Sea Eagles top cricket ladder

Good aim: Chris Dwyer, pictured bowling against Pambula, led with the ball for the Sea Eagles on Saturday, taking three Mallacoota scalps.

Good aim: Chris Dwyer, pictured bowling against Pambula, led with the ball for the Sea Eagles on Saturday, taking three Mallacoota scalps.

The Tathra Sea Eagles cruised to a top-spot finish to the regular Far South Coast Cricket Association season on Saturday. 

The Eagles had opened up an unassailable lead in the competition and capped off the season with a 200-run haul against Mallacoota. 

It was an uncharacteristically slow start from the visiting Tathra side as openers Craig Nicholson and Chris Dwyer both struggled to amass much more than 15 runs each. 

Nicholson was caught out for 10, while Dwyer was sitting on 14 runs when he was dismissed by the hosts. 

Big hitter Ben O’Reilly went in at number three and belted his way to a team-best 51 in a good partnership with Pete Bennett, who also had a solid knock of 29 runs.

When Ben was dismissed, the Sea Eagles were already pushing past 150 runs  

Matt O’Reilly and Blake Grant also teamed up well with the pair clocking up 25 and 35 runs respectively as the visitors surged on the scoreboard despite dropping quick wickets. 

Dan Blacka and Ryan Clarke went out cheaply at the tail end, but the club had already notched up 200 runs to set a difficult target for the Mallacoota side. 

The response from the Mallacoota side was lacking as the club went down swiftly to finish all-out on 109 runs in the 29th over. 

Dwyer led with the ball, claiming three quick wickets for the Sea Eagles, while Grant and Bennett both shared honours to take two wickets apiece. 

The win puts the Tathra side well clear in the lead as the competition now splits for two separate finals series. 

The Pambula Bluedogs came heart-breakingly close to knocking Eden out of the top four, but fell just short, trailing the fourth-placed team by just four competition points. 

The Sea Eagles are now poised to take on the Eden roster in a knockout semi-finals, while the second-placed Merimbula Knights will host Bermagui in the other top grade match. 

Forming the B grade semi-finals, the Bluedogs will stand as favourites for the top spot as they take on Tuross Head for a place in the grand final. 

The second B grade semi will see South Eurobodalla host Mallacoota at Dalmeny. 

Pundits will expect to see the Sea Eagles and the Knights go cleanly through their respective matches and face off in a final showdown. 

The Knights have a more defensive batting line-up, defending their wickets and batting out the full innings, but the club is also less explosive at the crease and can struggle to chase down bigger targets. 

All four semi-final matches will go ahead on Saturday with play from 1pm. 

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