SOUTH Launceston is in the box seat to win the 2012-13 NTCA first-grade premiership with the grand final against Westbury set to be decided on a third and final day this Saturday.
The Knights finished the second day's play yesterday at the NTCA No.1 Ground on 6-218, a lead of 27 runs on the first innings with four wickets in hand.
South's batsmen batted brightly, playing some attacking shots after dismissing Westbury for 191, just after the lunch break.
Three batsmen stood out making half centuries, with opener Chris Hay scoring 51, Nathan Philip 59 and Cody Weedon 52 not out at stumps.
Earlier in the day the Shamrocks resumed their innings at 5-83, and with John Kedey batting well to make 35 and the tail wagging with contributions of 29 each from Jonathan Chapman and Richard Howe, to add another 108 runs for the final five wickets.
Kyle Bowie finished with the good figures of 4-52 from his 20 overs, Graham Donaldson took 3-16 off 8.5 and Mark Stewart 2-59 off 26.
South's openers, Chris Hay and Warwick Johnson, got the side off to a good start in its run chase, putting on 42 runs for the opening partnership in quick time, and the Knights continued to build a total from that platform that earned them first innings points.
South holds the dominant position with four wickets in hand heading into the final day on Saturday with Westbury now having to manufacture an outright result to prevent them claiming the premiership.
"We've still got a bit of work to do next week and at the moment have our noses in front with a first innings lead," South Launceston coach Ben Austen said.
"We're looking forward to building a lead next week and continuing the game.
"There's a full day's play left and we're realists - we know where we're at but have to prepare ourselves for next Saturday."
Westbury coach Adrian Tudor said his side had paid the price for not taking its chances with bat and ball.
"Cricket is about grasping your opportunities and we simply didn't take ours," Tudor said.
"That's where we're at - we battled tooth and nail to get 191 today and all credit to our tail who toughed it out but we didn't apply enough pressure with the ball.
"We gave a lot of four balls away and we didn't bowl well."