South Wagga got the new year off to a perfect start as they moved to top spot on the Wagga cricket ladder.
The Blues jumped clear of Wagga City after handing the Cats their first loss of the season at McPherson Oval on Saturday.
Sending the ladder leaders in, South Wagga were able to chase down their 6-201 with five balls and seven wickets to spare.
Joel Robinson (74 not out) and Warren Clunes (63) guided last year’s beaten grand finalists to victory.
The pair put on 127 after a strong start from Brayden Ambler (20) and Nathanael Mooney (34).
After a Twenty20 loss to City and a drawn two-dayer, captain Jeremy Rowe was thrilled to get the win.
“It was a terrific win and one that was certainly a very meaningful one,” Rowe said.
“It’s a great position for us to be at on the other side of the break.”
Rowe thought it was meaningful not only to get their first win over Wagga City, but also to move into first place with four two-dayers to come before finals.
Wagga City got off to a strong start with Josh Thompson (28), Aaron Maxwell (62) and Jon Nicoll (56) scoring well at the top of the order.
However the Blues were able to manage the strong start to ensure they had a chaseable target.
Rowe pushed himself well down the order looking to give Mooney a chance to shine at opener.
It was a move that worked.
“Nate Mooney had been in and around the first grade side for quite some time and has a real lack of opportunity,” Rowe said.
“He’s been making runs at school level and being making runs in second grade and we got to that point where he deserved a bit better opportunity.
“We gave him that chance and he looked really good.
“He hit the ball hard, make 30 odd and got us off to a very good start.’
Robinson then picked up where he left off last year with another strong batting display.
His and Clunes’ experience helped the Blues get over the line.
“Joel had had some unlucky finishes to good starts to his innings and hadn’t been able to cash in until the last game before Christmas and he looked untroubled on the weekend,” Rowe said.
“He did things at almost a run a ball, controlled the innings and having Wags (Clunes) up the other end I think it meant quite a bit to him, contributing heavily against his former side.
“He batted really well, ticked the scoreboard over, didn’t face many dot balls and also combined that with a bit of heavy hitting to release a bit of pressure late in the day.”