It was mostly good news in grade cricket this week, with the maojority of teams progressing to the finals.
Second Grade need miracle
2nd Grade’s season came down to the wire in this, the ultimate regular season match. Needing a win to leap-frog Bay and Basin into fourth position on the ladder, and into the semi-finals, Batemans Bay won the toss and elected to bat first at Sanctuary Point Oval.
Opener Anthony Mortimer again looked to take the game to the opposition bowlers. A cracking cover drive for four in the third over was followed by a misdirected swipe the very next ball that saw the opener depart, bowled, for a very brisk 14.
A nasty, rearing ball then accounted for Stephen Knight (5), who could only manage to glove the face-ball to slip, leaving the visitors at 2 for 35 in the ninth over.
Number three, Zac Henstock played a curious innings, driving with authority yet garnering his luck as he was twice dropped attempting to feather wide balls through the gully. His eventual departure for 16 made for sobering reading: his third run-out in his last four innings.
Top-scorer Ryan Hall (33) again looked assured at the crease until a complacent turn to the leg-side caught the leading edge of his bat.
All in all, an accumulation of soft dismissals led to the capitulation of the Batemans Bay side. With the exception of three batsmen, all players reached double figures, yet a lack of any meaningful or successive partnerships once again conspired against the team.
A solitary 44-run partnership between form batsmen Hall and Darcy Knight (13) momentarily gave hope to the visitors, but it was not enough.
Forced to defend the meagre total of 139, it was not until the Bay and Basin side had reached 32 that the breakthrough arrived.
A second wicket four runs later lifted the spirits of Batemans Bay before number three Santino Battaglioli (68 not out) effectively took the game from the visitors.
It was a mixed bag in the field, as Josh Lee took an impressive catch in the outfield to dismiss Tom Dolby (23).
Elsewhere, some sloppy fielding plagued the visitor’s efforts. Wickets to Josh Lee, Brad Hancock and Lachlan Paterson were not enough to prevent Bay & Basin confidently ending the day’s play at 3 for 133, needed only a further seven runs this Saturday to secure a semi-final position.
Considering what was at stake, the Batemans Bay 2nd Grade team might now rue lost opportunities.
Third Grade look to consolidate
Batemans Bay 3rd Grade side trekked north to Shoalhaven Heads for their final round match against 4th placed Berry, hoping to consolidate their position firmly at the top of the competition ladder.
After a strong start, the Batemans Bay batting fell away for the second match in a row leaving skipper Pat Griffin with some work to do before the semi-finals begin.
Batemans Bay won the toss, elected to bat and sent in young openers James Cashin and James Dickinson. They put on a solid partnership of 45 before Cashin fell for 28.
James Dickinson remained solid in a potentially match-winning 95 partnership with skipper Griffin who fell for 52 with the score then 2 for 145. Dickinson fell with the score at 157 for a well-compiled 58 runs with 7 boundaries.
Sean Griffin and Dave West were the only other batsmen to reach double figures, while the remaining six batsmen contributed a meagre 10 runs between them. Ryan Lord was the pick of the Berry bowlers, taking 4 for 23 at a vital stage and making deep inroads in the Bay’s middle order.
In reply Berry have scored 20 runs with the Bay bowlers yet to make a breakthrough. They will be hoping to make some early inroads in the Berry batting line-up which on paper looks stronger than its fourth position on the ladder would suggest.
Fourth Grade in firm position
Batemans Bay’s 4th grade side hosted Ulladulla at Surfside Oval and at stumps on the first day are in a good position.
Ulladulla were sent in by the Bay and steady bowling and excellent fielding saw Ulladulla dismissed for a total of 120 runs. Opening bowler Luke Gallen led the way with superb bowling figures of 8 overs 4 maidens 2 wickets for 7 runs, a great effort by the youngest of the Gallen family.
Old heads Brett Woolridge and Mark Brown were similarly economical with 3 for 18 from 12 overs and 2 for 12 from 10 overs, respectively. Grace Blackmore , who continues to improve and impress, and Kasper Matuschka also took a wicket apiece.
The bowling and fielding effort by the Bay restricted Ulladulla to a scoring rate of less than 2 runs per over, having them all out for 120 runs from 63 overs.
