An almost chance-less 78 by Tim Prescott helped steer Northern Suburbs to victory against Kurri Weston in a game befitting its top-two status.
The win takes Norths to the top of the Maitland first grade table on 33 points equal with Kurri Weston, with Eastern Suburbs, City United and Raymond Terrace all on 22 in third to sixth.
Prescott and Terry Humphreys rescued Norths from a precarious 4-20 chasing Kurri’s 194 at Lorn, batting with controlled aggression taking the hosts to 5-122 when Humphreys was dismissed for 55.
In a testament to their batting depth, former Norths skipper Josh Callinan came in at seven and scored 32 off just 34 balls in a mixture of big hitting and aggressive running between the wickets.
The quick running told on Prescott who took the long-handle to the first two balls of the 47th over belting Jack Bennett’s for six and four.
It was a sign of fatigue and perhaps a little revenge as Bennett had dealt plenty of pain to the Norths bowlers hitting six fours and three sixes in his innings of 83.
“Being 4-20 down and scoring 1-170 plus was a massive effort for us,” Norths skipper Michael Wilson said.
“It was great to see someone else contributing with Terry Humphreys and Tim Prescott both getting 50s and Josh Callinan with another 30-odd not out. Everyone is contributing at some stage, which is great.
“They showed good game awareness, we knew we needed less than six an over and they hit the bad balls and when there was a single they took it.
“I thought Kurri played very well. Jack Bennett batted very well and I thought Cameron Bates bowled very well.
“We were wobbling at 4-20 and perhaps this time last year we might have folded and got beat, but I had every confidence that we wouldn’t do that this time.
“If we only needed 60 or 80 in those last 10 overs with wickets in hand we were confident we would win.”
Kurri Weston captain Michael Heinrich had to juggle his bowlers with opener Cameron Bates having to leave the game early.
Bates bowled his 10 overs straight and took 2-28, but it left Heinrich without one of his key strike weapons to break the Prescott-Humphreys partnership.
“I took the gamble of trying to bowl them out and that’s probably where I stuffed it up,” Heinrich said.
“They bowled well and we scraped up 194. Jack Bennett was really good.
“We had them 4-20 and just couldn’t get that fifth wicket.
“Terry and Tim just batted too good. We had a half chance with an lbw against Tim early on we probably had a slip just a little too wide and it went through the gap. Apart from that he didn’t look like giving us a sniff.”