Two Haisman Shield titans squared off at Howley Oval on Saturday and it was Numurkah that made one of the biggest statements of the season.
Against Nagambie, the Blues won the toss and batted and had no regrets about that decision, posting a commanding total of 8-309 the Lakers will try and chase down this Saturday.
Once again, Numurkah got a strong start at the top of the order, with Dylan Grandell (35) and youngster Matt Price (26) adding 65 for the first wicket.
But the Lakers struck back and took 3-3 to swing the momentum, with Grandell, Will Arnel and Price all bowled in quick succession.
The Blues steadied through their super middle-order, with Michael Eckard and Sean Downie finding form to score 64 and 30 respectively.
Josh Sanderson found the wicket of both and Kody Jackson was run out to leave them 6-179, but Numurkah's batting depth came to the fore as captain Liam Gledhill and Jahlan Lau began blasting Lakers bowlers all around Tatura.
Gledhill made a season-high 83 and Lau found 45 as they put their side in the driver's seat.
The skipper said the performance had shown what the reigning premier remained capable of.
“It was a good day. There were a few periods where we really struggled, but we were able to finish well,” Gledhill said.
“It was a quick batting track with a quick outfield, we knew it was going to be a high-scoring game. We put some good partnerships together. It was a shame no-one was able to go on and get a century, but we showed we can bat all the way down.”
It was the perfect response from the Blues after they were bowled out for 111 in their previous innings against Mooroopna, but Gledhill said that performance had not been given too much thought.
“That game against Mooroopna, we just put that down to a bad week and every side has had those this season. It's a pretty even competition,” he said.
“We did want to put our best foot forward being a pretty big game. Nagambie is in top form and we'll have to bowl well.”
Mark Nolan, Nathan Fothergill and Sanderson each finished with two wickets.
● Nagambie finds itself in a strong position after day one of its C-grade clash with Toolamba.
Looking to find a foothole over their opponents after posting 134 runs with the bat, the Lakers’ attack tore through Toolamba’s top half to leave it hanging by a thread on 6-44 at close of play.
Nagambie’s Jame Auld did most of the damage, taking 4-7, while Tyler Ritchie and Blair Taylor-Lloyd took a wicket apiece.
Earlier in the day, Blair Taylor-Lloyd top-scored for the Lakers, hitting 71, while Toolamba’s Xavier Dowell (5-20) spearheaded his team's attack alongside Greg Watts (3-35).