One of the highlights of the social calendar is the annual match against our friends from the XXIXers, the social arm of the Melbourne Cricket Club. Indeed I have been reliably informed the match was first played in 1973; this was the 32nd match between the two clubs.

The Victorians had not been to Sydney since January 2018 as the previous “Sydney” fixture was played at Bradman Oval, Bowral, December 2019 which resulted in a famous victory for the Club. Of course a certain pandemic then got in the way until March 2023 when we played at their ground the Albert, in Melbourne.

This year’s fixture was a close fought affair. Offering the opposition the choice, the XXIXers batted on a “up and down” Camperdown strip with the outfield fast from a fresh mow that morning.

Ed Robertson (2-21) was difficult to face with his lively pace and occasional steep bounce. He was ably supported by the medium pace of Soren Hughes (0-28) and Jamie Murtha (1-12). David Craig’s leg pin (3-19) was introduced with immediate effect and he too was well supported by Garry James off-spin (1-33) and Luke Holman (1-7). At the end of 35 overs their total of 8-144 was a good result for us,  helped by excellent catching and fielding.

We got off to a good start with Tom Robertson (51*) the back bone of our chase. Your writer and captain then made the decision to retire Tom not out at the 18 over drinks break (1-69) and give others a go. Well that was a decision to reflect on as the introduction of the XXIX leg spinner Callum Cook 2 overs later saw the club lose 4 wickets without a run added! Garry James followed soon after to have us 6/89 from 26 overs. 

Watching the carnage was a calm and determined Soren Hughes (31) who set about rebuilding the chase with help from David Craig (14).They took us to 116 after 31 overs at which point Soren accelerated leaving 15 to get from the final over. The first ball went for 6 as Soren smashed the lead bowler Calum O’Neill way over the pavilion…9 from 5…game on!

1 from the next saw John Finucane on strike who tried to get Soren back on strike only to see the wicket keeper throw the stumps down. In coming retiree Tom Robertson needed 8 from the last 2 balls which proved too difficult in the face of some fine close out bowling. 

A great and tightly fought encounter that went down to the wire.

David Craig was voted Man of the Match by Mark Butler XXIX captain. Callum Cook was their equivalent.

We then moved to the Rocks district in the city to the rooftop bar at the Glenmore Hotel where we hosted our guests in fine fashion on a balmy Sydney night. Our guests had a great time as did we even though we came second.

We return to Melbourne next season to the Albert ground and I hope you all make an effort to play in this wonderful fixture.

The Team was: – Tom Robertson 51*, Mike Pinter 1 , Peter Rolls 19, James Murtha 4, Ed Robertson 0, Soren Hughes 31, Greg Brooks (c) 0, Garry James 5, David Craig 14, Luke Holman 3, John Finucane (w) 0*

The Result was: –

XXIX Club: – 8-144 (35 Overs) (D. Craig 3-19)


CCNSW: – 9-137 (35 Overs) (T. Robertson 51*)

By 7 runs

FoWs: – 1-35 (M. Pinter), 2-78 (P. Rolls), 3-78 (Edward Robertson), 4-78 (J. Murtha), 5-78 (G. Brooks), 6-87 (G. James), 7-115 (D. Craig), 8-125 (L. Holman); 9-137 (Soren Hughes)

The Bowling was: – Edward Robertson 5-2-21-2; Soren Hughes 6-0-28-0 ; D. Craig 7-2-19-3; G. James 5-0-33-1 ; G. Brooks 2-0-17-0; J. Murtha 7-3-12-1; L. Holman 3-0-7-1

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: – One to J. Finucane

Catches: – Two to J. Finucane (w); one to G. Brooks and one to M. Pinter

Run outs: – Nil


We posted 9 for 170 off 35 overs, which was a good score on a difficult deck. We had them 5 for 54 and took another wicket just before drinks to have them 6 for 84.

Then we had them 8 for 104 with 14  overs to go. Their ninth wicket partnership put on an undefeated 67 runs to win on the first ball of the penultimate over thanks largely to an excellent innings by their guest Old Aloysian batter, Mathias. brought in to make up numbers who scored 54* off 45 balls and is suitably recorded in PlayHQ as “fill-in player”-one of four anonymous players in their line up!

 Let’s wind back to the first over of the day. Actually what about removing the covers? That was a good team building exercise.

 The wicket was pitched on the edge of the square giving a short boundary one side and a long boundary on the other. CCNSW won the toss and batted. Tom Robertson and Gerald O’Shea (“The Tom and Gerry show”) opened and scored seven runs off the first over in a positive start. Robertson bunted a low full toss through cover for four and then followed up with a guide through gully for an easy two. There was one wide and that made up the seven runs. The Primary Club opening bowler was charging in off quite a long run and he went on to bowl in some good areas. The second over O’Shea clipped a low full toss through midwicket for a lovely boundary to the far side. He was cautious with the other deliveries except for one other drive that went straight to mid on. No run

‘Tom and Gerry’ batted well again with an opening partnership of 39 off the first ten overs. Robertson with 28 off 32 balls was very good in difficult conditions. He and Gerard O’Shea got us off to a good start.

