With plenty of action on the fields and courts this week, it's time to delve into what our UNSW teams have been up to as we go around the grounds.

We couldn't go too far into this report without mentioning our premiership winning First Grade T20 team. They went into the final against an undefeated Northern District team who were feeling pretty confident about their chances of taking out this competition. Norths won the toss and elected to bat, knowing the North Sydney Oval pitch to be pretty friendly to batters. However, two of the Universities teenage WBBL stars had something to say about that. Stella Campbell starved the openers of runs and then struck, taking the wicket of Isabelle Afaras to put them at 1/17. She followed that up with a beautiful ball to see off Kirsten Smith for a duck. Norths powered on after that, closing in on 100 before Maddy Darke, another Sydney Sixers player, swooped in with a stumping off the bowling of Madeline Case to dismiss the dangerous Alisha Bates for 39. Norths finished with 3/119 - a decent total that Universities would have to work hard to chase down.

Maddy Darke opened the batting with captain Olivia Porter, but was unfortunately gone for five after a promising start to the innings. However this brought Universities' key weapon Bess Heath to the crease. Heath has been sensational throughout the competition, averaging 89.5 at a strike rate of 137. This game was to be no exception. Heath strode to the crease and had an immediate impact. The loss of Porter a few overs later was a blow, but Heath kept on pushing the score along, even as wickets fell around her. At 6/63 they looked to be in trouble, but Heath found a partner in Madeline Case who was able to rotate the strike and stay in with her to chase down the score. They reached the mark in the 19th over and Heath was a very deserving player of the match, scoring 65 runs at an impressive strike rate of 180.

Bess Heath was the Player of the Match, batting Universities to victory with 65 runs from 36 balls.
Bess Heath was the Player of the Match, batting Universities to victory with 65 runs from 36 balls.

With Second Grade having a week off before the start of their 50 over competition, Third Grade played the only other game of the weekend, taking on Gordon at Forsyth Park. The game didn't get off to the best start, with Universities winning the toss and batting, only to lose captain Kirsten Wraith for a duck. Diana Lozell, the team's other opener, pushed on though, scoring 50 and retiring (in Third Grade, players are required to retire on reaching 50). Sarah Brine was the the other standout for Universities, finishing on 54 and bringing up her half century with a six. Unfortunately no one else managed to get out of single figures and the team finished on 5/163. In return Gordon chased down the total with ease, with three players scoring half centuries. India Keating was the pick of the Universities bowlers, taking 3/50 from her eight overs. 

Next week marks the start of the 50 over season for First and Second Grade, who will both take on the St George-Sutherland Slayers in their opening rounds. Third Grade continues with their 40 over competition, coming up against fourth placed Bankstown.

It was a mixed weekend of results in men's cricket, with UNSW competing in the regular competiton across all five grades on Saturday, with the first graders also backing up for a double header of the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup on Sunday.

In First Grade's two day competition, UNSW resumed after declaring at 9/306 last weekend, but they didn't account for the might of former international star Shane Watson opening the batting for Sutherland. Watson appeared unstoppable, smashing 141 off 109 in an innings that included 17 fours and 7 sixes. UNSW couldn't find the answer until Thomas Scoble finally got the breakthrough, but with Sutherland at 1/194 the damage had been done. They reached the total and took the match in just 63 overs. Scoble was the pick of the bowlers with 2/49. In Second Grade, UNSW were batting second and chasing a good total of 317 set for them by Sutherland the previous week. Captain Vincent Hreszczuk led from the front, scoring 54 to set up the innings and Ankit Patel was also solid with 69. Kieran Jayasekera brought them home with a brilliant 75 to chase down the total and win the match. 

Third Grade served up a nailbiter, defending their day one score of 190. Sam Edwards got the two openers in quick succession but then a couple of decent partnerships through the middle order looked dangerous for UNSW. A sensational bowling performance by Aaron Crofts (5/37) and Mitchell Law (3/43) saved the day with Law taking the final wicket to see Sutherland all out for 189, just one run short of UNSW's total. Fourth Grade were also defending a small total, but unfortunately weren't able to take the key wickets when needed and Sutherland were able to chase down the score without too much trouble. Akash Biradar (3/21) did his best with the ball, but it wasn't enough to get them over the line. In Fifth Grade UNSW were also unable to defend their score of 137 despite a sensational four wicket haul from Kabir Agrawal and Sutherland won outright.

Aaron Crofts took 5/37 in Third Grade's thrilling win over Sutherland

The big double header in the T20 was mixed as well, with a heavy loss to Randwick Petersham in the first game, Vivek Kashyap's 3/32 a shining light in an otherwise dreary game for UNSW. However our boys did their best Taylor Swift impression to shake it off and back up for the next game. Djali Bloomfield took 4/19 to put Gordon all out for 141. In response, Matt Gilkes (39) and Brandon McLean (45) starred with the bat and UNSW chased down the total with one ball to spare.

Our gridiron teams are getting to the business end of the season and things are getting very exciting. Our men's team had a huge win over UTS this round to solidify their spot at the top of the table with two rounds remaining. Sutherland, obviously too afraid of the might of our Raiders, have already forfeited this weekend's game, meaning they get a week off before facing the fifth-placed West Sydney Pirates in the final round. The Raiders women are equally feared, scoring a win on forfeit over the Central Coast Sharks last weekend. With a bye this weekend, they will be trying to stay fresh before their final round game against the Nepean Ducks. The team are currently sitting comfortably in third place. The Colts had a bye last weekend and will play the only game of this weekend for the club, taking on the Northern Sydney Rebels.

Congratulations also to Raiders coaching staff Mark Medrana, Josh Lawton, Shane Dixon and Michael Vardavas who were today named part of the NSW Wolfpack coaching staff for the upcoming national championships.

Full results
UNSW Men's defeated UTS 29-6
UNSW Women's defeated Central Coast Sharks on forfeit

NSW Pride play in the men's final of the Hockey One Australian league this weekend against the Brisbane Blaze. Two UNSW elite athletes, Kurt Lovett and UNSW's 2018 Male Athlete of the Year Tim Brand, play for the team and will be looking to take home the inaugural title. Lovett (two goals) and Brand (one goal) both starred in the team's semi-final win over Melbourne last weekend.