UNIVERSITY are considering appealing against a contentious umpiring decision that overshadowed their thrilling tie with Waratah-Mayfield in Saturday's Newcastle District Cricket Association clash at Waratah Oval.
When Waratah all-rounder Jonty Durrheim started the final over of the 40-over-a-side Tom Locker Cup fixture, Uni were 8-150, chasing the home team's tally of 8-157.
With eight runs needed for victory, Durrheim delivered two dot balls to Indian import Varun Sharma, who on the third delivery was caught just inside the deep mid-wicket boundary for 76.
In walked tailender Daniel Rea, who hit his first ball in almost identical fashion to Sharma, high and long towards "cow corner".
This time, however, as the fieldsman took the catch, his momentum carried him with a bang into the boundary fence.
The umpire then signalled four, much to the dismay of Uni players and supporters, who believed the correct decision should have been six.
That left the Students needing four runs for victory, instead of two, from two balls.
Rea hit a two off the penultimate delivery and was then run out on the last ball, trying to scamper home for a second run that would have clinched the win.
Uni skipper Andrew Harriott spoke with the umpires immediately afterwards and confirmed the club is considering avenues for appeal.
"We've talked about it [an appeal], but I guess it's up to the officials now to see if anything can be done," Harriott said.
According to clause 19.5(i) in the laws of cricket, six runs should be the outcome if a fieldsman "touches the boundary or grounds some part of his person beyond the boundary while carrying the ball but before completing the catch".
Harriott had no doubt his team would have secured a much-needed victory had Rea been awarded a six for his first blow.
"Well, the next ball he hit a two," Harriott said.
"I feel sorry for Dan. Those are the sort of moments you dream of when you're a kid, hitting a six to win a game."
Harriott said it was a "messy" situation and could understand Waratah's side of the argument.
"If it was the last ball, I think they could look at changing that," he said.
"But because it wan't the last ball, I suppose Waratah can say they would have changed the way they played [had six been awarded]."
The result leaves Uni winless after two defeats and a washout in their previous games this season. Merewether are also still waiting for their first win after no play was possible against Charlestown at Kahibah Oval.
At the other end of the table, Wests (3-139) are the only undefeated team after accounting for Toronto Workers (94) at Harker Oval.
Like Toronto, Belmont (9-165) suffered their first loss, after skipper Nathan Price (83 not out) steered the home team to a seven-wicket win at Wallsend Oval.
At Pasterfield, opener Keith Moody (95) made the day's highest score as Stockton (6-201) thrashed Cardiff-Boolaroo (9-93).
Hamilton-Wickham (5-117) made short work of chasing Newcastle City's 8-114 at Learmonth Park.