Defiant innings’ from Orange City’s Taylor Beatty, Shaun Churchill, Troy O’Keeffe and Jackson Coote ultimately helped their side stave off an outright loss to Cavaliers, the maroons falling 38 runs short of maximum points at Wade Park.
Cavaliers had already secured first innings points on day one, the Warriors entering Saturday’s second day at 0-2 and still needing 107 just to make the maroons bat again.
After a little shakiness early they knocked that off with six wickets in hand before Beatty (77) continued his rich vein of form since joining the Warriors mid-season, he had plenty of help from Churchill (47) through the middle overs.
Both were dismissed at pretty crucial points though, Beatty with the score at 132 and then Churchill at 185.
With their side in a precarious position Coote (27) and O’Keeffe (25 not out) pushed the score to 232, where Orange City stand-in skipper Ed Morrish declared with 18 overs to go in the day.
And then, for the most fleeting of moments, it looked as though the Warriors might be able to flip the script and secure an unlikely outright themselves.
Cavaliers needed 124 to win outright but after four overs the maroons had slumped to 3-16, losing skipper Matt Corben (12), Ryan Kurtz (0) and Chris Brown (0).
Despite Morrish (2-16) pounding in with his tail up, Josh Doherty (40 not out) and Bailey Ferguson (32 not out) steadied the ship and made it to stumps.
“We did think we had a pretty big sniff there at one stage late in the day,” Morrish said.
We did think we had a pretty big sniff there.Orange City's Ed Morrish
“The biggest thing, after being bowled out for 50, was that we showed we won’t roll over in that situation. We showed we’ll take things right to the wire no matter what the situation is.
“So it was good the boys showed that fight.”
In terms of competition standings the game meant little, Orange City will win the minor premiership and progress straight to the grand final, while Cavaliers are guaranteed a spot in the finals too.
Whether they finish second or third depends on CYMS’ final-round clash with Kinross though, because Cavaliers have the bye.
“We have next week off so it was good to get some overs in our legs and spend a long time in the field,” Doherty said.
“Being sent in under loads of pressure was great too.”