10.30 am this Sat. and Sun.
After finishing 4th on the competition points table, Nigil Singh’s 5th graders will be pursuing premiership glory when they take on the 3rd placed Penrith side. There are three matches in the Qualifying Finals with Gordon (1st) v Mosman (6th) at Chatswood and St George (2nd) v NDs (5th) at Carlton. The three winning teams and the highest placed loser will contest the semis the following week-end. This will be the 12th occasion in 16 seasons that 5th Grade has contested the finals. A brilliant record!

Preview
5th Grade Qualifying Final v Penrith
Metro Semi-Final RPC Gold v Gordon

5th Grade Qualifying Final v Penrith CC at Howell Oval, Penrith,

10.30 am this Sat. and Sun.
After finishing 4th on the competition points table, Nigil Singh’s 5th graders will be pursuing premiership glory when they take on the 3rd placed Penrith side. There are three matches in the Qualifying Finals with Gordon (1st) v Mosman (6th) at Chatswood and St George (2nd) v NDs (5th) at Carlton. The three winning teams and the highest placed loser will contest the semis the following week-end. This will be the 12th occasion in 16 seasons that 5th Grade has contested the finals. A brilliant record!

And after demolishing Easts for just 57 last Saturday and with wins over Mosman, Sydney University and Campbelltown-Camden the previous three matches, our boys are in top form. But so is Penrith having defeated Easts, Mosman and Sydney in their last three games.

The two sides clashed in round 5 at Kensington Oval in what turned out to be an enthralling match. Penrith were quickly in trouble against good bowling from Sam Boyns (3-25), Gabe Budwee (3-30) and Nigil Singh (2-17). Chasing a poor 123 however, our bats made it hard work and were out 11 runs behind. Batting again, the Panthers could do little better losing 9-73 after a 1-59 start with Singh (4-22) and Omar Warisi (3-46) running through them. With 143 to get off 38 overs for an outright win, Jackson Eldridge (58*), Sean Rushton (27) and Ravin de Silva (28*) got them in 36 overs for an outstanding win. Before this match Penrith were leading the comp. while we were 10th. That was the start of three amazing cricket matches where the team leading on the first innings was beaten outright!

In the next game against Sydney at Ryde the same result occurred. Bowled out for 99 when chasing a gettable 170 the side was 71 in arrears. A declaration by Sydney after a quickfire 5-116 in their second dig left us with a target of 188 to win off 35 overs. Jack Standing (71 with 11 fours and 2 sixes) and Eldridge (77* with 10 fours) made short work of it with the first wicket making 81 and the second 110* for a brilliant victory. The 9 wickets outright win was the second greatest winning margin for 5th Grade, just one wicket behind the 10 wickets outright by the 2014-15 team against Bankstown.

But the shoe was on the other foot in the following match when University of NSW flogged our attack for 4-168 to get up and win outright after making just 79 in reply to our 164 in the first innings. We had declared at 0-81 in our dig setting them a target of 166 which they ran down in 35 overs.

Both teams finished on 59 points with Penrith having a quotient of 1.1537 compared to our 1.0843. This is calculated on a runs scored / conceded and wickets taken / conceded basis. They won 9 matches on the first innings while we won 7 with 2 outrights. We have scored 2,844 runs, the second highest behind Mosman while we have taken 152 wickets–the most in the competition. Penrith have scored 2,756 runs and taken 136 wickets. Over the years we have met Penrith 19 times and the outcomes have been 8 wins to each team with 3 draws.

And to cap off another great season, skipper Nigil Sigh is far and away the most successful bowler in the 5th Grade competition having taken 42 scalps—12 more than anyone else. He also passed the 450 club wickets milestone and currently has 456. With the 70 he took for the old Randwick club he now has 526 Grade Cricket wickets. Go the Randy Petes!

Lyall Gardner

EDITORS NOTE: A HUGE THANKYOU TO LYALL GARDNER FOR HIS PREVIEWS EACH WEEK.  THE EFFORT TO COLLATE THE HISTORYOF OUR PREVIOUS CLASHES WITH THE OPPOSITION AND UPCOMING PLAYER MILESTONES SHOULD NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED.  THANKS ONCE AGAIN LYALL FOR YOUR ONGOING COMMITMENT TO THE RANDWICK PETERSHAM CLUB!

