Warriors for 220, before closing on 1/25 in reply. Captain Nigel Singh wanted to pay particular credit to the ground staff out at Whalan for doing an outstanding job in preparing a great surface despite all the overnight rain. So good was the surface that the Warriors had no hesitation in batting first on one of the biggest grounds in Sydney. Whalan Park feels about as big as the MCG without the ropes and is not the sort of venue you want to rock up to after a night on the tiles as plenty of running is usually in store.

It was Nigel Singh (4/50-16) who once again led from the front and along with returning hero Budwee (3 wickets) reduced the Warriors to 6/60, having us well on top heading towards the tea break. Singh and Budwee are both similar type bowlers with their ability to cramp the right handers by slanting the ball in attacking the stumps, while they often have left handers all at sea with their away movement. Mckenzie Waugh bowled particularly well without much luck as unfortunately we let Khan off twice, and he ended up making 95. Some frustrating lower order partnerships got the Warriors to 220, which on such a flat surface was probably only an average score.

Unfortunately we lost De Silva (8) just before stumps with Saini (16/no) looking in good touch. In 5th Grade we have plenty of current and recently finished AWGS batsmen and it is with that young talent that our fortunes rest next week. With the opportunity to get to 3 wins from 4 games, and a spot in the Top 6, it is all to play for next week.

rsz lau marrickville logoSpecsavers Marrickville RPC Gold vs Mosman @ Snape Park

Team: Gonguntla, Rushton, Crawford, Marsden, Sidney (+), Jastrzab, H Fox, Lee, Kashyap, L O’Loughlin, G Fox

Result: Randwick Petersham Gold 9/302 (dec) v Mosman 1/34

http://www.smcc.nsw.cricket.com.au/common/pages/public/rv/match.aspx?matchID=2455192&entityID=2318

By Jeremy Jastrzab

After winning the toss, the Gold went into bat on beautiful but windy day, Sreeni Gonguntla and Sean Rushton making hay in the shining sun. After surviving some early chances, both bedded in for long batting stints, with each bringing up half centuries. Sean fell on the stroke of tea for 63, but the Golds were well poised at 1/148. Mosman struggled with the overrate only completing 30 overs in that time.

After tea, Sreeni was dismissed on the stroke of 200, but not before plundering 84 runs. As Mosman tried to slow the game, handy contributions from Neale Crawford (37), Hayden Fox (30) and Adam Lee (21) dragged the Golds to 302, before we declared with 10 overs left to play. Passions ran hot late in the day with both sides looked for ascendancy. With senior and junior Foxes opening the bowling, it was junior Hayden that made the breakthrough, while senior Gavin looked threatening with each ball.

While Mosman finished at 1/34, it could have been even better if a few more chances were taken. With 269 further runs and 9 wickets to get respectively, a fine day’s play is on the cards next Sunday.

bendigo red 250x125Clovelly Community Bank Branch Bendigo Bank RPC Green vs Penrith @ Rance Oval

Team: Papathansiou (+), M Wall, Bhavsar, Warisi, Andonopoulos, Deller, Finkelstein, Sapariya, Coovre (c), Murphy, Kaushal

Result: Randwick Petersham Green 5/93 v Penrith 205

http://www.smcc.nsw.cricket.com.au/common/pages/public/rv/match.aspx?matchID=2455190&entityID=2318

By Alexis Coovre
RPCC Green won the toss and elected to bowl, on a hard batting wicket with a tinge of green, under overcast skies. The opening bowlers went for six an over, and in the 13th over Penrith were 0/75. Mark Wall was brought on, and in his third over claimed the wicket of the more aggressive opener, who skied one to mid-off. The Green team got into gear, finding wickets at more regular intervals, the ball beginning to swing and seam in the sultry conditions.
Penrith were eventually bowled out for 205 in 49 overs, Wall ending up with 4/45, Omar 2/16 bowling canny left-arm orthodox, and yours truly with 2/33. But when it was their turn to bowl the 2015/16 grand-finalists came at us hard with the new rock. In the tenth over we
were 3-42. Abbey showed some grit, with a solid 21, and when he eventually departed, Finkelstein took over steering his team into calmer waters, ably assisted by Chinton, who was moved down to order and beginning to find his confidence.
At stumps the Green team were 5-93 after 28 overs.

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