Semi-finals spots to be decided

SEMI-finals positions will soon be determined as the final round of the SDCA competition gets under way tomorrow. 

While some teams are in a position to secure their semi-finals spot, others will be hoping to at least get back onto the field after all first and second grade was washed out last week. 

The current top four can all feel comfortable about playing in the semi-finals, with the order they finish the only thing subject to change. 

Understanding the points system seems about as easy as explaining the Duckworth/Lewis Method, but Ulladulla United may mathematically still have some kind of slim chance if lots of things go in their favour. 

Otherwise all of this week’s games are a bit of a mismatch on paper, with each of the top four

sides up against an opponent who cannot make the semis. 

Ulladulla really needed to win in the last round against Bomaderry, but they both had the misfortune of missing two full days of play.

Only four balls were bowled on day one before the pitch was deemed unplayable, while the second day of all turf games was washed out. 

They now face a trip to Nowra Showground to play the top of the table Nowra in the final round. 

Last week’s wash out will no doubt have been frustrating for Nowra, who were in a very strong position at 9/297 against Batemans Bay. 

Nowra have been leading the competition all season and will be hoping they can wrap up the minor premiership with a win. 

While a win to Ulladulla is not likely to be enough to propel them into the top four, they can still aim to finish on a positive note after a couple of recent losses. 

Their main competition for the top spot will come from Berry-Shoalhaven Heads, who are only eight points behind them in second place. 

Incidentally, the Magpies are one team who probably didn’t mind when the rain came last week. 

They were in a bit of trouble in their low-scoring affair with Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen before day two was washed out.

While their batting has normally been a strong point, they were struggling at 8/78 in pursuit of their target of 106, after Lain Beckett destroyed their top order with figures of 7/18. 

They will be looking to improve on their last performance when they host Bay and Basin at Berry Sporting Complex tomorrow. 

Basin were the only team who managed to get a result from the round 13 fixture, after they wrapped up first innings points on the first day of their clash with North Nowra-Cambewarra. 

After a slow start, Basin have improved with wins against Norths and Ulladulla to ensure they will avoid another wooden spoon. 

Their win against Norths will give them plenty of confidence, as will their strong showing against Ex-Servos in round 12, but Berry will still go in as clear favourites. 

The Magpies would probably need to win outright or for Nowra to lose if they are going to leapfrog them into first place. 

Ex-Servos and Bomaderry are the two other teams set to play in the semis, but there is also a possibility their final position on the table could change. 

The defending premiers are in third spot, but are only seven points in front of Bomaderry, who are in fourth. 

Ex-Servos were in sight of taking first innings points against Berry and will no doubt have been disappointed to see the second day washed out. 

They will travel to Bernie Regan to take on a struggling North Nowra-Cambewarra outfit. 

Norths have been beaten convincingly in their past two games, but did upset Nowra in the Twenty20s recently. 

Unfortunately for Norths they are a contender for something else which will be confirmed at the end of the round. 

The dreaded wooden spoon is still up for grabs and it is looking like a two-horse race between Norths and Batemans Bay. 

At this stage it is Batemans Bay who are in last place and they will stay there unless they can upset Bomaderry at Bomaderry Oval. 

They did get their first win of the season against Ulladulla recently, but would have faced a very tough battle if day two had not been washed out against Nowra. 

Bomaderry are a bit short on match practice after missing out on both days against Ulladulla, so they will be looking for a strong performance going into the semi-finals.  

Bomaderry have almost certainly done enough to finish in the top four, but they can put it beyond any doubt with a win.

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