The squeeze is on in the middle of the Murray Valley Cricket Association’s Premier Division table.
One win separates third-placed Deni Rhinos and fifth-placed Nathalia after the former lost its second game in a row on Saturday, with the Purples and Barooga (fourth) each snaring victory to close the gap on the ladder.
It was the Hawks who hunted down the Rhinos at Barooga Recreation Reserve, rolling the visitors for 130 before chasing the target down with six wickets in hand.
Riley Gow (3/31) and Zeke Bunge (2/23) bowled superbly for the Hawks as Deniliquin’s batsmen struggled to get going across the innings.
It took until number seven batsman Chris Pyle (20) and number eight Harry Hillier (24 not out) for any of the Rhinos to reach 20 during their innings, but the side could not reach the end of their 45 overs and were dismissed in the 43rd.
Sam Leigh (60 from 67 deliveries) helped the Hawks make quick work of the chase, while Kale Watkins (25) and Amar Ullah (22 not out) also got starts.
Andrew Hogan took 2/37 for the Rhinos.
Katamatite had a huge win against Cobram-Yarroweyah United at the weekend, and in the process consigned the combine to Division One for the remainder of the season as the top tier drops to six teams for the two-day clashes.
Brayden Beaton (67) and Tom Pendlebury (3/11) led the way for the Tigers as they posted 8/216 and dismissed United for just 86 inside 23 overs.
Ayden Latessa (4/20 and 31) played almost a lone hand for the combine in the defeat, but skipper Mitch Richmann (2/48 and 20) also showed resistance with bat and ball.