Seasonal Summary: Very successful season once again with more than 50 matches played, both midweek and weekend, mainly in Sydney although matches also played in Adelaide, Barossa Valley and Bowral. The strong camaraderie formed within the club continued to grow with over 70 players representing the club this season. The teams enjoyed significant success on the field as well this summer with the C&S side reached the Jack Pace Shield quarter finals, while the LMS side reached the Sydney midweek final. The season was also a success financially, with the regular cricket matches raising approximately $3,500 for the charity over the course of the season.

The extra value of many of the cricketers now associated with the club was shown by strong attendance by the cricket club’s members at the Moore Park Golf Day, Parliament House Dinner and Test Match Breakfast. Our ground access also improved with extra days offered to us by Shore, Barker and King’s, while we began to use Reg Bartley Oval at Rushcutters Bay regularly after striking a deal with Reg Bartley Cricket Club. Reg Bartley’s playing members will more or less be absorbed into the Primary Club next summer, and this will increase our access to Reg Bartley Oval to almost a weekly basis, effectively making it our ‘home’ ground.

Uniforms & Attire: The image of the club on and off the pitch continues to improve, with many of the cricket club’s members purchasing the tailored Primary Club blazers. This follows up the investment by players over the last two seasons in purchasing polos/playing shirts/caps in order to represent the club in appropriate fashion. All of the players now stick to the expected attire when arriving at games and during the post match presentations, which is a good image to project for the club and the charity, as can be seen in the photos above and below.

Richie Benaud Cup: The Richie Benaud Cup was hit this year by two successive weekend washouts, which meant that only 12 sides entered the competition this year. However, the competition was still a success, and costs (with exception of the North Sydney Oval final expenses) were kept down to under $1,500. Note that the costs are significantly down from two summers ago when they were $5223 (due mainly to not giving out caps and getting nearly all pitches for free now due to support for the competition from the schools in particular). Some BBQs at matches, and LMS fund raising games, helped with the profit margins, with $5,586 being raised for the charity as a result of this summer’s tournament. Once again, the value of the tournament goes far beyond the financial side in terms of extending Primary Club cricket connections through grass roots cricket circles and raising cricketing profile of PCA.

England Tour: We have lined up a fantastic English tour to combine with this year’s Ashes, and we already have 11 club members signed up. The likely addition of Geoff Verco, Rick Glover and Ian Wright will take the player/umpire/scorer tour number to 14, so numbers are looking positive with a couple of locally English based Primary Club connections keen to play with us. Please see the attached England tour brochure for more information on the tour.

The Primary Club took significant steps forward in their second year of re-entry to the City & Suburban competition, strengthening to a core of 14 or 15 players and reaching the semi-finals of the Jack Pace Shield only to lose to ultimate winners Old Aloys. We played 12 games, winning seven, losing four, winning one by forfeit and a washout against Hunters Hill.

The highlight of the season was our surge to the semi-final of the Jack Pace Shield. Our first three matches of the preliminary stage ended in comfortable wins (and two bonus points) against Old Sydneians, Beavers and Reg Bartley.

The final match of the group stages against Knox Old Boys – winners the past four years – was probably the best game of the year. The game ebbed and flowed back and forth as we aimed to chase down 193 – ably led by Christian Patterson’s swashbuckling 59 (does he have any other type of innings?). With one ball to go Euan Robertson needed to hit a six to win… and failed. But we still walked away feeling we could compete with the very best in the competition.

We ended up third on the table – behind Knox and Old Aloys but ahead of some very strong sides like I Zingari and the Cricketers Club.

In the quarter finals against close friends C.C.N.S.W. we bowled superbly to keep them to just 96 and chased the runs down with 8 wickets and 11 overs to spare. Jason Theng bowled superbly to take 3 for 12 off 7 overs while skipper and ex C.C.N.S.W. tourist Nathan Reay took 4 for 18.

