Cambridge stunned in Parks

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first_imgOxford emerged from the dressing room after tea on day two in the knowledge that their first innings had already won the match and that there was every chance that they could defeat Cambridge by an innings and take the bonus points on offer. Cambridge pair Harvey and James began day one at the crease until a solid partnership of 60 was broken by Munday. On a bowler’s wicket, time at the crease was vital and it was apparent from the start of play that forging partnerships would be essential. Cambridge faced an onslaught from the Oxford bowling combination of Munday and McMahon, and in a hugely important passage of the game on the first morning their upper and middle order collapsed. A lot had been expected from the Akram twins – Adnan and Arfan – at numbers three and five, yet both succumbed to Munday. Rod Marsh, the former Australian wicketkeeper and current ECB National Academy Director, was in attendance with an eye on McMahon, an Oxford Blue, and will have been impressed by his 3-26, while Munday took 5-52. Cambridge went into lunch on day one at 79-9, though when they re-emerged Wright put on 24 runs before being caught off the bowling of Suman with the score at 123. Knappett, the Oxford opening batsman, was caught excellently by Harvey at 1st slip off the bowling of Wright, who was bowling a very effective line and length that was jarring up at incoming batsman Parker and troubling opener Selvey- Clinton. But in a decisive period with both batsmen enduring numerous close shaves, the Oxford batsmen settled and were able to take the upper hand. Oxford were able to build on consecutive boundaries from Selvey-Clinton in the 10th over, with both batsmen riding their luck and benefiting from the occasional errant balls from Buckham and Edwards. Though scrappy at times, particularly with Parker being dropped in the slips, the level of skill displayed was awesome and a 120- run partnership developed. Even when Parker looped a catch off the bowling of Wright, the scores were level and any further runs would simply allow Oxford to press for bonus points and, though Selvey-Clinton soon followed Parker back to the dressing room after edging a Wright delivery when on 69, the damage had already been done. The loss of two wickets still left Oxford with the chance of pursuing an innings win. Number 10 Suman doggedly put on 45 at the start of day two, and when the innings finally came to an end, Oxford had not only a first innings victory, but also a tidy lead of 125 runs. The consistent line and length of Wright was rewarded with figures of 5-64, but otherwise the innings was “very poor” in the words of Cambridge Captain Webley. Chasing a first innings deficit on such a bowler-friendly wicket Cambridge were always destined to struggle, and the loss of the top three before the total reached 70 runs seemed to signify a tacit, subconscious concession of the match. The loss of James’s wicket off the bowling of McMahon suggested a loss of belief, and it was unsurprising that Cambridge, their middle order failing again, found themselves at 86-6 after the dismissals of Webley, Akram and Mason in quick succession. Even defensive play from Kay, which saw him survive until the 55th over, was not enough to put Cambridge in a position of strength. Oxford went to tea knowing that maximum points were well within grasp. Cambridge, though, responded well and in a well constructed and patient innings, Park, in a significantly long 8th wicket partnership of 89 with Wright, put on 70. His score at number 8 was extremely important to Cambridge, pushing them past the 175 run total required to score bonus points. The stubbornly effective partnership saw off the remaining overs of the day and secured some pride.ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2004last_img read more

How Jessica Sibley’s recent surge has carried Syracuse’s offense

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first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Jessica Sibley skated quickly to the net as defender Megan Quinn took a shot from the blue line. The puck slammed off Penn State goalie Celine Whitlinger, bouncing in Sibley’s direction. The junior dropped to her knees, positioning herself lower to possess the rebound. She fired as soon as the puck hit her stick.And for the second game in a row, Sibley won the game in overtime for Syracuse. It was Sibley’s ninth game-winning goal in her SU career.“I was just in the right place at the right time,” Sibley said. “But I think confidence has a little to do with it.”The junior forward is winning more faceoffs than ever in her SU career. Her three game-winning overtime goals have propelled the Orange (16-13-3, 12-4-2 College Hockey America) to key victories against conference opponents. With two games left in the regular season, SU is relying on Sibley’s improved offense.“I wouldn’t say it’s a transformation,” Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan said. “I’d say she’s really paid attention to detail.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSibley developed her ability to come through late in her freshman year, when she had two game-winning goals. But in her sophomore year, she earned a minus-27 rating. She had nine fewer points in her second season, only totaling seven goals and 10 assists. Flanagan considered Sibley a one-dimensional player before she returned to SU this fall.“I knew coming into this year that I had to be better defensively,” Sibley said. “I had trouble staying with my men and knowing where my person was in the defensive zone.”Sibley only had four points in her first seven games this season. Her offensive struggles continued until Flanagan bumped Sibley to the first line in November, where she blended well with Melissa Piacentini and Nicole Ferrara. Sibley has recorded seven goals and nine assists since Flanagan’s line change and has earned more total points than both Piacentini and Ferrara this season.But Sibley credits her two linemates for her accomplishments this season, whose fast, smart play keeps the center on her toes.“They’re always talking to you,” Sibley said. “You always know where they are. They communicate well. They push me every day.”Sibley’s greatest strength may be her physical strength. She notes that most of her goals have come from creating space near the net or by pushing her opponents out of the way for rebounds. Sibley’s offensive prowess was so successful that Flanagan created his entire attacking scheme around her physicality.Even her teammates, such as Nicole Renault, are overwhelmed by Sibley’s size in practice.“She knocked me down today,” Renault said on Tuesday. “She’s a powerful girl. When she does stuff like that, everyone else feeds off it.”Sibley’s offense has improved dramatically. And as Syracuse gears up for a postseason run, Flanagan recognizes her importance.“I’d say that from a full, broad perspective, she’s been as good of a player as we’ve had this year,” Flanagan said. Comments Published on February 16, 2016 at 11:35 pm Contact Chris: cfthomse@syr.educenter_img Related Stories Syracuse scraps out 3-2 win over Robert Morris for 5th straight winSyracuse’s penalty-kill unit shuts down Robert Morris in 6-1 winlast_img read more