Knights chase outright victory

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SOUTH Launceston is in a strong position for an outright victory after a good performance with bat and ball on the first day of its NTCA two-day match at the NTCA No.2 ground yesterday.

The Knights declared at 9-295, and had the Saints in deep trouble at 6-27, after about an hour's batting at the end of the day.

Chris Hay top scored with 79, Tom Waller made 56 and Mark Nutting 53 for the Knights with Gavin Nutting the best of the Saints bowlers taking 4-74, off 23 overs.

"It was a good day for us," South coach Ben Austen said.

"It was a relatively tricky wicket and there was enough in it there, so the boys that made those half centuries applied themselves and batted very well.

"We had a bit of a slow period in the middle when they bowled well, but tried to push runs a bit at the end. Our bowlers at the end of the day were terrific and executed plans beautifully.

"Our fielding was really good too and we held a couple of sharp chances which always helps.

"It's only day one of the game, so we will set our sights on next week and set our goals on what we want to do.

"We're in a strong position and we will try to set it up for an outright victory, it depends on how we go in the first session next week whether that is a likely scenario."

Kyle Bowie and Casey Young combined well with the ball to destroy the George Town top order late in the day, with Bowie picking up excellent figures of 4-17.

WESTBURY went on a run spree declaring at 8-303 in its game against Riverside at Riverside, with the Blues 0-23 in reply at stumps.

The Shamrocks had plenty of contributors with the bat with Sean Stevenson (67) and St Pats teenager Dan Murfett (40) combining for a 108-run, opening partnership.

Wes Ripper then top scored with 79 and Richard Howe made 71 - the pair also putting on a century stand of 124 for the sixth wicket.

Riverside captain-coach Luke Richardson was its best bowler returning excellent figures of 5-65.

"I'd like to thank the groundsman and the staff at Riverside for producing such a brilliant wicket down there after Christmas," Westbury coach Adrian Tudor said.

"It had plenty of pace and bounce in it and was great for batting and bowling with a bit of green in it, which is exactly what you want and perfect for everyone."

Tudor said making 300 in the first game after Christmas was a great fillip for the team, but it realised next week would be a tough scrap.

"Riverside in the second session bowled really well and tightened us bowling good lines and they were able to eke out five wickets in the hour.

"It's the kind of pressure we hope to apply to Riverside next week in that one hour straight after lunch.

"Then Wes and Richard came out and steadied the ship with good positive batting and got us up to 300 and a reasonable position - but we know how hard we are going to have to push for wickets next week."

LAUNCESTON scored 197, batting first at Invermay Park against Mowbray with the Eagles 1-33, in reply at stumps.

Mark Little top scored for the Lions with 56 not out, Cameron Lynch made 39 and Tom Bennett 35 against some good Mowbray bowling.

Justin Reeves and Jerome Illingworth took nine of the 10 wickets to fall with Illingworth returning excellent figures of 5-17, off 16 overs and Reeves 4-30, off 20.

"There were some good aspects and some bad to our batting," Launceston captain Rowan Smith said.

"The ball was swinging around a bit early and they bowled pretty well.

"We got a couple of decent partnerships going, but had a couple of spots where we lost three or four wickets twice so that probably stopped us getting 240 or 250."

Smith praised the effort of Lynch batting at No.3 and Little and Bennett who put on a vital partnership of 97 runs with both batsmen making major contributions to the total.

"We will have to bowl well next week and try to get a couple of early wickets.

"It's the kind of pitch where if you can get a wicket you can get a couple or three in a row, but then again if batsmen get in, it is a pretty good batting wicket as well."

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