THE Shoalhaven Mariners prepared for the opening of its purpose built ground by playing the Cardinals at Cringila Park.
The Mariners won two of the three matches played on the day.
The day started well when the third grade clicked together and put nine good runs up against the Cardinals squad.
Excellent pitching by Ray Furlong held cardinals to three runs whilst strong batting by Matt Forster, Aaron Taylor with two hits each and supported by Jordan Butfield, Ray Furlong and Michael Taylor added to the strong win 9-3 win.
The third grade have grown in strength and ability throughout the season and beating the competition leaders gets them closer to the top four spot and a chance to play in the finals.
Second grade was not so fortunate and lost 15-4 against the second placed Cardinals.
The Mariner’s bats weren’t working on the day but they definitely have the goods to produce good wins on their day.
Great pitching by Ben Scicluna, supported by catcher Eryn Shipp, was the highlight for the Mariners.
The first grade match was the match of the day.
Cellar dwellers, the Shoalhaven Mariners, took on last year’s premiers and produced a 14-10 upset win.
If the Shoalhaven team keeps going their confidence will grow and success will follow.
The first grade Mariners scored quickly in the first inning with two runs from hits by Brendon Lentell, Matt Guyatt and Mick Talty.
The local side then held the Cardinals to one run and then exploded into the second inning with five runs from strong hitting by Josh Pecovnik, Brenton McMahon and a walk by Kai Meuronen followed by a powerful long distance two base hit by Murray Lugg to score three runs.
Darran O’Connell Brendon Lentell and Matt Guyatt again hit well to add another two runs.
Cardinals were kept scoreless for a few innings as the game quietened and then late in the game Mariners scored another six good runs in consecutive innings to wrap up the game.
Third grade: 9 runs to 3 to the Mariners
Hits: Jordan Butfield, Ray Furlong, Michael Taylor – 1 each
Matt Forster, Aaron Taylor – 2 each
Team: 7 Hits, 6 walks, 4 K2’s, 2 errors
Pitching: Ray Furlong – 92P, 27B, 65S, 24BF, 7H, 9K2, 1W (outstanding)
Second grade: 15 runs to 4 to the Cardinals
Hits: Ben Scicluna, Eryn Shipp, Aaron Taylor – 1 each
Team: 3 Hits, 6 walks, 1 K2, 6 errors
Pitching: Ben Scicluna – 127P, 62B, 65S, 34BF, 8H, 9W
First grade: 14 runs to 10 to the Mariners
Hits:Jackson Lewer, Kai Meuronen, Josh Pecovnik – 1 each
Matt Guyatt, Murray Lugg – 2 each
Brendan Lentell, Darran O’Connell – 4 each
Team: 16 Hits, 6 Walks, 5 K2’s, 5 Errors
Brenton McMahon – 100 Pitches, 45 Balls, 55 Strikes, 26Batters Faced, 7Hits, 1K2 (strike outs), 6Walks
Kai Meuronen – 32P, 18B, 14S, 8BF, 0H, 3K’2, 3W
Matt Guyatt – 38P, 18B, 20S, 10BF, 2H, 1K’2, 2W
While the Mariners have been regarded as an easy team to beat by the other League clubs over the years, the locals have always managed to be competitive and positive about their mission.
Shoalhaven isn’t about putting premiership trophies onto their mantle at this stage, it’s about building a club, gaining players for the future and developing juniors.
Juniors are the priority and now with a home ground to play on in Nowra it will be great to provide an alternative sport to all those looking for something different and challenging, a game that everyone gets to be involved in, where they can achieve their fun and skills, no matter their abilities or build.