The South Eurobodalla Pirates were hung out to dry on Saturday, finishing all out for 77 runs.
Playing the Tathra Sea Eagles in the Far South Coast Cricket Association first division final, the Pirates struggled with the bat after a dominant bowling display by the Eagles.
Tathra dropped a number of wickets themselves in the ensuing chase, but had established a stranglehold on play through spectacular bowling and an aggressive stance by the fielders.
“The last few years we haven't been working on fielding at all, but this year we've been working on it every training session and we're more about attacking the ball,” club president Adam Blacka said.
The fielding was highlighted by some excellent catches, but were also buoyed by an exceptional bowling display.
Blacka, who is Tathra’s opening quick injured his back early, but persevered, slowing to a medium pace and was rewarded with an early wicket.
“I had to bowl out my eight overs then and there or else I wouldn’t have been able to come back because [my back] would get cold and seize up,” Blacka said.
“It’s funny though when you slow the ball down they hit a few which was good.”
The standout with the ball for the hosts was Rhys Cunningham, who was celebrating a birthday on Saturday.
“He was supposed to be in Sydney for the Nitro Circus on the weekend,” Blacka says. “He had a VIP ticket as it was his birthday, but he decided to stay and play – thankfully.”
Cunningham wreaked havoc on the South Euro order, almost claiming a hat-trick and going on to secure figures of five wickets for just 15 runs off eight overs.
Eight wickets had fallen before drinks and it wasn’t long before the visitors had toppled completely, all-out on 77.
In reply, the hosts also gave up a bundle of wickets, finishing on 7/78 to claim the result.
Blacka said the team dropped a few surprise wickets, but had plenty of balls left in hand should they need to just guard the crease and run out lazy singles.
He said Chris Dwyer, Pete Bennett and Ben O’Reilly had been the regular run-getters for the club and when they were returned to the sheds cheaply it put “pressure down the middle order”.
Blacka commended the opening bowlers from the Pirates, who took a majority of the wickets between them, but the Pirates raising their flag at Tathra had the hosts fired up for the win.
“It was one of our better seasons for sure,” he said. “We just want to thank the crowd for turning out and my wife Tyjana for all the things she does behind the scenes.”