Shepparton United has bounced back from a disappointing loss to Euroa the previous weekend with a strong effort on the opening day of its clash against Waaia.
With a Cricket Shepparton Haisman Shield finals spot on the line, it was a brave performance from United away from home and on the back of a tough defeat in round 12.
After being sent into bat at Waaia Recreation Reserve, United declared at 8-204 in the 65th over to try and collect valuable late wickets in order to grab an outright win.
But Waaia toughed out 12 tense overs to be none down for 13, with openers Brayden Carey (10 runs) and Sam Trower (three) to resume this weekend.
At the start of the day — with the pressure of being sent in to bat — United got off to a flying start thanks to its opening duo.
Keegan Armstrong and Alan Tonks combined for an important 98-run opening stand and dealt with Waaia's spearhead bowlers with ease.
The partnership ended when Tonks was run-out for 45 runs which left United's star wicketkeeper to anchor the innings.
Armstrong went on and produced a classy 76-run knock off 153 deliveries, his fourth half-century of the season.
His efforts with the bat take his Haisman Shield season tally to 504 runs for the summer from 12 knocks.
Unfortunately for United, its middle-order failed to replicate the efforts of the openers, as the visitors lost 4-23.
A late run-a-ball knock from captain Dwain Vidler (36 not out) allowed United to register a commanding total.
Waaia's star bowlers Jesse Trower (4-65) and Mitch Cleeland (3-73) toiled away throughout the day and contributed 50 overs between them.
STATE OF PLAY
Shepparton United 8-204 (Keegan Armstrong 76, Alan Tonks 45, Dwain Vidler 36, Jesse Trower 4-65, Mitch Cleeland 3-73)
Keegan Armstrong (Shepparton United): Armstrong anchored the innings as he chalked up his second-highest knock of the summer. Saturday's effort pushed his total number of runs past 500 at an average of 45, showcasing how stellar of a season it has been for the wicketkeeper.