THE Eurobodalla’s three-week twenty20 competition got underway with a bang on Saturday with four matches at Hanging Rock and one in Dalmeny.
Both Bay Tigers’ sides made the most of the home ground advantage with two wins each from as many games.
Those results mean the two Bay clubs will go head-to-head this weekend with direct entry into the A grade grand final up for grabs.
Tigers Black had an up-and-down time in its first game against Broulee on Saturday but held on for a relatively comfortable 24-run victory.
Fielding purists would not have been pleased with that match, which was played in uncomfortably hot conditions, as both sides dropped several catching opportunities.
Broulee skipper Mitch Wales made the most of the butterfingers – he was dropped four times, including when he was still on zero – as he went on to post a team-high score of 76.
However, Wales was desperately short of back-up from his teammates as Broulee fell well short of Tigers Black’s total of 7/141.
Bay captain Gavin Smart top scored for the defending twenty20 champions with 29, while he was well supported by brother and former ACT Comets star Col Smart (26).
Col Smart took a particular liking to Sam Bennett’s spin bowling late in the Tigers’ innings but the young off-spinner had the last laugh when he trapped Col Smart leg before wicket.
Veteran Tony Hanley was the pick of Broulee’s bowlers with 2/1, while Bennett finished with impressive figures of 3/36.
However, Bay all-rounder Andy Malcolm was the man of the match with 22 runs and four wickets, all coming despite a recent run of ill health.
“Yeah we were fairly happy with our performances, the bowling was really good,” Tigers Black batsman Gavin Ladmore said.
“Snowy (Andy Malcolm) was awesome for a bloke who was just out of hospital.
“He was in hospital over Christmas with a kidney infection and then he was back in for a partially collapsed lung. So he put in a really big effort.”
However, Ladmore was less pleased with his side’s efforts in the field after the Tigers put down seven catching chances.
“Our bowling was great but we dropped so many catches and if you do that, of course one of their guys is going to post a big score,” he said.
“That part was disappointing.”
Tigers Black backed up that win over Broulee with an eight-wicket demolition of Moruya in the second game.