UNTIL last Friday night, it had been three years since Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen skipper Daniel Gleeson had scored a century, but he broke the drought against Bay and Basin at Hayden Drexel Oval.
If you had told him three years ago the next time he reached the milestone would be in a Twenty20 when they were only chasing 118 for victory, he probably would have thought you were barking mad, but believe it or not, that’s exactly how it happened.
Apart from being his first in three years, Gleeson’s ton was also in the history of the Shoalhaven Twenty20 competition.
Gleeson faced 56 balls for his hundred, while his opening partner Matt Tyler made 12 from 24 balls.
While Tyler definitely did help him out by not scoring runs, it was never their original intention.
“I was about 50 after the first 60 runs and with 68 to go I was thinking about it,” Gleeson said.
“Then we got a drink and I found out I was on 78 and that’s when Matt definitely came to the party and helped me out,” he laughed.
But it still almost didn’t go to plan.
“I was on 94 and we only needed three to win, so I knew I needed to hit a six and somehow I managed to fluke it.”
Gleeson was informed by his teammate Paul Meakins that it was the first hundred in the Shoalhaven Twenty20 competition, which he described as an unreal feeling.
“It’s never something I hadn’t even thought about to be honest,” he said.
“My previous highest was 70-odd (in Twenty20s) but I still didn’t really think making a hundred was a possibility.
“I just got lucky I guess.”
Interestingly, it was Gleeson’s first big score of the season and after moving around the order a little bit, he said he thinks opening might be his position from now on.
Before Gleeson came out and stole the show, Bay and Basin were led by Adam Hart (35) and Danny Eccles (31) in their total of 6/117 from their 20 overs.
Nate Jones was the best with the ball with 2/15 from his four overs, while Mat Ganderton, Brandon Booth, Dean Jones and Shane Halliday also took wickets.
Gleeson was pleased not only with his individual performance, but with the whole team and is hoping the win can kick start a successful Twenty20 campaign as it is the one trophy that has eluded them in the past few seasons.
While Ex-Servos may have made the perfect start, the Twenty 20s have shown anyone can win on their day, so it certainly won’t come easily.
Defending premiers Berry-Shoalhaven Heads struggled against the undefeated Nowra, with Michael Coulter (2/13) and Alex Legge (2/15) restricting them to 9/93.
Nowra needed only 14 overs to polish off the total for the loss of three wickets, with Chris Nation top-scoring with 26 not out.
There was finally some joy for North Nowra-Cambewarra who upset the highly-rated Bomaderry, with a thrilling four-run victory.
Hugh Gillen top-scored with 33 as Norths posted 9/145 and despite a half-century from Matt Bell, Bomaderry could only manage 7/141 from their 20 overs.
It was even closer at Lighthouse Oval, where Batemans Bay defeated Ulladulla by one run to secure their first victory since joining the SDCA.
Batemans Bay’s total of 7/136 was just enough to take the points, with Ulladulla finishing on 6/135.
The second round of Twenty 20’s will be played on Sunday February 9.