Harry Bridge with a run-a-ball 32 and Sam Millar (61 of 70 balls) then put on 89 in 15 overs to take us from 2-46 in the 12th over to 3-135 in the 27th over. Millar batted really well and Bridge batted well too. The best ranked shots of the match  was a three way tie between Tom Robertson’s’ left hander’s spanking cover drive to the short boundary, Harry Bridge’s right hander’s lofted off drive at the other end but to the same side and Sam Millar’s ’s scooped hook for six over backward square leg again to the short boundary.

When the Primary Club batted, Jamie Murtha (1-23), nursing a bad back, (and would have been better not to risk bowling), bowled well and craftily. He got a wicket, bowled with the first ball of their innings, knocking the batter’s castle down.  Sam Millar (2-25) did an very admirable job at the other end with the new ball considering he’s not a regular bowler. 

The bowlers we used all bowled some great balls and the odd rank one which was put away authoritatively by the opposition.  That was the difference in the end, combined with the class of the PCA’s guest player Mathias coming in at No 8. The loose deliveries were put away with the short boundary well utilized. Our leg spinner Henry Davis (3-40) despite being hit for 6 first ball, bowled some incredible deliveries at times. One wicket was ‘a la Shane Warne’. Adam Khamis with his height and high arm action, also bowling leg spin, got some balls to rip and turn. His control is improving. A dangerous bowler

Gerard O’Shea was quite handy with the ball. Brought on to bowl his ‘dibbly dobblers’, he took a nice wicket lbw in the 18th over just before drinks.  His nephew Tynan O’Shea–Nobin started with a wicket maiden, and  also bowled a couple of good overs inducing a catch to Millar in the 20th over before the batters started getting too used to his pace.

 It rained a bit with about six overs to go which did not help us as the bowling run ups became slippery as well as the ball. On the other hand it was quite dark for batting and if it had been Premier Grade cricket, play would have been stopped for bad light.

In the field, Tynan O’Shea-Nobin fielded keenly as did Henry Davis .Debutant Nick Ford took an excellent high catch at deep backward square leg to get rid of the Primary Club’s number four batter, D. Frittum. He watched it all the way. Well done Nick !. 

There was some good catching although I shelled one as ‘keeper, an inside edge low down. Fortunately it didn’t cost the team too much. as the Primary Club batter then holed out shortly after, safely pouched by Adam Khamis  positioned at square leg behind the umpire. We let 15 byes through. I conceded about 8 in my stint behind the stumps. And the pitch was up and down, while turning heaps. Mike Pinter (Punter) did an admirable job as post dinks wicket keeper and took a nice catch standing up, to give Henry Davis his second wicket. It looked at that stage like we were going to get home fairly comfortably.

In hindsight maybe we could have given Tom Robertson and Harry Bridge a go with the ball. It’s easy to say in hindsight and I think slower bowling was probably more suited to the pitch conditions. If only we could have eliminated half trackers and full tosses.

The Primary Club deserved their win and were generous victors, sharing their beers afterwards. CCNSW players, again, should take note of the positive things we did in this match and resolve next season to work on a couple of skill areas, individually and as a team. 

The Team was: – Tom Robertson 28 (32 balls), Gerald O’Shea 9 (30 balls), Harry Bridge 32 (32 balls), Sam Millar 61 (70 balls), Mike Pinter (w) 0 (7 balls), Mike Weaver (w) 9 (13 balls),   Henry Davis 0 (6  balls), Tynan O’Shea-Nobin 7* (5 balls) , James Murtha  (c) 3 (4 balls),  Adam Khamis 6 (6 balls) Nick Ford 2* (2 balls)

The Result was:-

CCNSW: – 9-170 (35 overs) (S. Millar 61)

Lost to

The Primary Club of Australia: – 8-171 (33.1 overs)

By 2 wickets

FoWs: – 1-39 (T. Robertson), 2- 46 (G. O’Shea), 3-135 (H. Bridge), 4- 136 (M. Pinter), 5-142 (S. Millar); 6-148 (H. Davis), 7- 151 (M. Weaver), 8-153 (J. Murtha); 9- 168 (A. Khamis)

The Bowling was: – J. Murtha 7-1-23-1; S. Millar 5-0-25-2; T. O’Shea-Nobin 3-1-16-1; A. Khamis 6-0-27-0; H. Davis 7-1-40-3 ; G. O’Shea 3.1-0-10-1; M. Weaver 2-0-15-0

The Fielding was: –

Stumpings: – Nil

Catches: – One to M. Pinter (w); and one to each H. Davis, N. Ford, A. Khamis and M. Millar, 

Run outs: – Nil

Player points (awarded by captain): 3 points to S. Millar; 2 points to H. Davis; one point to H. Bridge

Scorecard: https://www.playhq.com/cricket-australia/org/city-and-suburban-cricket-association-1903-inc/summer-202324/c-and-s-club-matches/game-centre/6374cfa4


Cancelled by rain

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