Balgownie's hopes of securing a Cricket Illawarra three-peat have been dealt a major blow, with opener Graeme Batty ruled out for the season with a torn rotator cuff.
The Magpies skipper suffered the injury while fielding in his team's round one loss to Wollongong.
Batty attempted to play through the injury, however he ultimately succumbed to the pain prior to last week's win over Keira.
Results to scans confirmed Monday he will require surgery with a likely six-month recovery.
The injury also rules Batty out of this weekend's Country Championships, of which he was set to captain Greater Illawarra. Balgownie teammate Jamie Fleming will now lead the side.
While disappointed to miss the remainder of the season, Batty vowed to return to the pitch next summer.
"I don't think I've missed a game of grade cricket through injury in 22 years," Batty said. "It's the only injury I've got and it's put me out for the season.
"I tore it diving in the field. I took some medications and batted for 35 overs and scored 80-odd, but knew the next day that it was not good.
"I'll be back. I don't want to finish playing on this note. I'll be doing everything I can to go around next year."
Balgownie have struggled throughout the early weeks of this season, Saturday's victory just their second of the summer.
While it will be tough to cover the loss of one of the best batsmen in the competition, Balgownie still boast the likes of Rob Fisher and Adam Berwick in their top-order.
With Fleming stepping into the Magpies captaincy role, Batty remains upbeat about his team's premiership chances.
"That victory on the weekend was clinical. It's one of the best I've seen in the last three years at Bally.
"It shows what the guys can do when they're switched on. Looking at the table, there hasn't been too much damage done from the slow start.
"Barring anymore unavailabilities and injuries, the guys will still do really well this season.
"Jamie's one of the most experienced captains going around, so we won't lose much there."
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