ORANGE City skipper Dave Boundy ripped through Centrals’ top order on Saturday afternoon to have the defending premiers’ title defence on the verge of flat lining at 5-30, 126 runs short of the Warriors first innings total.
But, when play resumes next Saturday at Wade Park, Centrals aren’t completely out of the running.
Not just yet anyway.
The 2011-12 champions still have skipper Jarrod Simpson at the crease on eight not out while Mitch Harvey and Nick Dunlop, two of the side’s best bats, are yet to come, after both were unavailable for Saturday’s play.
If they’re to get City’s total of all out for 159, all three will have to shoulder the burden of the task after Boundy tore through Centrals’ top order claiming 4-5 off just 3.3 overs late on Saturday afternoon.
On a pitch that’s seen plenty of runs of late and as CYMS went about hitting a season-high 288 just down the road, the bowlers dominated at Wade Park as Mick Walker (16), Jake Pauletto (six) then Ben Hyde (duck) and Matt Tedeschi (duck) all fell to Boundy.
Earlier, Orange City batsmen didn’t entirely make the most of the conditions either.
The Warriors lost Mitchell representative Matt Findlay for a duck to be 1-0, then found themselves in a terrible position of 3-16 after key run scorers James Conn (four) and Shaun Grenfell (eight) both lost their wickets cheaply.
However, opener Andy McIntyre turned back the clock with watchful 32 and alongside Ben Nexhip (44), put on 78 for the fourth wicket to dig Orange City out of the hole.
After both Nexhip and McIntyre went though, Orange City lost wickets regularly as the Centrals bowlers dug in to share the wickets.
Mark Wiegold led the attack with 3-26 from 10 overs.
With just five wickets left in the bag ahead of next weekend’s final day and the side seemingly on the verge of exiting the race for a place in this year’s finals series, Simpson stood defiant, adamant Centrals aren’t without hope.
He pointed to the side’s improvement as reason enough.
A strong effort in Friday night’s Royal Hotel Cup loss to Molong was backed up by another positive effort against City with the ball.
All that’s left is the batting.
And when better to step up than next Saturday?
“We bowled well but probably let ourselves down with the bat towards the end of the day,” Simpson said.
“We’ve still got an opportunity to win the game but if there’s a little bit of rain around next weekend. We don’t know how that’ll pan out.”