Napoleons-Sebastopol buried its batting woes in commanding style on Saturday.
After scores of 93 and 69 over the first two rounds, the Naps-Sebas batting line-up had made a shaky start to the Ballarat Cricket Association first grade season.
But an unbeaten century from opener Ben Trew was the catalyst in Napoleons-Sebastopol’s 304-run total.
Trew was one of a number of Naps-Sebas batsmen struggling to find form. A round one duck and three runs against Darley made for poor reading, but he quickly put that behind him as he batted the entire 80 overs on the way to 117 not out.
There were a number of other contributors. Will Ringin made 57 in his second first grade match, as the opening pair put on 121, while Liam Rigby made 69 and Anthony Taylor chalked up 37.
Captain Matthew Ringin was proud to see his group bounce back and was full of praise for Trew.
“Like I said during the week, for our guys, it’s not about ability – it’s about application,” Ringin said.
“We appreciated that we had a couple of poor batting performances, but we know we’ve got the ability to make big scores, it’s just a matter of applying ourselves for long enough.
“That innings is the best one that I’ve seen from a Napoleons(-Sebastopol) batsmen...I don’t think I’ve seen someone bat the day in my time at the club.”
“For Trewy to tough it out, with batsmen coming in that had had a couple of poor performances, it takes the pressure off those guys.”
FINDING rhythm with the bat out in the middle of Russell Square proved a difficult task for both East Ballarat and Darley on Saturday.
The Hawks won the toss and elected to bat, but found themselves in trouble at 6-57. A 45-run partnership, the highest of the day, between Zac Thorne (25 runs) and Stuart Calder (27 runs) guided the home side past the 100-mark.
However, Darley delivered another brilliant bowling display, dismissing East Ballarat for 119.
That left the Lions 22 overs to face – and a fired-up Hawks attack ensured there would be no easy runs.
Darley ended the day at 2-27 and captain Michael Alexander said it was now up to the batsmen to finish what the bowling group had started.
"Our bowlers were excellent today, they were disciplined and really bowled to our game plan and we were able to get on top,” Alexander said.
"Ideally it would've been nice to be none or one down.
"Now there's the opportunity for the batting group to come out and look to bat for a long period of time next week.”
Ben Longhurst (3-35) and Ryan Ali (3-17) both took three wickets while it was an economical display from the attack as a whole.
Ali (nine runs) and Brad Barnes (seven runs) will return to the crease next week.
MT CLEAR is poised to claim its first win of the season after a solid display on Saturday.
The Mounties bowled Ballarat-Redan out for 109, Nathan Yates leading the charge with figures of 5-38.
The Combine's innings showed promise at 1-50, before they lost 8-39.
Mt Clear came to the crease and put on 66 runs for the loss of three wickets. Yates (16 runs) and Jed Millard (yet to score) at the crease.
Meanwhile, Golden Point holds the upper hand against Wendouree after an impressive bowling performance.
The Red Caps were all out for 222, Heath Pyke leading the way with 83. Although it could have been worse for the reigning premiers, having at one point been 5-73.
Daniel McDonald claimed the most scalps, taking 3-29, while Andrew Warrick was outstanding with figures of 2-26 as well as nine maidens.