SHOALHAVEN Ex-Servicemens kept their perfect record intact on Saturday by holding on to defeat Batemans Bay at Hayden Drexel Oval.
The visitors won the toss and sent Ex-Servos to the crease, which appeared like the perfect decision as the hosts fell to be 3-18.
Blake Munilla (six) then came and went quickly, leaving Ex-Servos reeling at 4-39.
But an 81-run fifth-wicket partnership by Trevor Thomason (62) and Nathan Tyrrell (60) helped the hosts fight back into the match.
A handy 24 by Nathan Austin late in the innings steered the hosts to the competitive total of 184 from their 42.3 overs.
With the white ball, Mick Smart claimed 3-25 while Stephen Knight (2-26), James Dickinson (2-30) and Darcy Knight (2-35).
In reply, the visitors appeared to be cruising with starts from openers Ryan Hall (28) and Stephen Knight (20) and a sharp 40 from Zac Henstock.
Second-drop Sam Lee then dug his heels in and appeared to have made a match-winning 50 not out.
But despite 13 not out from Darcy Knight and 10 from Luke Condon, the visitors fell five runs short of their maiden victory this season - ending at 5-180 from their 45 overs.
Tyrrell led the way with 2-21 for Ex-Servos, as Daniel Kelleher added 2-28 in the victory.
The hosts, who now have two wins and a draw to their names, are equal first after four rounds (second on percentage) and will next play Berry-Shoalhaven Heads at Hayden Drexel Oval.
While Batemans Bay, who are yet to win a game this season, have the bye next weekend.