PREDICTIONS of rain threatened to impact the first day of round seven in Horsham Cricket Association’s A Grade competition, but all three games went ahead.
Travis Hair hit his second century of the season to help Rup-Minyip take first-day honours against Jung Tigers, while Homers and Horsham Saints both look likely to chase outright victories.
Tigers captain Tyler Neville won the toss and decided to send the Blue Panthers in on a wicket that looked as though it had the potential to help the bowlers.
He would have thought he had made the right decision when Pat Laffy and David Puls picked up the early wickets of Ryan Metelmann and Victor Lothian.
Momentum shifted dramatically from that point as Hair and Adam Carter showed their class in a long partnership.
“We made sure we got ourselves in,” Hair said. “It wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on, you just had to be patient.”
The pair moved the score from 2-5 to over 200 before Hair was caught off Connor Lawson for 129.
“I got to a hundred and my back was hurting,” Hair said. “I told Cartsy if I bat for another 20 minutes I was going to retire hurt, so it might be time to go a bit harder.”
Carter continued to score 79 and Leigh Funcke managed 37 before an inexperienced lower order fell quickly in the search of eight runs. Jung will need to score 282 to win on the second day.
Homers co-captain Jarred Combe claimed five wickets as Homers routed Laharum for just 58 in 44 overs.
Craig Britten claimed two quick wickets to put Laharum on the back foot early.
“Then Glenn Doyle and Dan Griffiths batted for about 25 overs without scoring heavily but they were occupying the crease,” Combe said.
“We were lucky enough that once we picked those two we went through the middle and lower order pretty quickly after that.”
Jason Kannar, 53 not out, and Sandy Hodge, 36 not out, then saw Homers through to the end of the day without loss. Combe said it was good to see Kannar take his opportunity at the top of the order.
“He is very capable with the bat and hopefully he can build next week,” he said.
Horsham Saints are well positioned against Blackheath-Dimboola.
The Saints’ choice to bowl first was vindicated as wickets fell thick and fast early before Luke Werner, Michael McGough and Ash Clugston allowed Blackheath-Dimboola to reach 104.
Josh Carroll led the attack with figures of 4-14 off 11.3 overs, while Zac Hamerston claimed 3-24.
The Saints are 1-49 in reply with Corey Smith, 23, the only wicket to fall. Caroll, 17 not out, and Matt Combe, 6 not out, will continue with the bat on day two.