Last weekend around the grounds, #TeamUNSW braved the pizza oven breezes and the buzzing cast of “A Bug’s Life” sequel in the making as they took to the fields for the latest round of the summer sports calendar.

Few people have watched a game of cricket and not left with the conviction that these players have a preternatural ability when it comes to the indispensable skills of concentration, focus and of simply sticking it out. Just as in that dog-eared thriller that is a permanent feature of your beach bag paraphernalia, our heroes can never relax. Even the slightest lapse in concentration can mean a missed opportunity, the difference between a game-winning catch or the agonising sensation in the pit of your stomach as the ball evades grasping fingertips, hearing the stumps explode behind you or hitting a six. The atmosphere is always tense, punctuated with flurries of action and a blur of white-clad limbs and hurtling red projectiles. Unlike your lazy seaside afternoons, there is no dozing off on the cricket pitch.

This week it was a tough round for the Bees against Western Suburbs DCC. First Grade’s 256 thanks to captain Brandon McLean (51) and Matthew Gilkes (48) couldn’t be defended at Pratten Park. The premier team also went down in Sunday’s T20 at Hurstville Oval against St George, despite resistance from Sutha Thanabalasingam (53 off 33). Second Grade settled for a draw after batting on to 9d/393 on Day 2. Dylan Fernandopulle’s 121 and Ben Geddes 67 put Second Grade in a strong position but the infamous David Phillips South Highway proved insurmountable. Third Grade showed bursts of rhythm with bat and ball but were ultimatly outplayed by Wests. A special mention goes to Kieran Jayasekara’s 55 and to Jake Greenberg who made his debut, scoring 48 and taking 3 wickets.

Fourth Grade starred yet again, chasing 281 only four down thanks to Danny Bhandari’s 140 and Fionn Geraghty’s 63. In Fifth Grade, Wests’ 206 could not be matched as they were rolled for 147. Athyban Kumanan recorded a conciliatory 93. The Metro Cup team had a great round, beating close rivals Sydney Uni with an outright. Special mention to Kabir Agrawal’s 8 wickets for the match and fifties to Arunav Duggal (69) and Syed Huq (50). The team of the Round belongs to the Poidevin-Gray Shield team, whose stunning fightback against St George at David Phillips South saw two 17-year-olds, Jack Attenborough and Jake Greenberg, chase down the competitive total of 306.

As of today, 22 Bees will be participating in Movember to raise awareness and encourage donations towards men’s health. UNSW Sport is throwing their support behind these soon to be handsomely moustachioed cricketers as they tackle important matters and create a space for conversation around these challenges. Also, everyone knows having that ostentatious facial hair will make you as awesome as Merv Hughes. See you next week for Round 4 against Sutherland.

Danny Bhandari scored 140 in Fourth Grade to chase down Wests' total at David Philips North
Danny Bhandari scored 140 in Fourth Grade to chase down Wests' total at David Philips North

Round 3 saw UWCC take on Penrith in the T20 competitions for First and Second Grades. In First Grade, Penrith won the toss and chose to bat, thinking they could get out and rack up a good score quickly. Unfortunately for them, they didn't account for Ben Lexcen scholar and Melbourne Renegades WBBL player Carly Leeson. Leeson was sensational, taking 4/4 from her four overs and destroying the Penrith batting line, ably assisted by captain Olivia Porter (3/10) and new Sydney Sixers star Stella Campbell (2/9). Penrith fell for 72 in 17.5 overs. In reply Porter (39) and another Sixers recruit, Maddy Darke (32), needed only 6.5 overs to chase down the total, with Porter smashing eight boundaries and Darke getting five.

Second Grade didn't have such a good run, going down to Penrith after batting first and finishing with 7/102. Samantha Robinson (28) was the pick of the batters, with Amy McKay (22) close behind. Penrith couldn't be stopped in their innings, with only one wicket falling, to Taylah Withers, and the score was chased comfortably. Third Grade took on Manly-Warringah in their limited overs match, with Universities opting to bat first, but struggling to put a partnership together. A good start by Kirsten Wraith (28) and a fighting finish by the tail enders wasn't quite enough and Manly-Warringah were able to run down the total in 30 overs. Wraith also held the bowling line together, finishing with 2/14.

Next week First and Second Grade both take on Bankstown, while Third Grade will have a tough match on their hands against the top of the table St George-Sutherland Slayers. 
Dear Around the Grounds reader, we have something special on our hands. We have had glimpses so far this season, but now its time to pay attention. In a week when both the men’s and women’s Raiders teams kept their opponents scoreless, let us revisit the epic rise of the UNSW Raiders Gridiron Club this season.

The Raiders are the oldest gridiron team in Australia and were formed in 1979 by Stephen Jones, a fanatic who pioneered the Raiders by convincing his work mates and friends to play. In these early days, protective equipment was hard to come by so most players donned tracksuit pants and makeshift foam pads constructed from old couch cushions like a tough football-playing MacGyver. The club enjoyed its time in the sun and the men won the last state title in 1999. Fast forward two decades and the Raider’s men sit equal first in the ladder and the women are equal third. These are exciting times.

Next week the Men's have a scheduled bye while the Women's play UTS and the Colts play the Giants. If you’re scheduled to work a weekend shift, I’m giving you the morning off. If you have that family thing, go out to fetch extra ice and don’t come back. This round won’t be a cakewalk for the Women, as UTS are experienced and seemingly purpose built to topple UNSW supremacy, and the Colts have a point to prove against the Giants.

Full Results 
UNSW Men defeated the Pirates 37-0
UNSW Women defeated the Giants 26-0

Both the men's and women's teams kept their opponents scoreless this round.
Both the men's and women's teams kept their opponents scoreless this round.

The second round of the NSW Handball League saw some tight matches, but UNSW was up to the challenge. While the women's team had a bye, the men's team were left to fly the flag for UNSW. And fly it they did, with fingernail-biting win over Harbourside. Lucas Benrabia and Thomas Lecuna kept the scorers busy, each racking up 13 goals during the match. Tonight the women return to take on Sydney Uni, while the men will battle it out with UTS.

Full Results 
UNSW Men defeated Harbourside 42-40

The UNSW Rugby Club is gearing up for the Active Axons Blue Mountains and Greater West Rugby Sevens Carnival on 23 November at the Blue Mountains Grammar School. There are still positions available in the team, so visit the UNSW Rugby Facebook page for more details.

16 April 16th is Eggs Benedict Day, 8 December is Pretend to be a Time Traveller Day, and for all you students 6 September is Fight Procrastination Day (put that one in your diary, or do it later, whatever). But none compare to excitement felt around Sam Cracknell Pavilion on 28 October. Monday eveining saw an extra special training session by one of the university’s high performance clubs as UNSW Judo Club celebrated World Judo Day.

UNSW Judo Club celebrating World Judo Day.
UNSW Judo Club celebrating World Judo Day.