AFTER several years of Moruya dominance, Batemans Bay finally snapped back into action on Friday night to claim the annual inter-town touch football shield.
A nail-biting open men’s match was needed to settle the affair after both towns won two games each earlier in the evening.
Moruya got off to a blinding start in the deciding open men’s match and looked as though it would run away with yet another shield victory.
However, Batemans Bay took control of the vital match towards the end of the first half before running out eventual 7-6 winners.
A late try within the final five minutes settled the affair.
“It was a good night – a really good night,” Moruya Touch president Phil Caffetto said.
“The 40s got up, as I predicted.
“It all came down to the men’s opens as a decider, which it does every year, and that was a really good game.”
Asked whether he was disappointed to lose Moruya’s grip on the shield, Caffetto took a diplomatic approach.
“Yes and no,” he said.
“It doesn’t really worry me as long as the spirit of the game is there. As long as everyone has a good night and there’s no whinging.
“Of course, it would’ve been nice to keep a hold of the shield but it will probably just make them try harder next year.”
Caffetto said Richard Bradbury, youngster Jacob Bradbury and Pat McMahon were some of Moruya’s standout players.
Meanwhile, Batemans Bay Touch president Rob Beattie said “some of my predictions were a bit out” but he remained over the moon with the shield victory.
“The ones I thought we were going to be shaky in we actually got away with,” he said.
“I was pleasantly surprised. It was a bit of a worry when we lost the 40s early on and the women’s because the 40s is traditionally one that we win.
“It came down to the open men’s and we’ve struggled with that over the years. To be honest, I’m not sure what was different this year but I think everyone just stepped up that little bit more and we were pretty keen to win it.”
Beattie went on to say that “it’s nice to give the shield a bit of a holiday in the Bay”. He also suggested that with Moruya having home ground advantage on Friday, the town’s players may have felt the added pressure.