Back row: Adam Khamis, Soren Hughes, Alex Cumming, Henry Davis, Matthew Leong, Jim Hadley, Gerry O’Shea

Front row: Mick McGrath, Declan Thomas (w), Jamie Murtha (c), Tom Robertson, Toby Forbes

It was yet another stunning spring day and there are not many better places in Sydney to play cricket than at Reg Bartley Oval; our team faced off against a fresh looking Reg Bartley XI in the opening round of the City & Suburban Jack Pace Shield.

The pitch was quite hard with a tiny bit of moisture on the surface and a good coating of light fluffy grass.We wanted to bat, but unfortunately lost the toss and were sent into field. We had high hopes that we could restrict our opposition to 130 off the back of some good bowling performances in previous rounds, but we know that a consistently good performance is required to have any chance of chasing down a target at this ground.

Mick McGrath shared the new ball with Matthew Leong. Mick bowled from the harbour end and struck in his second over with a beautiful in-swinger that got through the batter and struck middle firmly.

Matt was unlucky not to pick up an early wicket at first slip, the number 3 got an early life, thick edge to Soren Hughes at first slip where it was juggled half a dozen times before going down.

Soren ended up replacing Matt at the City end, it was the tight spell we needed and he was rewarded with a wicket, possibly off his worst ball, a low full toss cracked to Henry Davis’ right at mid-wicket.

Leg spin bowlers Henry and Jim Hadley had the batters in trouble at times but had no luck go their way, with the ball going just to the left or right of fielders, still they took us to drinks without too much damage on the board around 2-70.

After drinks RBXI showed their intent and started to accumulate steady runs & threatened to make an unchaseable total. 

Jamie Murtha brought himself on to bowl his loopy leg-cutters and for the second time this season took a wicket with his first ball, it was a criminal full toss on middle stump and the batter played all around it. Jamie struck again later in the over to remove RBXI’s Captain, Tom Greenway who scored a stylish 62.

Jamie found his rhythm from the second over and continued to take wickets on a pitch that provided moderate assistance. Toby comfortably took a high one at mid-off, Declan Thomas took a sharp catch behind the wicket & Henry received a reverse sweeping gift at leg gully & Jamie collected the remaining two wickets bowled. Ending with tidy figures of 6-24 from 6 overs.

Matthew Leong showed his skill with the old ball in the final overs once again, offering vital support harbour end and also picking up 2 crucial wickets by himself. It was an excellent come back from the team to restrict RBXI to a total of 10-152 in the final over.

In pursuit of 153 runs for victory, we faced a stiff challenge, as usually the pitch gets worse to bat on, but the team had belief it could be done! The ‘Tom and Gerry’ show was back by popular demand, Tom Robertson looking in fine form scoring 10 runs off the first over, but wasn’t able to kick on with it, eventually nicking a wide one to first slip.

Gerry O’Shea and Toby Forbes steadily accumulated runs nicely before drinks. Boundaries proved difficult to come across – but the pair looked like having a great day together until Gerry was run out in an unlucky fashion at the non striker’s end. Toby nailed a straight drive and the bowler managed to get a fingertip on it before it hit the stumps with Gerry caught backing up too far.

Toby looked to be positive but couldn’t get it over the man at deep mid on, from there we lost our next 7 wickets for 46 runs. New batters found it difficult to get going with slow bowlers operating during the middle overs, the scorers were kept busy!

An inspired knock from Declan Thomas at 11 where he fundamentally didn’t deserve to be, the traditional sweep shot was demonstrated and several occasions and he remained unbeaten with an entertaining 16* at the end.

Eventually we were dismissed for 105 and Reg Bartley XI successfully defended their target, winning the match by 47 runs. 

We fought hard to get ourselves back in the game and certainly had our chance to win this one, but in the end the pressure proved to be too much for our batters who were once again unable to chase  the target.

We look to train hard during the week and give the strong Old Aloysians side a challenge next week on a ground that is typically enjoyable for batters!

The Team was: – Tom Robertson 13, Gerry O’Shea 23, Toby Forbes 20, Alex Cumming 3, Soren Hughes 5, Jim Hadley 6, Mick McGrath 3, James Murtha (c) 7, Henry  Davis 2, Matt Leong 1, Declan Thomas (w) 16*

The Result was: –

Reg Bartley XI.: – 10-152 (35 Overs) (J. Murtha 6-24)


C.C.N.S.W.: – 10-105 (32 Overs)

By 47 runs

FoWs: – 1-26 (T. Robertson); 2-59 (G. O’Shea); 3-63 (T. Forbes); 4-66 (A. Cumming); 5-71 (S. Hughes); 6-76 (M. McGrath); 7-80 (J. Hadley); 8-87 (J. Murtha); 9-87 (H. Davis); 10-105 (M. Leong).

The Bowling was: – M. McGrath 7-2-25-1; M. Leong 5.1-0-18-2; S. Hughes 5-1-15-1; J. Hadley 4-0-31-0; H. Davis 4-1-21-0; A. Khamis 3-0-17-0; J. Murtha  6-1-24-6

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: – Nil

Catches: – 2 to H. Davis and one each to T. Forbes and D. Thomas (w)

Run outs: – Nil

Player points: 3 points to J. Murtha; 2 points to M. Leong; one point to T. Forbes

Scorecard: https://www.playhq.com/cricket-australia/org/city-and-suburban-cricket-association-1903-inc/summer-202324/jack-pace-shield/game-centre/7fc8ea98

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