First graders close in on century record

THANKS to the 13 centuries made by first grade batsmen this season, selecting a team of the week has never been particularly difficult. The volume of players reaching three figures has been one of the most notable things about this season, with at least one player from all eight clubs having reached the milestone. Now with Harley Bell and Trevor Thomason adding two more to the tally, they are actually coming close to breaking a season record. Strangely enough, it wasn’t the greatest week for bowlers in the top grade, with all the big wicket takers coming in second and fourth grade.  Sadly no third graders made the cut this week. 

1. Hugh Rigney (Bomaderry second grade) Rigney wins one of this week’s opening positions for his efforts against Batemans Bay. He has already made 62 not out and has a chance to add to it when play resumes tomorrow. 

2. Paul Sawkins (Bomaderry first grade) Not a natural opening batsman, but he’s getting a promotion in the order to fill a few missing gaps. Sawkins continued his great season with a score of 82 against Batemans Bay. This was his fifth half-century of the season, so surely he has to be getting closer to three-figures. 

3. Harley Bell (Ulladulla first grade) Bell is now just a whisker away from being the competition’s leading run scorer after joining Matt Sethi in the exclusive club of batsmen who have scored two centuries this season. His 107 not out has given Ulladulla a good chance in their clash with the top of the table Nowra. 

4. Trevor Thomason (Ex-Servos first grade) Thomason is the latest on the ever expanding list of first grade batsmen to score a century this season with his 101 not out against Norths. Ex-Servos were in a bit of trouble at 7-71 when Thomason and Graham Phillis put on a 172-run stand to dig them out of a hole. 

5. Graham Phillis (Ex-Servos first grade) Although he was batting at number nine last week, Phillis gets a promotion in the order for his contribution against Norths. Phillis made 68 in a crucial eighth wicket partnership with Trevor Thomason. 

6. Kaleb Phillips (North Nowra-Cambewarra fourth grade) Phillips may have taken out the under 14s batting average award with an astounding 372, but he makes this week’s senior line up primarily for his bowling. Phillips had his more senior opponents in a spin as he took 5/25 with the ball against Berry and has made 29 not out with the bat.  

7. Barry Cumberland (Ex-Servos fourth grade) It’s fair enough to say Nowra’s batsmen had a bit of difficulty with Cumberland’s bowling last week. They could only manage a total of 70, in which Cumberland took 6/12 from 10 overs. 

8. Stewart Graff (Nowra second grade) Graff hadn’t taken six wickets for the season before last week’s clash with Ulladulla, where he managed it in one innings. In just 7.5 overs, Graff managed to take 6/21.  

9. Luke Saare (Berry second grade) Saare is continuing to climb the ladder on the list of leading wicket takers after taking his second five-wicket haul of the season. Berry’s skipper took 5/37 to help dismiss their opponents Bay and Basin for 98. 

10. Neil Leishman (Nowra White fourth grade) The conditions at Nowra High must have been favourable for bowlers, as Leishman was the second bowler to take six wickets on the day. Nowra’s paltry total of 70 was almost enough for first innings points once Leishman got the ball in his hand. Ex-Servos just limped past their score and are 8-74, with Leishman having taken 6/36 so far. 

11. James Spackman (Ex-Servos second grade) Spackman is now looking like a strong contender to make the team of the year after taking his third five-wicket haul of the season. He was on a hat-trick at one stage during his spell of 5/32 against Norths.

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