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Ocean 12 and Concrete Warriors to battle it out for Richie Benaud Cup

By Rob Stevenson, Management Committee, RBC Convenor

The fourth Richie Benaud Cup, in honour of The Primary Club’s legendary former patron, was once again a great fund raiser for the charity, despite the latter stages being unfortunately rain affected. The tournament was once again very well supported by the cricket playing fraternity from Sydney and the Central Coast, with a range of grade teams, park cricket clubs and Last Man Stands sides helping to raise money for the charity through their matches.

The first round of qualifying was hosted again by I Zingari CC amid the picturesque surrounding of Belgenny Farm at Camden – always a wonderful and unique spot to play cricket. A tough 4-team regional pool saw the hosts eliminated by a strong Primary Club bowling line up (Primary Club Vice-Captain, Damien Langley, starring with both bat and ball, despite an impressive 59 from 37 balls from IZ’s Benham Dodd).

St Ignatius’ College, The King’s School and Shore hosted further rounds of qualifying at their stunning facilities in Riverview, North Parramatta and Northbridge. St George CC were surprisingly knocked out in the first round, while an impressive Paddies line up saw off last season’s winners Spider Monkeys in a quarter final at Shore. Former Sydney Sixers & Thunder all-rounder Simon Keen led the way as his Central Coast side – Concrete Warriors – won their way through a difficult pool at JS White Oval, while Ocean 12 coasted through to a semi-final spot in the Riverview qualifying pool.

The semi-finals (Primary Club v Concrete Warriors & Paddies v Ocean 12) were hit twice by rain-offs, before they were finally completed in early February at Camperdown Oval (hosted by The Cricketers’ Club of NSW). Big hitting batting efforts from Suthakar Senathipillay (58 from just 16 balls!) and Mitch McNeilly (52 from 27 balls) were the difference as their respective sides Ocean 12 and Concrete Warriors won their way through to the final – national Last Man Stands champions Ocean 12 reaching the final for the second year in a row.

Unfortunately, rain continued to be the nemesis of this summer’s tournament, as both the final at North Sydney Oval, and the subsequent replay at Shore, were washed out before a ball was bowled. The 2020 final will now be replayed at the beginning of next summer, with details of the ground and date still to be announced.

The tournament’s dream team (automatically generated from the player stats from the competition) was a great spread from across the teams, featuring players from 6 different sides. The top ranked players in the tournament were Simon Keen and Suthakar Senathipillay (batsmen), Josh Dale (wicket keeper), Damian Frittum and Mitch McNeilly (all-rounders), while the three bowler spots were taken up by Jake Malcolm, Abhishek Nandigam and Raghav Ganesh.

Thanks to everyone who supported the Richie Benaud Cup this summer, in particular the clubs and schools who hosted matches at their fantastic facilities. A huge thanks also to all the umpires, volunteers (above all Tim Stapleton) and the teams that helped contribute to the tournament’s continued success. Bring on the delayed 2020 final, and we look forward to seeing all of you back involved in next summer’s tournament!


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