St Michaels were set a big task but only needed 66 overs to chase down Wagga City’s total of 6-319 at Robertson Oval on Saturday.
Facing the big total in hot conditions, all of the Saints’ batsmen played their part as they went past the Cats with just under 15 overs left in the day.
Coach Ryan Forsyth topped scored with 88 as they reached their target with six wickets in hand.
Despite facing a big chase, the first year coach was always confident they had the ability on the good batting wicket.
“We were looking forward to it,” Forsyth said.
“It is always at good wicket there at Robbo so we were excited.
“We always thought we could do it, it’s just a matter of getting it out there and putting it all together.”
Forsyth was impressed with how all the batsman handled the big chase but thought Tom Byrnes and Jordan Lawrence’s combination at the top of the innings set the platform.
The pair put on 67 before Lawrence was dismissed by Josh Thompson for 36.
“It makes a total like that so much easier to get when you get a start like that,” Forsyth said.
“Jordy and Tommy were sensational to start off and it made it easier for us towards the end of the game.”
Brynes and Forsyth then put on a further 93 until Byrnes was run out.
Forsyth was then joined by skipper James Elliott, who finished unbeaten on 67.
Newcomer Sam Nicholls was at the other end on 25.
Byrnes left the club before the season started to try his hand in Sydney but will be back for the remainder of the campaign.
Forsyth was thrilled to have the former junior return and already make his presence felt.
“He (Byrnes) was super and got us off to a great start,” Forsyth said. “I just think he is excited to be back and it showed in the way he applied himself early on.
“He was really patient and picked his shots.”
The run chase was made easier by an injury to Wagga City spearhead Dean Crane, who only managed 2.1 overs due to an ankle problem.
St Michaels could have pushed on looking to secure more batting points with 15 overs remaining but Elliott opted to declare their innings once they had surpassed the Cats’ total.
“They’ve got an opportunity to get points on us too and it was a good win in really hot conditions,” Forsyth said.
“I just think it was a little bit of sportsmanship from James too.”
The win leaves St Michaels, who have only lost once this season, on top of the ladder for the Christmas break.
The season will resume on January 9 with the Saints to tackle Lake Albert.
In the other matches Kooringal Colts play Wagga RSL while South Wagga will face off against Wagga City.
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