Port Stephens 1st XI fell across the line to defeat Paterson by one-wicket in a nail-biting finish in their Maitland A-grade clash on Saturday.
The Pythons passed Paterson’s total of 145 with just a wicket in hand in a clash befitting teams sitting first and third going into the game.
Brad Merchant led the way making 60 not out as Paterson posted 7/145 after losing three quick wickets at the top of the order.
Daniel Agland scored 24 to help Merchant with the recovery and Steve Jenkins contributed 20 coming in at No.8.
Jeremy Kirk was the chief wicket taker finishing with 3-31. Matthew Monaghan took 2-36.
Port Stephens normally steamroll opponents in this situation, but Paterson showed they are real title contenders by taking regular wickets and restricting the normally free-scoring Port batting line-up.
Skipper Russell Presland (2-31) got two of the opening three wickets removing opener Craig Hunter (8) and dangerous No.3 Jarrod Moxey for seven. Joshua Mulligan top scored with 46 off 32 balls and Kirk saw the Pythons home making 16 not out.
Dean Bridges picked up 3-35, including Port skipper Josh Moxey (22), Rigby Vane-Wood took 2-20.
Port Stephens 2nd XI ensured the two Pythons teams topped the A-grade ladder going into the Christmas break with a three-wicket win against Lochinvar. Port made 7/150 in reply to Lochinvar’s 129.
SMR moved into fourth place just two points behind third-placed Paterson with a five-wicket win against Lakeside Village.
Leigh Peters (39), Blake Styles (32) and Chris McCabe (20) all got starts for Lakeside, but the tail didn’t wag and they were all out for 146 in 31.2 overs.
David Seers was the chief destroyer for SMR taking 5-26. Seers backed up making 37 in a match winning partnership with captain Justin Dalley (35) before Jarrod Diplock (26 not out) and Ben Gillott (18 not out) completed the run chase in the 28th over.
Leigh Peters took 3-30 for Lakeside.
Matthew Trowbridge took 5-17 to ensure Regal Hunter Tigers total of 134 was enough to get the points against Bowthorne who were all out for 89.
Jason Trowbridge finished on 36 not out for the Tigers and their captain Steven Walters made 21. Bowthorne’s Cyril Leonard took 3-28.
A match-winning 58 not out by David Hakes enabled Raworth Rabbitohs to claim a one-wicket win against Seaham.
Seaham were all out for 145, with Mitchell Freeman (45) and Andrew Freeman (31) the main contributors. Christopher Rose took 4-39.
Raworth got home with 9/148. Peter Caldwell (4-43) and Robert Bartlett (3-19) led Seaham’s bowlers.