Not even a superb century from Shellharbour's Jack McDonald could deny The Rail from notching up their fourth successive South Coast Cricket first-grade victory on Saturday.
McDonald was the clear star of the show at Tom Willoughby Oval, crafting 136 from 167 deliveries, but it wasn't enough to stop the Razorbacks from claiming a two-wicket win.
City captain Ned Taylor won the toss and elected to bat first, and his side responded by scoring 3/259 from 50 overs. McDonald hit 14 boundaries during his knock, while Taylor (53) and Daniel Smith (45 not out) also played some valuable innings.
"We thought we had him (McDonald) out early for a caught behind. Sometimes those decisions go your way, sometimes they don't," The Rail skipper Brett Gilly said.
"But full credit to him, he cashed in and made the most of his chances. He obviously set the game up for them and was probably instrumental in making it a really good game of cricket."
The Razorbacks' hopes of chasing that competitive total took a hit when they were penalised two overs for a slow overrate.
However, openers Dylan Rae and Hayden Church made sure their innings had a solid foundation when they combined for 96 runs before Church fell for 50. Rae was able to keep the momentum going, taking the score to 3/184 before he was dismissed for 81 (off 109 balls).
Rae found an ally in Adam Ison, who proved vital in the run chase. Ison hit a quick-fire 41 off 32 before he was runout by Taylor with the scoreboard reading 5/237.
The dismissal triggered a collapse, with The Rail then losing three wickets for 10 runs. However, Andrew Chie and Zac Heffernan were able to get the visitors home with seven deliveries to spare.
"It was a very good run chase, obviously those close games at the end of the year can make a big difference. We'll definitely take the seven points, which keeps us on top of the ladder," Gilly said.
"Our openers have been in good form all year, so Dylan and Hayden got us off to the perfect start chasing a big total. And I thought Adam Ison through the middle overs scored a very valuable 41. Obviously you need people to get some valuable scores when you're chasing 260.
"We've had a few close games with Shellharbour over the last few years and it's become a bit of a rivalry. It's one at the start of the season that we pinned in the calendar as a game that we wanted to get up for and win."
Meanwhile, Ex-Servos continue to nip at the Razorbacks' heels after securing a three-wicket victory over Lake Illawarra on Saturday.
A superb spell of 6/36 from Jake O'Connell helped restrict the Lakers to a first-innings total of 159. Travis Roth then top-scored with 38 (off 99 balls) as Ex-Servos claimed the win with one over to spare.
In other South Coast Cricket results, Berry-Shoalhaven Heads thrashed Bay and Basin Dolphins by nine wickets; Albion Park recorded a two-wicket win over North Nowra Cambewarra; and Kiama sealed a thumping nine-wicket victory over Bomaderry.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.