SHOALHAVEN Ex-Servicemens will have its work cut out for it this weekend as it faces off against Ulladulla United in the Shoalhaven District Cricket Association third grade grand final.
Despite being the defending premiers, history is not on Ex-Servos side.
The team has played and lost to Ulladulla three times before this weekend’s grand final at Lighthouse Oval .
The first time the two teams met was for a one day match in round four.
The Ex-Servo batsmen collapsed and were all out for 66 runs with a top score from Ben Guyer (25).
It took Ulladulla just 22 overs to make 70 runs and take the win thanks to Kevin McNeill (15) and Meljoy Dcunha (14).
But Ulladulla did lose six wickets, with Ex-Servos’ Vimalkumar Patel taking 5/14.
In round nine, Ulladulla once again had the upper hand.
Kevin Dark (49) and Dcunha (26) combined to take their team to 122 runs at the change of innings. Ex-Servos was no slacker with the ball, with Ben Philpott and Tristan Balazic taking three wickets apiece.
Ex-Servos once again had a batting collapse, with no one batsman able to have staying power at the crease.
The team was all out for 99 runs after 15.1 overs, thanks to a strong bowling performance by Julias Machado (6/33).
In round 14’s two-day game, Ex-Servos batted first and had great batting performances by Aaron Vanessen (69) and Shannon Sansour (24) to take it to 176 runs at the change of innings.
Ulladulla’s Robert Gilkes and Peter Englebrecht were the best with the ball, taking 3/33 and 2/8 respectively.
Englebrecht followed this stellar bowling performance by smashing 120 runs, which included 13 boundaries and two sixes.
Despite this, Ex-Servos’ Matthew Willis will go into the grand final confident after hitting 123 runs against Nowra in last weekend’s semi-final.
Ulladulla could be questioning its abilities after entering the grand final by default.
The team drew with Sussex Inlet and will have a chance at the premiership because it was ranked higher on the ladder.