MACQUARIE Hotel returned to the top of the Mid North Coast Premier Cricket League ladder with a 43-run win over Rovers at Wayne Richards Park.
Opening batsmen Ethan Hyde and Tom Salter laid the foundation as Macquarie compiled a challenging 8-166.
Hyde and Salter combined for an opening stand of more than 100 in 20 overs before Rovers applied the brakes.
Hyde then capped off a successful day when he claimed four vital wickets with the ball as Rovers were bowled out for 123.
Captain Josh Hyde was pleased his side came away with the win after Rovers captain Danny Powick threatened to take the game away.
“He put a bit of a fright up us at one stage and scored at a very good rate and had us on the back foot,” Hyde said.
“They were 5-100 at drinks and we knew the next 10 overs were going to decide the game.
(Their captain) put a bit of a fright up us at one stage and scored at a very good rate and had us on the back foot.Josh Hyde
“Ethan came on and took four wickets which reiterated what we thought batting first that spin was going to be tough to get away.”
Hyde conceded Macquarie’s lack of spin options could be their weakness in the finals.
“Coley was our main spinner and he probably won’t be back for the remainder of the season,” he said.
“But Ethan did a good job on Saturday and hopefully he can take a bit of confidence out of it in the next couple of weeks.”
Port City captain Gordon Scott will hope their 132-run win over Nulla will be the start of a late season charge to the Mid North Coast Premier Cricket League finals.
Kyle Blanch (5-39) was the star with the ball as the Magpies rolled Nulla for 112 as they chased 245 for victory.
Earlier, Scott and Jesse Schmidt were the only two to miss out as Port City cruised to an imposing 7-244.
“In the last few weeks we’ve been suffering in our batting,” Scott said.
“And then we knock up 244 runs and there wasn’t one 50 in it; I really liked how everyone chipped in.
It was good to have a team contribution other than just one batsman standing out – it was good to see.Gordon Scott
“It was good to have a team contribution other than just one batsman standing out – it was good to see.”
The Magpies captain felt it was too early to say if his side had finally turned the corner, but their focus was now on beating Wauchope next weekend.
“A couple of other results went our way at the weekend which helped and the boys were quite excited, but we’ve got to take this one game at a time,” he said.
“We don’t want to get carried away.
“We still have four more games until the semis so we’re concentrating on Wauchope now and we want to put them away too.”
Scott said the difference in attitude and application was the key to one of their best performances of the season.
“I think most of our season was resting upon the match,” he said.
“I’ve always known we’ve had the capabilities of doing it, we just needed to have the right mental attitude and needed to get back to playing basics and it worked.”
Blanch’s five-wicket haul was reward for bowling a good line and length.
“We’ve been telling Kyle all season to pitch the ball up and he finally reaped the rewards of putting the ball in the right spot,” Scott said.
“It was a bit of a turnaround from the boys yesterday; it was good to see.”