YOU can win ugly by 10 runs as Centrals did last Saturday or in the dominant seven-wicket fashion Cavaliers did - either way both victories are worth eight competition points on the Orange District Cricket Association standings.
And for Centrals, they’ll take the win any way it comes.
“That’s it. It’s a win we needed and that’s probably the best way to describe it,” Centrals all-rounder Jarrod Simpson said following his side’s nail-biting 10-run triumph over Kinross at Wade Park.
But it very nearly went the other way.
Setting the students just 113 for victory, Centrals were made to sweat for it as Kinross made it to 8-78 with Stuart Crisp and Sam Nicholls at the crease with plenty of overs to spare.
The pair steadily edged Kinross’ total to 8-102, with Crisp providing the power and runs at one end and Nicholls the impenetrable wall at the other as both looked set to lead the students to a memorable win.
But a little bit of luck turned the defending premiers’ way.
With Crisp on strike for the final ball of a Simpson over, the big all-rounder dug out a yorker and looked for a quick single to retain the strike.
Nicholls backed up well, however, a little too well as Crisp found Jake Pauletto at a short mid-on and the Centrals fieldsman caught Nicholls short of his crease at the non-strikers end with an outstanding direct-hit run out.
It was the turning point in a pulsating climax at Wade Park.
Dan Sandford (4-16) duly cleaned up the scraps, knocking over Gus Griffiths with the first ball of the next over to earn Centrals its first win of the 2012-13 season, and remove the ever growing monkey off the premiers’ back.
Crisp’s 46 not out was the knock of the day.
Centrals’ top order stuttered in comparison.
Skipper Wes Roweth top scored with 20 while Matt Tedeschi hit 18 and Chris Hutchinson 14 not out.
Sundries was the next best with 11.
However, on Saturday Centrals were missing Michael Walker, Mitch Harvey, Matt Fisher and Adam Shepherd from the batting line-up that scored 7-309 - the highest innings total throughout 2011-12 - in Centrals’ 131-run grand final win.
While it’s a tough ask to make up the runs those four hit, Simpson said it’s up to others to pick up the slack.
“We’re just sort of sitting back and waiting for someone else to come out and do the job and we’re can’t afford to do that anymore,” he said.
“If you’re out there batting, you’ve got to work out ways to score runs all around the ground.
“It’s hard though. You can’t expect a side that’s lost four of its top six batters to be at the same level as it was last season.”
Simpson praised his team’s bowlers, adding the break now over a two-day bye would probably be more of a hindrance than anything else.
“It’s come at a bad time. We’ve probably got a few bowlers who are just starting to find their rhythm. We’ve had a game, a bye then two weeks of cricket now we’ve got a two week bye. It’s not ideal,” he said.
“Mark Wiegold (3-24) and Dan got us the win.
“You couldn’t really put it down to anything else.”