Barooga squeezed every run possible from its first innings at the weekend.
The Hawks will need every one of them tomorrow if they are any chance of snatching the Murray Valley Cricket Association premier division minor premiership from Nathalia’s clutches.
As usual, the Purples were on fire with the ball on day one of the final round clash between the two dominant sides in the competition.
Brayden Summerville (two wickets), Luke Quinn (two), Henry Congues (two), Luke Carter (one) and Liam Evans (one) all pitched in with wickets during Barooga’s 80 overs at the crease, and at one stage had the home side reeling at 5-61.
It was only a defiant — and eventually unbeaten — 79 from gun all-rounder Justin Maley that allowed the Hawks to make it all the way to stumps.
When the eighth wicket fell with the scoreboard reading just 130, Barooga looked in dire straights.
But solid contributions from Riyaad Henry (26), Joel Cahir (21), and earlier Jamie Stanyer (31) at first-drop, steered the Hawks to a defendable 9-185.
At Finley Recreation Reserve, Cobram remains in a strong position to take plenty of momentum into the finals.
The Tigers posted 249 on day one of the clash before taking a pair of Finley wickets before stumps.
Daniel McHugh (nine not out) and Matthew Wilson (one not out) will resume with 209 runs required for victory, and will be keen to send their home crowd into raptures on the last day of the Cats’ season with a stirring chase.
Deniliquin will also have eight wickets in hand when its batsmen stride to the crease tomorrow, but Ash Germano (16 not out from 45 deliveries) and Zeniffe Fowler (five not out) only require 106 runs to triumph after Waaia could only manage 131.
Katamatite is even closer to success in what will be its last match of the season.
The Tigers routed Cobram-Yarroweyah United for just 121 on day one before striding to 2-71 at stumps.
Rhys Tierney (27 not out) and Tom Rutter (13 not out) will be aiming to pass the combine’s score without losing another wicket.