The Shoalhaven U/16’s representative side competing in the Greater Illawarra inter-association competition travelled to Keith Grey oval in Albion Park on Sunday to take on South Coast in the first of the T20 matches.
In a low scoring game in which the ball dominated the bat, South Coast got the better of Shoalhaven winning by 25 runs.
South Coast won the toss and elected to bat first but were in trouble early at 4/11 with the loss of quick wickets due to some sharp fielding and excellent bowling. However South Coast dug in and produced a handy partnership for the 5th wicket and batting through the allotted 20 overs. With the last wicket falling to the final delivery, South Coast finished all out for 73. Ethan Barnes was the standout batsman for South Coast scoring 31.
Best of the Shoalhaven bowlers was Troy Sweet who finished with 4/5 from 4 overs, which included 3 wickets in the final over, and Lorcan Edwards-Villalta who bowled brilliantly but for no wickets with the figures of 0/2 from 4 overs. Blake Dixon and Toby Huard also contributed, both finishing with 1/10. Shoalhaven also did very well in the field with four run-outs and some good catches.
The run chase started positively but Shoalhaven just couldn’t get going on what turned out to be a tough morning for the batsmen. Most batsmen got starts but couldn’t get traction against a solid South Coast attack. Coming in at number 11, Josh Vanzetti (10) top scored before being the last man dismissed, run out attempting to chase the required runs.
Best for the South Coast was Josh Correia with 3/17.
The afternoon match saw Shoalhaven travel up to Reed Park to take on Highlands for the second T20. After winning the toss, a much improved batting performance saw a very competitive score of 111 posted by the Shoalhaven team. However it wasn’t enough to hold off some big hitting from the Highlands and unfortunately the Shoalhaven went down by 4 wickets.
After losing his newly promoted opening partner Troy Sweet early, Jack Sweet set about establishing himself and ensuring that a competitive score could be posted. After 30-run partnerships with both Jack Walsh (9) and Darcy Hopkins (9), Jack Sweet finished unbeaten on 54 which included 7 fours with Marley Arthur not out (6). This was Jack’s first representative 50 and highest score for the Shoalhaven, well done.
Best with the ball for Illawarra was Will Preddy with 2/10 and Liam Bayliss with 2/23.
Despite taking a wicket and some tight bowling early and Shoalhaven bowlers capturing 5/18 towards the end of the innings it was to no avail. A 74-run partnership inside of 7 overs for the 2nd wicket set the platform for a Highlands victory. Jack Baldwin was best with the bat for Highlands, scoring a well struck 65 in their 6/114 with 2 overs to spare.
Best with the ball for Shoalhaven was Cameron Murray in his first game of the season with 2/17 with Riley Jarrett 1/6, Toby Huard 1/11 and Blake Dixon 1/15 also taking wickets. Keeper Jack Sweet picked up 2 catches behind the stumps as did Jack Walsh in the field to go with his two from the first game.
Shoalhaven are hoping for better fortunes in next week’s continuation of the T20 rounds in Nowra. Shoalhaven take on Illawarra in the first game at Bernie Regan in the morning with all four teams participating in the finals being played in the afternoon at the Showground and Bernie Regan.