Sydney University have finished in top spot on the McDonald’s Premier Cricket ladder with Gordon, Bankstown, Parramatta, Sydney and Penrith also qualifying for the finals.
Sydney University will meet Penrith, Gordon with play Sydney and Bankstown will meet Parramatta in the qualifying finals, with the three winners and the highest ranked loser going through to the semi-finals.
At Bankstown Memorial Oval, it was Sydney University that recorded an absorbing three-wicket win over Bankstown in a match that was reduced to 21 overs.
Set 116 to win, the students relied heavily on NSW Blues squad member Nick Larkin (49). However after he was dismissed, Thomas Sowden (4-16) ran through the visitors who eventually reached the required total with one ball to spare and seven wickets down.
The win was enough to record a first place finish for Sydney University while Bankstown finished third.
This wasn't the only top six clash of the weekend, with an exciting match between Penrith and Sydney at Drummoyne Oval.
Penrith knew that a loss coupled with a Randwick Petersham win would see them bundled out of the top six, whilst Sydney wanted a win in a bid to finish as high as possible.
NSW Blues squad member Ryan Gibson ended up being the star for Penrith as he hit 75 in the 24-run win.
Batting first Penrith pushed itself to 217 on the back of Gibson (75) and a supporting 44 from John Dibartolo.
In reply Sydney was dismissed for 193 despite a determined 77 from Harry Dalton and a supporting hand by wicketkeeper Beau McClintock (44 from 64 balls).
It was an even effort with the ball by Penrith with three players collecting two wickets.
The win meant Penrith finished sixth whilst Sydney finishes just above it in sixth spot.
Gordon wrapped up second position on the ladder on the back of a brilliant all-round performance from Eliot Richtor.
Richtor scored 56 with the bat in his side's total of 221 against Western Suburbs before collecting figures of 4-42 from nine overs with the ball in the 75-run victory.
Western Suburbs could muster just 146 in reply with Richtor and fellow bowler Matthew Junk (3-29) doing the damage.
Richtor's return of 756 runs and 19 wickets in all formats this season is a wonderful achievement.
Parramatta elevated itself to fourth on the ladder with a 141-run drubbing of Mosman at Allan Border Oval.
Batting first, the visitors posted 7-242 from its 50 overs as first Will Affleck (64) and then Anthony Turrell (55 from 25 balls with five sixes) ran riot in the final overs.
Mosman was never in the contest and was blasted out for just 101 with only four players reaching double figures.
Scott Copperfield and Ben Martin did the damage for Parramatta with three wickets a piece.
Some individual performances and milestones of note for this round were:
- UNSW's Captain Charlie Wakim hitting 106 not out against Fairfield-Liverpool as it recorded a nail-biting 1-wicket win
- Campbelltown-Camden's Monty Panesar as he took 6-24 against Northern District at Raby 1
- Nathan Price's 118 for Randwick Petersham against Eastern Suburbs at Waverley Oval. Price's innings, which included six sixes, took him past 5000 runs.
- Cameron Merchant only scored seven for Manly-Warringah, but it also took his First Grade career runs total past to 5000
- Joshua Clarke's 118 for Hawkesbury against Manly as it recorded a 100-run victory. The innings took Clarke's total runs to 1253 in all formats with five centuries at an average of 69.6. He is only the second player to score that number in a season since the introduction of T20 matches in 2008-09. Philip Wells did it in 2014-15
- David Barber claimed 5-27 for North Sydney as it recorded a one-wicket win against Sutherland away from home.
- James Aitken’s 57 for North Sydney took him to 7051 first-grade runs. His brother Robert, 27 not out when the winning run was hit, went to 10298 runs. They are just the second set of brothers to each have over 7000 runs to their name. They follow Warren Bardsley (10118) and his brother Raymond ‘Mick’ Bardsley (7795) over 80 years ago.