BOMADERRY ended their recent title drought with a two-wicket win in the SDCA Twenty20 final against Shoalhaven Ex-servicemen at Berry Sporting Complex on Sunday night.
All players wore black arm bands as a mark of respect for the late Bay and Basin player Heath Tan who died as a result of a motor vehicle accident on Saturday morning.
Earlier in the day Bomaderry easily accounted for Batemans Bay, while Ex-Servos had a comfortable win over Nowra in the semis to progress to the decider.
It went right down to the wire in a contest that was always exciting and kept spectators on the edge of their seats until the end.
Ex-Servos batted first and were well served by their skipper Daniel Gleeson (58) and Simon Schmotz (46 not out) in their total of 5/148.
John Muggleton was the best of the bowlers for Bomaderry, with 2/16 from his three overs.
Bomaderry made a positive start to their run chase with opener Jason Bell (45) making sure the scoreboard kept ticking over.
Momentum looked to have swung in Ex-Servos’ favour in the middle overs, thanks to a great spell from James Spackman (2/21) with Bomaderry slumping to 7/99 and needing to score at 10 an over.
An impressive 47-run stand from John Muggleton and Nick Jennings dug Bomaderry right out of a hole and had them needing just four runs from the last two overs.
Ex-Servos looked like they might have a sniff when Muggleton was bowled for 22 on the first ball of the 19th over, with Lain Beckett (1/12) finishing his spell with a wicket maiden.
But Jennings was able to keep a cool head and struck the winning runs with a boundary with just four balls remaining.
Jennings finished unbeaten on 35 as Bomaderry reached the total with two wickets in hand.
Bomaderry skipper Jordan Matthews said it was an awesome feeling to win the title, but admitted he had some doubts when they still required 49 runs with five overs remaining.
“At that point I was not going to say we couldn’t win it, but I wasn’t confident,” he said.
“It was a very tense time but we pulled a rabbit out of the hat,” he added.
Matthews gave a lot of credit to Jason Bell, who scored runs quickly in the semi and the final and Nick Jennings, who played such an important part in getting them over the line.
“Nick hasn’t played a lot of cricket lately and sometimes I think people don’t understand what a freakish talent he is.
“It’s frustrating sometimes, but he showed what he can do when he’s on and in that second 10 overs, he pretty much single-handedly got us back in the game.”
John Muggleton played second fiddle to Jennings in their partnership and Matthews said he was not surprised to see him deliver with the bat.
“One thing with John is that he seems to get pigeon-holed as a bowler, but he’s actually a very good batsman as well.
“He probably spends as much time working on his batting each week than anyone else in the club and it was great to see that pay off for him.”
While the Twenty20’s may not be the most coveted piece of silverware in the district, Matthews said the win gives them plenty of confidence heading into the finals of the two-dayers.
“It’s very hard to separate the four teams at the top, but I think this shows that anyone can beat anyone on their day.
“Leading into the semis, this gives our guys confidence, knowing we can deliver in finals situations.
“For us to get some silverware is a bit of a reward for all the hard work we’ve done this season and it’s good to have something to show for it.”