PORT Macquarie Pirates took a step towards the May Kelly Cup final with a comprehensive nine-wicket victory over Wauchope RSL at Oxley Oval on January 26.
An undermanned Wauchope won the toss and elected to bat first, but only Jack Sanmugarasa (22) offered any sort of resistance as they were bowled out for 62 in the 19th over.
Zane Haywood (12) was the only other batsman to reach double figures. The two came together when their side was 6-29, putting on a 30-run stand.
In reply, Pirates had little trouble chasing down the victory target with Connor Cook (17) the only wicket to fall.
Jared Humphreys (30 not out) and Damian Kulmar (12 not out) steered the team to victory in just the seventh over.
Wauchope captain Lindsay Hopper said his team only scratched together a full 11 late the night before.
"It's really hard to get a team on the park for a round game on Australia Day; we were getting our final names at 10pm last night," he said.
"But it's all about development for us at the moment because we have a heap of kids coming through.
"Every game they play is better for their experience and growth."
Kate Jackson (1-18) was the only successful bowler.
Pirates captain Ben de Braun was satisfied with his side's application in the field.
"We had great, tight bowling which kept the pressure on their batsmen and this allowed us the freedom to chase down their total quickly," he said.