Sports briefs

In the semi-final

It might be tough at the top for the first graders, but Blacktown's Poidevin Gray Shield team has again shown the district's cricketing youth the promise of a bright future. They beat Sutherland at Glenn McGrath Oval on Sunday and will host St George in a semi-final at Joe McAleer Reserve on Sunday week. Blacktown relished the chance to bat on a flattish pitch on Sunday after Sutherland won the toss and sent them in. The result was 8/240 from the Workers' 50 overs, with Nathan Hinton (61), Tim Dookan (53) and captain Nathan Sowter (44) all making strong contributions. Blacktown then made early inroads into the Sutherland batting, having them 3-63 before the hosts fought back with a 102-run partnership. Sowter made the crucial breakthrough for Blacktown, triggering a collapse that saw Sutherland bowled out for 210 after 47 overs.

Sowter took three wickets and Hinton two but it was fielding that proved the difference with Blacktown effecting three run-outs.

The win was made more significant through NSW 2nd XI player Matt Foster's absence.

Skills are sharp

They may be young, but you wouldn't want to cross swords with Sylvia Musel and Stefan Petrusic.

They're members of the PA Fencing Club at Marayong and competed in the under-11 sabre team that won a gold medal at the International Fencing Friendship Cup in Sydney.

The cup attracted teams from the other states as well as New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia and China.

Sylvia also won a silver medal in the individual under-11s girls' sabre and Stefan just missed a bronze.

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