ON THE opening day of Cricket North West's round 16 action Devonport gave Wynyard something to think about, Ulverstone edged close to first innings points against Sheffield, while Latrobe dominated against Burnie.
Individual highlights were a magnificent 150 from Devonport's Brent Mullett and five wickets from Burnie's David McCrae.
WYNYARD v DEVONPORT ORIONS
SECOND-PLACED Wynyard won the toss and elected to bowl first on what it hoped would be a lively wicket.
Things went to plan early as Devonport had lost three wickets before the first drinks break.
However, former skipper Brent Mullett, promoted to the top of the order, was not about to let Wynyard have things all its own way.
Mullett dominated the Orions' batting effort, making a season-high 150 from just 180 balls with 15 fours and five sixes. Handy contributions from Sam Fogg (25), Stuart Martin (24) and Miles Barnard (20) helped the Orions to a first innings total of 260.
Andrew Davidson (4-86) and Todd Chatwin (3-64) led the Wynyard bowling once again, with the Blues pleased to restrict the Orions to less than 300 after Mullett's early dominance.
Wynyard started its innings in explosive fashion, racing to 50 inside the first 10 overs, largely thanks to Shannon Bakes (43).
However, with Bakes trapped lbw by Oliver Robinson (1-2) late in the day, and fellow opener Matthew Kinch (8) dismissed soon after, the Blues had lost some momentum. Wynyard finished the day at 2-71, needing another 190 more runs to secure first innings points.
ULVERSTONE v SHEFFIELD
A RESURGENT Sheffield was looking for back- to-back wins, while Ulverstone was coming off consecutive losses in what promised to be a tight contest at River Park.
After winning the toss the Mountaineers batted first, but apart from an explosive 55 from 49 balls from opener Alex King, their innings never reached any great heights.
Apart from King, no other batsman passed 20, with teenage all-rounder Corey Murfet (3-37) and veteran seamer Luke Richardson (3-47) working well in tandem.
Sheffield was eventually bowled out for 147 and in need of another great bowling effort.
The Mountaineers made the best possible start, reducing Ulverstone to 2-30 thanks to some good new-ball bowling from Aiden Marshall (2-40) and Shane Crawford (1-18).
However, experienced heads Andrew Leary (43) and Josh Walmsley (45) wrested back the momentum with an 86-run third wicket partnership, and it looked like Ulverstone would cruise to first innings points.
But there would be another twist, with Brady Neubacher (2-6) removing both Leary and Walmsley late in the day. The reigning premiers reached 5-133 at the close of play, needing 15 runs to secure first innings points.
LATROBE DEMONS v BURNIE
LATROBE had not reached 200 all season, and it looked unlikely again after the Demons were sent in on a lively wicket at Latrobe Recreation Ground.
Good early bowling from David McCrae (5-77) reduced Latrobe to 4-19, and in big trouble. However, a patient Nathan Avery (73) and aggressive Josh Dennis (48) put on 82 for the fifth wicket to keep the Demons in the game.
This partnership, along with handy contributions from Jason Sims (35), Matthew Bennett (25) and Dion Parsons (20 not out), helped the Demons to 229, their highest score for the season.
McCrae was a standout for the Hurricanes with the ball, extracting good pace and bounce from the wicket, but Burnie would be left to rue a number of dropped catches.
Burnie has struggled with the bat in recent times and unfortunately this continued in an awkward 22-over session late on day one.
The Hurricanes lost Peter Saward in the first over, and things did not get any better from there, as Michael Bishop (4-11) and Dion Parsons (2-16) tore through the top order.
The Hurricanes finished the day at 6-59, and things could have been a lot worse but for a defiant Adam Drinkwell (29 not out).
Burnie will enter day two still needing another 70 runs to avoid the follow-on, while the Demons will be pushing hard to try for an outright result.