SOUTHERN Eurobodalla A grade hosted competition leaders, Eden, last Saturday for day one of round 7. Skipper Matt Corbett had no hesitation in sending Eden to the batting crease first and Matt's decision was well and truly vindicated when young fast bowler, Nathan Schaefer, captured the wickets of both openers in his first two overs. Bowling with pace and swing, Nathan made life uncomfortable for Eden's batsmen and he was rewarded with his third wicket to have Eden at 3 – 19.
Eden's experienced pair of Spink and Bell then steadied their innings with a 50 run partnership. Jay Walpole, playing in his first game at the top grade, was introduced into the attack. Despite some free scoring in his first two overs, Jay stuck to his task and produced a well-disguised slower ball to comprehensively bowl the inform Spink.
Josh Schaefer then chipped in for a wicket to have Eden 5-77. Southern Eurobodalla's fieldsmen kept applying pressure to the batsmen and this resulted in another wicket when Jay Walpole fired in a return to the keeper to run out Eden's top scorer, Bell, for 37 runs.
Nathan Schaefer was recalled to the bowling crease, and in an inspired spell of bowling, Nathan captured the remaining four wickets to finish the match with the impressive figures of 7-24 from 9 overs. A great effort from Nathan! Eden's final score was 105.
Southern Eurobodalla began the run chase confidently, putting on 33 for the first wicket. However, from this point, wickets began to fall steadily as the batsmen found the pace and swing of the left arm Bell (5-41) very difficult to handle. Dean Friskin was the exception, as he compiled the top score of 35.
The dismissal of Corbett (13) saw the game evenly balanced, with Southern Euobodalla's score at 6-75, identical to what Eden's was at the same stage. Fortunately, Nathan Schaefer once again came to the fore, scoring 15 valuable runs and taking the Pirates to a first innings lead with a total of 116 runs. The deserving winner of this week's Shell Narooma Award, for his all-round achievements, was Nathan Schaefer.
The second day of this match should be exciting, as both teams will be striving for the chance of outright victory and possible leadership of the competition table.
In B grade, Southern Eurobodalla faced competition front runners, Merimbula. Unfortunately, due to the holiday weekend, quite a few players were unavailable. On the positive side, this gave a few of the younger C grade players an opportunity to gain experience in the higher grade. In particular, Alex Filmer–Smith, Sam Young, Jack Cooper and Lachlan Brennan showed that they have the potential to be stars of the future.
Southern Eurobodalla only managed to get 93 runs in response to Merimbula's 233, but to their credit, the young Pirates frustrated their more experienced rivals by almost batting for their full allotment of 40 overs.
C grade restarts this week with a home game at Tuross. It is essential that players from all grades attend training this Thursday (4.30pm at Dalmeny Oval). Every team has the opportunity to make the semi-finals, but a strong commitment from every player is needed for this to happen.
Once again, a huge thank you to our supportive sponsors, Club Narooma, Club Dalmeny, Narooma IGA, Shell Narooma, Richard Busuttil and Michaels at Dalmeny.