Thornton batter Jono Gabriel blasted an unbeaten 126 to lead his side to an eight-wicket victory against Kurri Weston with 25 overs to spare at Thornton Oval on Saturday.
Chasing Kurri Weston's total of 7/174, Gabriel dominated the opposition's bowling and his side's scoring.
Jamie Krake, Gabriel's opening partner, made 30 conceding his main role was to give as much strike to Gabriel as he could.
Skipper Matt Gabriel, Jono's brother, said he had seen Jono bat better but it was the most powerful and complete innings he had seen from him.
It was all the more impressive as he was returning to cricket after contracting COVID over the Christmas break and missing the first game back against City United.
Balls were flying over or smashing into fence in all directions as he raced to his century.
"He has probably hit the ball cleaner but he has got himself out after making 50 or 60," Matt said.
"This is the first time I have seen really go on with an unbeaten 100 when he has been in that type of form.
"Knowing him, it was the singles and twos and the commitment to keep the scoreboard ticking which showed to me he was really in for the long haul this innings."
After scoring at six runs an over, Gabriel signalled his intentions with three sixes and a four off the bowling of Ben Crebert in the fourth over.
The hits just seemed to get bigger as the over went on and Crebert, who has been one of his side's best performers this season, like the rest of the Kurri Weston bowling line-up had no answers.
The onslaught continued and fittingly he brought up his century with a massive six over midwicket.
"I've had better innings, I can remember a couple back when I was playing with University with Matt (Gabriel) and Jake Moore when I probably timed it better and hit it cleaner," Jono said.
"But that inning was pretty special especially coming back from COVID. I'm a bit older now and I think I'm hitting it a bit harder now, but you always enjoy a century."
Warriors skipper Sam Dalibozek came closest to containing Gabrield with 0-24 off five overs and James Dunston had the respectable figures of 1-44 off eight.
"I don't think any team could have controlled Jono the way he was batting today," Dalibozek conceded.
"It was a victory if we could keep him at the non-strikers end.
"The best we can do is put that one behind us and front up next week knowing it's a different game and we are back even."
After round seven was split in two, Thornton hosts Kurri Weston again this coming weekend for a two-dayer on Saturday and Sunday.
Thornton will be keen to consolidate their winning form after a disappointing loss to an under-strength City United in the first game after Christmas.
"I think this coming round is a big test for us. We need to return to that winning form. This game was an exception with Jono's batting, but we have to show we can be tight with our bowling and set or chase down winning targets with our batting," Matt Gabriel said.
"It's nice to bounce back after the City loss, but we've got to play consistent cricket against good teams and we can prove that this coming weekend and in the next couple of weeks when we will face Western Suburbs who are a huge test."
Matt said there was plenty of room for improvement and he believed they had taken the pressure off Kurri Weston in the field and should restricted them to a score of 130-140.
Batting first Kurri Weston made 7/174 with Liam Dalibozek top scoring with 45 coming in at No.8.
Thornton shared the wickets around with Jake Reeves 2-16 and Dean Bradford 2-17 off seven overs each having the best returns.
In other games, City United were all out for 159 and then dismissed Easts for 117 after having them 5/26.
Karl Bowd top scored for City with 31, Cam Wynn made 26 and Andrew Vickery and Dusty Callaghan both made 24. Doug Loth took 3-39 for Easts.
Skipper Jack Bennett scored 30 and teenager Tom Lovegrove made 21 for Easts. Fifteen-year-old Izaac Coyle returned the excellent figures of 4-12 off eight overs for City.
Raymond Terrace are just one point outside the top four after an important six-wicket win against Northern Suburbs at Lorn Park.
In skipper Daniel Upward's last game for the season, the Lions recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season chasing down Norths 6/161 with 3.1 overs to spare.
Upward will be away in Queensland for work but was excited about his team's prospects going forward with a number of senior players back and the junior developing quickly.
Lachlan Page top scored with 48 and Upward and Daniel Flynn were both unbeaten on 31.
Lincoln Mills was Norths best with the bat making 58 and Cal Gabriel made 28 in his second game back after recovering from a broken leg.
Upward was the best of the bowlers picking up 2-15 off six overs.
Western Suburbs were too strong for Tenambit Morpeth Bulls at Coronation Oval on Saturday.
Amassing 230 before being dismissed, Wests bowled the Bulls out for 72.
Mick Rees continued his great form making 62 and Aaron Mahony was run out for 31. Lachlan Heit took 3-57.
Adam Sidoti top score with 20 for the Bulls. Mitch Fisher took 3-13 off eight and Harry King 3-33 off 10 with the ball for Wests.
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