Numurkah put its nose to the grindstone on Saturday to eke out a competitive Haisman Shield total against Old Students as red-ball cricket returned to the region.
After being sent in by the home side at Congupna Recreation Reserve - on a pitch where the Students were rolled for 29 just last week - Blues skipper Liam Gledhill was proud of the tough shift his troops put in at the crease in the round 11 clash.
“We didn't really know what to expect with the wicket after seeing last week's results,” Gledhill said.
“But to get 224 after being sent in was a good effort, we worked our absolute ringer off all day. I couldn't complain about the work ethic of the boys at all.”
He finished with an unbeaten 65 from 66 deliveries to give his side's total some late impetus, negotiating some metronomic bowling from the likes of Nick Breslin (5-67) and Karl Jones (2-27).
“I'm happy with the total,” Gledhill said.
“Old Students bowled really well, really consistently, and we just had to gnaw at them all day.
“That was the pleasing thing, we knew it was going to be a difficult wicket to bat on but no one went out there and threw away their wicket.
“Everyone found the scoring really hard and then Shaun just came in and showed his class, it was good to see.”
Gledhill faced 114 deliveries for his 47, while Dylan Grandell (34 from 79) and Michael Eckard (26 from 66) had to work hard for their runs as well.
Josh Smith and Will Arnel also spent more than half an hour each at the crease throughout the day.
Breslin's haul was his second of five wickets for the Students, pushing into his 27th over by the time stumps were called.
Although only three of those were maidens, he built pressure all day after snaring the early wicket of Grandell before ripping out the tail to keep his side in the hunt for victory.
Along with Jones, Callan McCabe (1-35) and Gerald Sabri (1-40) also snared wickets for the home side on day one of the Cricket Shepparton two-day fixture.
STATE OF PLAY
Numurkah 9-224 (Shaun Downie 65 not out, Liam Gledhill 47, Dylan Grandell 34, Nick Breslin 5-67, Karl Jones 2-27) v Old Students.
Nick Breslin (Old Students): On a day where all players had to grind hard for success, Breslin rolled through almost 27 overs to snare 5-67, making an important early breakthrough before cleaning up the tail.