There's no doubt that Centennials Bulls has been the underdog story on the 2019-20 Bathurst Orange Inter District Cricket season so far and the Bathurst side has continued its strong run of form with a four-wicket win over finals-chasing CYMS on Saturday.
And it was batsman Tyler Horton that played a key role in Bulls win, his 91-run stand digging his side out of trouble and playing a key role in its fourth win of the summer.
CYMS was all out for 180 at Riawena Oval last Saturday and rain proved a constant pest, but it wasn't enough to call off the game and Bulls slowly chipped away at the host's total before catching them six wickets down.
Bulls were in a difficult situation, having lost their first four batsman - Kyle Aubin (three), Mick Hutchinson (six), Ryan Gurney (12) and Blake Aubin (a duck) - and sitting at 4-23.
But hard-fought knocks from both Horton and Joel Gurney (33) would help pull Bulls out of trouble and claim victory.
"Coming into the game after day one, I thought we'd be in a really good position to win if we didn't lose too many wickets early on," Horton said.
"I was happy to get a partnership with one of the boys and happy to get the win."
CYMS' Angus Wilson may have thought he'd put his team in a strong position to win after claiming the wickets of three of the four top batsman (Angus Le Lievre had Kyle Aubin out), but was unable to claim the crucial wickets of Horton and Gurney.
Gurney was eventually caught out by Tom West, from a Le Lievre ball, with Bulls at 5-99, with skipper Kurt Toole coming in next.
Toole would be out with Bulls at 6-128, but Horton would withstand the CYMS bowling attack before he was eventually dismissed by Alan Dhatt.
However, by the time Dhatt had Horton out, Centennials had surpassed the winning total of 180.
The win pushes Bulls up to third but with two rounds remaining, there's still everything to play for.
Centennials have Rugby Union up next in round eight, before they face a massive test and potential top four clincher against St Pat's Old Boys in the ninth and final round of the regular season.
"If we win our next game, I think there's a good chance we'll be in the finals," Horton.
He said his side has been relishing the underdog tag throughout the 2019-20 campaign.
"We love proving people wrong, I guess," he said.
"All the boys have got together and we've all gelled well together. We've done it all as a team."
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