The Batemans Bay Cricket Club’s senior men’s team slumped to a first-up loss against Sussex Inlet in their first match since dropping out of first grade.
The batting struggles that plagued the senior team last summer reared their ugly head again on Saturday, as the Bay only managed 119 runs from 39 overs.
The Bay started their inning well despite the early loss of opener Anthony Mortimer for five.
Stephen Knight got on top of the bowling from that point, putting together an impressive inning that ended with him saluting for a half century.
He was ably partnered by young wicketkeeper/batsman Ryan Hall, who held up his end well as Knight punished the bowling.
Hall eventually fell for 19 runs to a great caught and bowled from Lachlan Adlington to leave the Bay at 2/77.
That started a mini collapse for the visiting side, as they lost their next two wickets for just six runs.
Zac Henstock was run out for a duck, before Sean Mullaly fell to the bowling of Riley Jarrett.
Lachlan Paterson and Praveen Varghese both helped steady the ship, but when the latter fell for six, it started a run of four wickets for just two runs.
Troy Gillespie took 5/17 for the home side to be the pick of the bowlers.
Batemans Bay’s defence was hampered by the loss of strike bowler Mitch Hockey to a thumb injury.
The lack of bowling options was quickly apparent, as Sussex Inlet openers Paul Kezik and Jon Kingston settled into an early groove.
Both Kezik (51) and Kingston (63 n.o.) scored half centuries to take the game out of Batemans Bay’s grasp, and despite a couple of late wickets, the Bay were sent home with an eight-wicket loss. Praveen Varghese and Sean Mullaly took Batemans Bay’s only two wickets of the day.
Batemans Bay will travel north to Berry next weekend to play Berry-Shoalhaven Heads.