Sadly in the semi-finals our strongest possible batting line up failed to show up and we were reduced to 7 for 36 by Old Aloys chasing 184 to win. We had earlier bowled extremely well and at drinks had probably been ahead in the game – in large part due to Brad Oldridge bowling 7 overs, 1 for 4 and as usual finding batsman with an irritating habit of missing the ball entirely rather than edging behind as he so deserved.

In non-Jack Pace games, we beat Yaralla in a close game which ebbed and flowed, comfortably beat Nondescripts at Jubilee Oval, were smashed by Sydney Uni when our batsmen failed to adhere to some fairly basic principles, and won our last game of the year against I Zingari at Camden.

We benefited throughout the year from a very strong bowling unit, with any of Brad Oldridge, David Ince, Nathan Reay, Damien Langley, Damian Frittum or Joe Scarcella worthy of opening the bowling for most sides.

Our batting line-up stuttered at times, but between Greg Stark, Adam Young, Brendan Povey, Damien Langley and Jason Theng there is some serious top order talent.

Our player of the year was Jason Theng who led the batting charts with 176 runs at over 50 and also took the most wickets with 14. JT has added real quality to the side this year, bringing quality strokeplay and fizzing legspin.

Some individual efforts of note:
• Damian Frittum picked up a hat trick against Nondescripts at Jubilee Oval – the third wicket a stunning juggled catch at slip by Peach Povey. These wickets came in the middle of a spell where we reduced Nondos to seven (wickets) for just four runs.

• Nathan Reay steered us home against Yaralla when the collapse was well and truly on (chasing 117 to win we collapsed from 1 for 86, to 7 for 96 until Nathan scored the coolest 17 not out you will ever see).

• Jason Theng smashed 70 against Reg Bartley XI (chasing only 116), waiting until many of us had confidently predicted the bonus point was out of reach to begin smashing sixes down the ground and getting the bonus point comfortably.

• Against Beavers Damien Langley demonstrated that (for some) cricket is an irritatingly easy game, taking 4 for 12 and scoring 51.

• Vinny Creagh showed that age and fitness are merely incidental and took a remarkable 4 for 21 against Yeralla.

We will be back bigger and better next year with some impressive recruits already lined up and hoping to go (at least) one better and make the Jack Pace final.

Batsmen who scored 175 runs or more (min. 5 innings):
Jason Theng, 6 innings, 176 runs at 58.67

Partnerships of 100 runs or more:
Jason Theng & Brendan Povey, 100* versus Reg Bartley XI at Rushcutters Bay

Batsmen who scored 50 runs or more in an innings:

  • Jason Theng 70* versus Reg Bartley XI at Rushcutters Bay;
  • Greg Stark 68* versus Hunters Hill Pirates at Boronia Oval;
  • Christian Patterson 59 versus Knox at Gillespie;
  • Damien Langley 56* versus Old Sydneians at Weigall;
  • Damien Langley 51 versus Beavers at Shore

Partnerships of 50 or more in an innings:

  • Damien Langley & Jason Theng, 68* versus Old Sydneians at Weigall;
  • Greg Stark & Brendan Povey, 67 versus Yaralla at Goddard Oval
  • Christian Patterson & Damien Langley, 65 versus Knox at Gillespie
  • Damien Langley & Euan Robertson, 63 versus Beavers at Shore
  • Brendan Povey & Jason Theng, 60 versus I Zingari at Camden

Bowlers Most wickets:

Nathan Reay (14 @ 13.14) and Jason Theng (14 @ 9.12)

Bowlers who have taken 4 or more wickets in an innings:

  • Damian Frittum (6-2-8-4) versus Nondescripts at Jubilee Oval (including hat-trick)
  • Damien Langley (5.1-0-12-4) versus Old Sydneians at Weigall
  • Nathan Reay (5-0-18-4) versus C.C.N.S.W. at Rushcutters Bay
  • Vince Creagh (5.3-1-21-4) versus Yaralla at Goddard
  • Jason Theng (6-0-29-4) versus Knox at Gillespie

Dismissals by wicket-keepers (10 or more to qualify): Euan Robertson 12 (6 catches, 6 stumpings)