Rose Pest Control kept its grand final hopes alive when it scored its first win of the Narrabri District Cricket Association Namoi Super Slog T20 competition on Friday evening.
Following three straight losses the side took on the undefeated Carla Baxter Real Estate and won by 32 runs.
It was a victory which saw the Rose Pest Control men move to 10 points, just one win behind second-placed Priag Marketing and third-placed Specialised Civil Services (both 16 points) and two wins behind leaders Carla Baxter Real Estate (22 points).
In the match played at Collins Park, Carla Baxter Real Estate showed exactly why it occupied top spot during the first nine overs as it knocked over eight Rose Pest Control batsmen at the expense of just 46 runs.
At that stage the match looked done and dusted, with a fourth straight win seeming already secured for Carla Baxter Real Estate.
However, Rose Pest Control’s Ryan O’Neill, Joel Hogan and Brock Schwager had other ideas.
The trio made match-winning contributions with the bat to guide Rose Pest Control to a defendable 110 runs.
O’Neill scored a team-best unbeaten 26 from 34 balls, Hogan chipped in with 11 from 13 balls and Schwager finished with an unbeaten 18 runs from 24 balls.
Tatts teammates O’Neill and Schwager are well known for skittling sides with the ball for their club, but on Friday evening their 46-run final-wicket partnership was a game-changer.
During the innings break the Rose Pest Control men were aware that the job was nowhere near done, with recent history going against them.
The side had only batted first once in the season prior to Friday night’s round four game – against Carla Baxter Real Estate in round one.
In that game it scored 115 runs which its round four opposition chased down in 13.4 overs for the loss of just four wickets.
With that in mind, Rose Pest Control knew it needed a positive start on Friday evening and that is exactly what Schwager and O’Neill delivered, combining for four wickets in the first three overs of the innings to make the score 4-4.
O’Neill bowled the first over and conceded just one run before Schwager took the first wicket with the eighth ball of the innings when he dismissed Luke Morgan (1) who was caught by Nick Tomlinson.
Then, with the last ball of that over, Schwager bowled Zack Doring for a duck which made the score 2-3.
With the first ball of the third over O’Neill removed Hamish Duncan who was caught behind by Steve Phelps for a golden duck.
Three balls later O’Neill claimed the big wicket of Justin Knight (0) who departed after being caught by Dylan Segundo at mid-wicket.
Those wickets left Luke Barton at the crease with Tim Shields and the pair put on a 43-run partnership to get the Carla Baxter Real Estate innings back on track.
Barton (32) scored 31 of those runs before he was dismissed by Ty Baker in the 10th over which made the score 5-47.
Hogan took the next two wickets to remove Cooper Brayshaw (2) and Jarrett Tough (2) before Schwager finally knocked over Shields who notched up a patient 14 from 40 balls.
That made the score 8-70 after 16 overs, then in the 17th over Hogan bowled Ryan Steel (9).
That wicket meant that Carla Baxter Real Estate needed to score 37 runs in 3.4 overs.
But eight balls later the match was over as Schwager bowled Matt Conroy (2) to complete a memorable win for Rose Pest Control.