There’s nothing more that Thornton skipper Jake Moore wants than for his batsman to spend plenty of time in the middle against Eastern Suburbs at King Edward Park on Saturday.
Needing 47 runs to win with five wickets in hand, it would ensure a valuable six points for a win and give his side a chance to address the inconsistency which has plagued them to start the 2018-19 Maitland first grade season.
“There have been patches when we have been right on top with the ball and the bat,” Moore said.
“But there have been periods when we’ve dropped our concentration and allowed teams back into games after we had been on top.”
Moore’s counterpart Jack Bennett can thank his bowlers for again giving his side a shot at victory after Thornton was cruising at 2/98 only to lose three quick wickets to close the day at 5/113.
The Griffins could only manage 159 with the bat despite five batsman making double figures and Josh Hicks top scoring with 52.
A 62-run partnership between Michael Gavan and Hicks was their biggest of the season and has been the case repeatedly this season multiple wickets falling in quick succession. The opening pair went with the score at 12 and 13, three wickets fell at 145 and the final two at 159.
Thornton’s batting has been equally prone to major collapses, and Moore said the most disappointing aspect about last Saturday was that the wickets fell after they had done the hard work.
“I thought Easts bowled very well at the start, they got the ball to move and it was hard to score runs and survive,” he said.
“We managed to get through that and then it was if we dropped our guard and lost wickets playing shots we shouldn’t have. I’m as guilty as anyone to lose my wicket with just 13 balls left in the day let us down.”
Thornton are better placed than they were at this stage last season when they were win-less after six rounds and sitting on bottom of the table.
They won their match before the Christmas break and then five of six games to finish third, one-game clear of City United and just four points behind eventual premiers Raymond Terrace.
“We know we have the ability, it’s just about stringing it together consistently and there’s no better time to start than Saturday,” Moore said.