The Saturday before last was a dark day for the Southern Eurobodalla Pirates. The firsts lost to bottom of the table Tuross Heads, handing local bragging rights to the newly reformed side. Unlike Australia, the Pirates’ selectors had no form to call upon to bolster the team.
The C-grade team lost even more emphatically to winless Tathra. The firsts needed a serious form reversal to consolidate their position on the ladder against the ladder leaders, Bermagui.
The Pirates’ opening bowler, Nick Mason, immediately shook off his worst bowling figures of the year against Tuross Heads.
Starting with three consecutive maidens, he had the astounding figures of 1 for 1 off five overs, reminding everyone why he is the preeminent blower in the competition.
After eight overs, Bermagui were 2 for 19 and the Pirates were well on their way to exorcising their demons.
But Needs and Tett steadied the ship for Bermagui, taking the score to 67 in the 17th over before they lost their third when partnership breaking, leg breaking Matt Klose was brought into the attack. Another wicket soon after drinks saw the scoring slow further.
But opener Needs was still there and held the Bermagui innings together with a fine knock of 64. Bermagui were finally dismissed, a run-out off the penultimate ball, for a modest but defendable 143.
Elijah Blair finished with the best figures of 5 overs, 3 for 18 including the prized wicket of Needs in his first over.
Spirits were high at lunch, having kept the ladder leaders to such a gettable total. In form Jordan Dibden joined skipper Dean Friskin to open the reply by the Pirates. Tight bowling saw the pair grind their way to 19 in the 10th over before Dibden fell for 7. Two more quick wickets, including the skipper Friskin for 17, saw the Pirates get the jitters at 3 for 28 off 11. The modest target was looking more substantial by the minute. The Pirates struggled to 4 for 55 at drinks, needing 89 off the final 20 overs.
Brendon Connor did his best to keep the target within reach, scoring 31 off 13 overs before being dismissed, caught and bowled by Tett. Tett backed up his fine batting display by running through the Pirates’ tail, finishing with figures of 5 for 30. The Pirates were dismissed in the 34th over for 113. The second straight defeat has seen the Pirates fall from equal 2nd to 5th.
But if the firsts’ players were concerned about their places in the side, the Pirates’ C grade put their fears to rest with their fourth straight loss, also to Bermagui. Ben Potter top scored with 20 and Russ Thompson returned from retirement to star with the ball (2 for 10) and in the field (3 catches). But this was not nearly enough to avoid defeat by 208 to 85.