Wendouree head coach Gavin Webb sensed it coming weeks ago.
Then it came.
Cole Roscholler notched his first century of the season on Saturday to lead his side to an emphatic 103-run victory over Ballarat-Redan in the Ballarat Cricket Association.
The Red Caps, 3-303, easily accounted for Ballarat-Redan's 7-200.
Rust proved no factor for the Wendouree opener, who produced a stunning 135 runs off 132 deliveries after a three week layoff.
The score provided the backbone of his side's run-total, which the Two-Swords fell well-short of.
Webb praised Roscholler's masterclass effort with the bat, saying it was sensational.
"He got 80-odd a few weeks ago, and a 50 before that. He is scoring really quick and it's taking pressure off other batsman," he said.
Wendouree got off to a flyer in the first innings, scoring 40 runs after only four overs. A quick half-century from Sam Miller took the pressure off Roscholler, who was able to settle in for the long hall.
"Sam got us off to an absolute flyer and we reached 100 after about eleven overs," Roscholler said.
"From there we could settle in and relax, Sammy was on 48 and I was on six, so his knock at the top allowed me to do what I needed to."
Ballarat-Redan's Chris Egan produced an admirable score of 62 in his side's second innings run-chase, while paceman Brendan Thomson finished with figures of 2-55.
The win elevates Wendouree to the top of the competition ladder.
"Our top four are doing a good job, but It's a long year though," Webb said.
"It's a very tight competition, early wins are crucial and we are doing that at the moment."
Meanwhile Darley bowler Ben Longhurst caught fire with the ball in his club's four-wicket win over Golden Point.
The Lions, 6-121 ran down the Pointies who were dismissed for 119.
Longhurst took four wickets in the first innings to finish with impressive figures of 4/21.
Harry Killoran's knock of 52 led the run-chase for the victors.
RIGBY DOMINANT AS BUNNIES CRUISE HOME
Liam Rigby produced a brilliant all-around effort to help Buninyong beat North Ballarat by 57 runs at Northern Oval on Saturday.
The star all-rounder made a first innings score of 75no, before taking three second innings wickets to finish with figures of 3-30.
His performance was instrumental for the Bunnies, whose score of 6-196, easily accounted for North Ballarat's first innings score of 139.
Incomer Hugh McGregor offered some resistance for North Ballarat with 29 runs.
The victory marked the second in a row for Buninyong which now sit fifth on the ladder.
Meanwhile defending premier East Ballarat rode a balanced attack to to defeat Brown Hill by six wickets at Western Oval.
The Hawks, 4-125, comfortably ran down the Bulls, who made a first innings score 124.
Lewis Hodgins led the run-chase for Eest Ballarat with 29 runs. he was backed up by Jacob Eyers with 26 and Harry Ganley who finished with 25.
Tristan Dixon took figutes of 3-12 with the ball in hand.Elsewhere Mt Clear ran down Napoleon-Sebastopol with eight wickets to spare.
The Mounties, 2-130, easily accounted for Nap-Sebas's first innings total of 128.
Mt Clear's Steven Nicholson made the balk of the chase with 50.
He was backed up by mid-order batsman Jarod Burns with 29, while Tim Griffith was the standout bowler with impressive figures of 2-31.