THE newly formed Southern Eurobodalla Cricket Club (SECC) began the season in great style with wins in both the A and B grade competitions.
In A grade, the SECC was at home at Dalmeny Oval against the highly regarded Merimbula Knights. Skipper, Matt Corbett, won the toss (the first in a long time) and had no hesitation in asking the visitors to bat first.
The Merimbula openers got off to a steady start, compiling 38 runs before Rob Brown (2-17, 8 overs) claimed the first wicket of the season with a swinging ball that trapped the batsman in front of his wicket. Merimbula's top order then methodically pushed the score to 1-80 at the 20 over half-way mark, and it appeared that they were well on the way to a sizeable total.
The drink's break worked wonders for the SECC, as Matt Corbett (1-21, 8 overs), Kyle Field (1-32, 8 overs), Matt Moore (1-38, 8 overs) and Russell Thompson (1-37, 8 overs) started taking wickets consistently. The bowling was backed up by good fielding and at the end of their allotted 40 overs, Merimbula had reached 1-149.
Southern Eurobodalla began the run chase in shaky fashion, losing the first four wickets for 42 runs. Dean Friskin made 23, despite being hampered by a shoulder injury from the football season, (time to give that game away, Dean!).
Then, however, a partnership of 76 between Russell Thompson (52) and Matt Corbett (29) steadied the innings. Russell and Matt combined big hitting with quick singles to take the score to 118. Late contributions by Rob Brown (15 n.o.) and Mick Stonehouse (5 n.o.) enabled Southern Eurobodalla to reach the 150 run target with four overs still remaining.
This was a morale building win and well deserved reward for six weeks of serious training. The A grade team will travel to Eden this weekend to face last season's premiership runners up.
In B grade, the SECC travelled to the Bega – Angledale turf. Captain, Paul Schaefer won the toss and elected to bat first. Nathan Monck (13) and Jason Berry (23) put together a solid opening stand of 37, but with the departure of these two experienced batsmen, the next four wickets fell quickly. However, then the veteran pairing of Boyd Brennan (22) and Dave Sweet (29) took Southern Eurobodalla to a respectable total of 135 from the 40 overs.
Opening bowlers, Nathan Monck (3-11 from 7 overs) and Jay Walpole (3-23 from 7 overs) cut a swathe through the Bega – Angledale batting order, having the home team 6-20 at one stage. Jay missed the opportunity of a hat trick, but showed that he is definitely a fine fast bowling prospect. Derek Clarke was another bowler to impress, conceding only 15 runs from seven overs.
Bega – Angledale rallied late in their innings, but wickets to James McKay (1-7) and Paul Schaefer (2-8) closed out the innings for 105 runs. This was an encouraging win from a team playing together for the first time.
The formation of the SECC has been made possible by the generous sponsorship of local businesses. Tony Casu, representing the Narooma Services and Sporting Group, presented SECC president, Matt Corbett, with the major sponsor’s cheque during the week. As a result, all players in the SECC now have new playing shirts carrying the Clubs' names and logo. Thank you also to IGA Narooma and Richard Busuttil (solicitor) for their much valued support of the Southern Eurobodalla Cricket Club.
The C grade competition begins this weekend, so with three teams to select, all players should attend training on Thursday between 4 and 6pm at Dalmeny Oval. For any information, contact the secretary on 4476 1441.