IN terms of nailbiters, the conclusion to Saturday’s two-day clash at Raby Oval will take some beating.
The Waratahs snared first innings points with one ball to spare following a frantic last over bowled by allrounder Ahillen Beadle.
Joshua Dunning was the man who trudged back to the grandstand after cutting a ball he should have left.
Wicketkeeper Jay Lenton held on to the edge, sparking euphoric scenes, with Manly’s players well aware they dodged a bullet.
Dunning was at the crease for just over an hour, facing 51 balls. He was out for a duck, indicating his stubborn mindset.
It was an attitude adopted by teammate Luke Webb, who ducked and weaved his way through 123 deliveries before quick Michael Visser claimed him for a dogged 26.
Manly captain Adam Crosthwaite paid tribute to his side’s fighting spirit.
“Everyone showed real character to hang in there,’’ he said. “It was a game we had to win, six point was essential after losing a few early (two-day) games.
“We certainly left it late, thankfully AB (Beadle) was good enough to get that pole when we needed it.”
The news wasn’t as good on Sunday, with Manly losing their Twenty20 Cup semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground versus Randwick Petersham.
Chasing a gettable 147, Manly were all out for 134.
“It was a game which slipped through our fingers,’’ the skipper, who top scored with 42, said.
“A few of the boys got starts, but didn’t go on with the job.
“Despite the result, playing at the SCG was a fantastic experience for the boys collectively.”