A 83-run ninth wicket partnership has ensured South Wagga remain in first place on the Wagga cricket ladder.
The Blues looked to be in trouble at 8-177 chasing St Michaels’ total of 257 at Robertson Oval on Saturday.
However a crucial partnership between Nathan Cooke (63 not out) and Terry Willis (25 not out) saw them stave off the Saints attack to pick up another important win.
Captain Jeremy Rowe thought it was one of the best wins he’s been involved in at the club.
“It is really quite a special win for us,” Rowe said.
“You’ve probably got to think pretty hard about being in positions in games and pulling the win out and there aren’t too many better that I can recall.
“When you are eight down with around 90 runs to chase I don’t think I’ve played in a game where the side has actually climbed the mountain and won.
“For Cookey and Tex (Willis) to do what they did was really special for us.”
Late order runs were a feature of the match.
Ryan Forsyth and Dave Garness put on 79 runs in their ninth wicket stand to help Saints well past the 200 mark.
Resuming at 8-202, the pair put on another 47 before Garness was bowled by Joel Robinson for 41.
Forsyth finished unbeaten on 73.
Despite losing Rowe (0) and Blake Harper (6) early, South Wagga’s chase looked on track with Brayden Ambler putting in another strong performance.
However after Justin Ward removed Robinson (47), ending a 99-run partnership with Ambler, before four lbw decisions had the Blues reeling at 8-177.
While Cooke and Willis stole the show late, Rowe was thrilled with Ambler’s performance as well.
“To get 90 odd is huge for him,” he said.
“With the excitement at the end you still don’t want to over look the back bone and Brayden was our back bone.
“He was tremendous and has played a couple of really good innings of around 80 or 90 now.”
Despite having their nine and 10 batsmen at the crease, the Blues never stopped searching for the win.
It was a move that paid off as they remained three points clear of Wagga City with three rounds to go.
“There were times where you always wonder if you should play for the draw but we pride ourselves on being a really positive cricket side and every single chat and every single message that went out went out with the intent to win,” Rowe said.
St Michaels’ near miss could prove costly.
They remain a win outside the top four but are now six points adrift of the last finals position.