The fielding was high class to support the bowlers, with catches being taken by Alex Woolridge 2, and 1 each to Luke Gallen , Brett Woolridge , Kasper Matuschka, and Mick Vanzetti.
In reply the Bay also found scoring difficult, but have progressed to 2 for 45 at stumps, with Jed Salmon 5 and Chad Salmon 12 the not out batsmen.
Under 12s into Grand Final
Minor premiers Batemans Bay survived a strong challenge from a spirited Bay & Basin for a close win in their semi-final at Hanging Rock last Saturday morning and progress to the grand final next week in Ulladulla.
Their opponent will be second-placed Berry, who also survived a close semi-final. Berry actually tied their match with North Nowra, but progressed to the grand-final having finished higher on the competition table.
The Bay & Basin side exceeded expectations to provide a thrilling finale, after the previous occasion these teams met Batemans Bay were convincing winners by 209 runs to 48.
This time Batemans Bay had a fight on their hands with Angus Carmichael, Rhys and Jesse Walters and Oliver Driscoll all making solid contributions with the bat as Bay and Basin reached 5 for 95 in their 30 overs.
Wicket-takers for Batemans Bay were Will McAteer, Kaleb Watson , Jackson Riley and Flynn Dunn. Claudia Hannan bowled well without luck and Will and Flynn combined for a much-needed runout of the Basin’s top-scorer Carmichael.
In reply Batemans Bay were best served by Cooper Frawley (15) , Will McAteer (19) and Kaleb Watson (13), while skipper Jackson Riley batted with maturity remaining 18 not out to get his side over the line with just one wicket remaining.
It was an exciting finish and the experience should boost Batemans bay in to grand final next week with the ability to fight out a win in tight circumstances and finals pressure.
The Under 12s will be hoping for a repeat win with lots of support at neutral venue West Ulladulla Sports Complex next Saturday.
Under 11s pipped by Ex-Servos
Batemans Bay under 11s hosted Ex-Servos at Hanging Rock on Saturday and were unlucky to be beaten by an evenly matched Shoalhaven Ex-Servos side. It was an 11 run loss which reversed the 9 run win recorded by the Bay in their previous encounter.
The Bay were sent in to bat by Ex- Servos and put together a creditable score of 8 for 110 from 20 overs.
Andy Frawley (20), Jordan Stevenson (20), Charlotte King (16), and Jesse Dunn (16) were best batters for the Bay, well-supported by Archie Hancock Bayley Kravstov and Madigan Malcolm.
In reply, the Ex-Servos top order were too strong and took the game away, but not before a strong fight back by the Bay kept them in the hunt and Ex-Servos nervous.
In the end, in a close result Ex-Servos made the necessary runs in the last over and finished 5 for 121 runs.
Best bowlers for the Bay were Madison Malcolm Archie Hancock Bayley Kravstov and Andy Frawley, with each taking one wicket.
WOMEN’S SOCIAL CRICKET
The women’s social competition continued last Friday at Hanging Rock with some great cricket skills starting to emerge.
In the tightly contested first match, ScorcHERS 138 defeated Holcim 133. Best for ScorcHERS were Tayah with 22 runs and 1 wicket, Naomi 17 runs 1 wicket, Alex 12 runs, Roxy and Lucinda each with 2 wickets, with Clare and Natalie also picking up a wicket each.
Unlucky to go down in a close result, the Holcim team were best served by Allie 31 runs, Shannon 19 runs and 2 wickets including a spectacular caught and bowled, and Amber on 13 runs. Cherie and Rav also starred with the ball each taking 2 wickets.
The other match was just as tightly contested with the HERicanes prevailing by 156 runs to the fancied Ball Tamperers 145.
Best for HERicanes was Clarissa who scored 19 and 41 runs in 2 innings and took 3 wickets. She was well supported by Claire 12 runs and 1 wicket, with Alex and Nicole both scoring 8 runs and taking 1 wicket apiece.
In reply, the Ball Tamperers began at blistering pace with Renee (38) and Sheree (29) putting on a 67-run opening partnership. They were followed up with good contributions from Trista (26) and Allie (11) , but the tail fell away with the loss of vital wickets and eventually falling just 11 runs short of the HERicanes impressive total.