Metro Semi-Final: RPC Gold v Gordon at Killara Oval
10.30 am this Sat. and Sun.
A peculiar and eventful season in the Metropolitan Cup has culminated in a 4th place finish for the Randwick Petersham Gold side (briefly 3rd after an administrative glitch), scraping into semi-finals contention with a last gasp win in Round 15 against a “strange” Mosman side. This is the second time in two seasons that a Randwick Petersham side has made the semis in the Metropolitan Cup, following a previous appearance in the 2011-12 season. The last time we picked up the Cup was in the 2008-09 season. Unlike the top 6 in NSW Premier Cricket, the Metropolitan Cup is now contested amongst the final 4, meaning the Golds need to string together two wins to taste glory, after falling agonisingly short last season. Draws won’t be enough this time!

The Gold opponents are a powerful 1st placed Gordon side full of youth and enthusiasm at Killara Oval, in an uncanny parallel but opposite to last year’s semi-final clash. In the other semi, 2nd placed Penrith will, in another uncanny parallel from last season, face off against students – this time from 3rd placed Sydney University – at their Rance stronghold. Through a scheduling quirk, the Gold team did not even end up facing Gordon this season, despite there being only 10 teams. The scheduled clash in Round

14 was abandoned due to the persistent late-February rains and the proposed water polo match couldn’t be organised on time. The Green team did get a taste of the Stags way back in Round 6, where they were beaten outright on a dicey Snape Park wicket.
Interestingly, Gordon let slip that they weren’t too keen on playing at Killara, as “it’s not an easy place to play if you’re there for the first time”, leaving a potential evening of the playing field for this weekend.

The Golds haven’t had the same watershed season as they had in 2015-16, where they stormed to second spot on the back of a record unbeaten streak. They have had a punctuated season of brilliant moments, with a powerful bowling unit being supported through a few individual moments of batting excellence. Hayden Fox has been the runaway leader in the competition with the ball, with 36 wickets in 12 matches at an average of 12.17, 13 wickets ahead of his nearest rival. He has been ably supported by the fire and brimstone of Mitchell O’Loughlin and the guile and undying perseverance of Adam Lee. Liam O’Loughlin and Pratulya Kashyap have spun through the opposition like a top. Neale Crawford has had a watershed renaissance with the bat, finishing second on the competition aggregate with 391 runs at 30.08, which included his maiden century for the club, while Damian Sidney has provided both ballast and bombast to the middle order when required.

While Gordon have lost more matches than the lower placed Penrith, while they haven’t scored the most runs, they have managed to ride the top of the table for just about the whole season through taking the most wickets and by winning big – 2 outright wins, 3 bonus point wins and a quotient of 1.83 lay testament to that. But they are far from unbeatable, having lost to Penrith twice this season and been extremely run close in several two dayers, and they will also be playing at an unfamiliar venue. Had the Golds not scraped together the win against Mosman last Sunday, it would have been a season rued of missed opportunities, as any one of four matches throughout the regular season would be reflected upon as missed opportunities. Thankfully, Gold’s hold over the recent derby matches with Green, thumping dual wins over Georges River, Mosman and a shellacking of Blacktown at Whalan were enough to get the team through with a positive quotient of 1.07.

Gordon have always been a strong and formidable opponent in the Metropolitan Cup, but recent history has been in favour of the Golds. The Stags were twice trounced in the regular season in 2015-16, before a rain affected draw sent the Golds into last season’s final. This season’s semi-final looks to be a showdown between two formidable bowling line-ups, leaving the batting line ups to potentially decide the outcome, at a results-friendly Killara Oval. Congratulations to Neale Crawford for passing 1,500 Metropolitan Cup runs this season, while both Sean Rushton and Damian Sidney have each passed 1,000. Both Hayden Fox, Liam O’Loughlin and Alexis Coovre passed 50 wickets for Randwick Petersham, while the Metropolitan Cup legend Charith De Silva became the fourth player for the club to notch up 100 Metropolitan Cup matches. All the best to the Golds on a big season, which will hopefully last one more weekend!

Jeremy Jastrzab

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