THE Tathra Maroons have bounced back to top form in the local cricket competition.
After suffering a shock loss last round, Tathra has shown why it is the favourite to win the Far South Coast Cricket Association A grade premiership.
With the finals just around the corner, the side has now secured the minor premiership for 2012/13.
At the halfway mark of their two-day encounter with Merimbula, the Maroons are in a dominant position.
Tathra captain Pete Bennett won the toss and elected to bat first on Saturday at Bega Valley Field.
It was the skipper who led the way, blasting an impressive 75 as Tathra reached 277 from 56.4 overs.
However, it was far from a one-man show by Bennett, as opener Graeme Gibbs scored a half-century and Ben O’Reilly (36) and Sebastian Arratia (37) spent valuable time at the crease.
Luke Ryan was the pick of the bowlers for Merimbula, taking 3/50 from 15 overs, while Matthew Treacy picked up two wickets.
In reply, Merimbula was flailing at 5/32 by the time stumps were drawn on Saturday.
It was the Blacka brothers – Adam and Dan – who did all the damage, impressing with their pace and control.
Adam Blacka picked up 3/23 from six overs and Dan collected 2/5 off his five overs.
Merimbula will resume play on day two still trailing by 245 runs, as the Maroons hunt an outright result.
Elsewhere, Pambula continued its late-season run of form by securing first innings points against the Bega/Angledale Bulls.
Despite scoring a sub-par total of 83, Pambula was able to restrict its opponents to just 78.
Three wickets apiece to Sean Lambert and Hamish Willcox saw the Bulls contain their opponents to 83 from 34 overs.
Bega/Angledale struggled in reply, at one stage slipping to 8/46, as Pambula’s Shane Garrett finished with figures of 6/14.
Lower-order batsman Tom Pearce gave his side a fighting chance of first innings points by scoring 32, but he received little support.
At stumps, Pambula had resumed its second innings and was 2/30, as leg-spinner Lukas Santinon picked up two wickets in just four balls.