Penrith wins Belvidere Cup for the first time in 36 years

Springwood captain Ryan Smith and his young team of Penrith First Grade cricketers have broken a 36-year Belvidere Cup-winning drought.

The team was triumphant over Sydney University, taking a first innings win and holding on for three stressful days of play to claim the cup on March 31.

"It's come as a bit of a shock," said team captain Ryan Smith.

"At the start of the season we aimed to finish in the top six. To finish second [in the premiership] and make it into the finals then was above everyone's expectations."

Last season Penrith finished 13th. It's the first season Smith has captained the team, but has been a fast bowler with Penrith for 12 years. In his junior cricket days Smith was an all rounder for Hazelbrook Cricket Club when he lived in Bullaburra.

"I was pretty chuffed to be asked to be captain. And to be captain of a winning side for the first time in 36 years, I'm heaps proud. I'm proud of the guys, they've done the job asked of them," Smith said.

The young team includes several Blue Mountains players such as NSW Blues rookie and Penrith opening batsman Ryan Hackney from Faulconbridge, batsman Tom Sargent from Glenbrook and bowler Michael Collins from Mt Riverview.

"They are a great bunch of players with a lot of potential. The average age of the team is 22, which is extremely young for first grade cricket. Usually 26 to 28 is the average age. It's a bright future ahead for Penrith Cricket Club," Smith said.

"I hope they all stay around and defend the title and we go back-to-back."

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