ADAM Wells and Ben Strachan have combined to put CYMS in a strong position after the first day of their two-day match with RSL-Colts.
Opening the batting Wells made 66 as CYMS scored 200 before Strachan struck three late blows to leave Colts 3/27 in reply.
In a match that will have a big bearing on the make-up of the semi-finals, both sides have plenty to play for.
A win by CYMS will all-but secure third place for them while for Colts, they need a win to stay within striking distance of Rugby in the race for top spot and an automatic grand final berth.
With leading run-scorer Jaspal Bansal missing, CYMS skipper Ben Strachan won the toss and elected to bat but he needed to someone to fill the void left by his star batsman's absence.
Wells stepped in beautifully, playing solidly at the top of the order despite the early dismissals of Dave McAlister (5) and Harry Brennan (17).
Jacob Hill came to the crease and combined with Wells for a 61-run partnership which ended when Hill was bowled by Jacob Bruce for 20, leaving the score at 3/100.
From this point the CYMS innings never gathered any great momentum as they lost wickets at regular intervals however, they did manage to get solid contributions from a number of players including Lee Price (19) and Matt Ellis (29) which helped them to a score of 200 when the last wicket fell in the 64th over of the day.
Matt Saul was the pick of the Colts bowlers, taking 4/31 from 14.1 overs while Tim Cox and Bruce each bagged two wickets. Cox was also responsible for the run out which ended Wells' innings.
With 11 overs to play out, Colts would have been keen to see openers Paul Hulthen and Tim Smith survive until stumps however, a fired-up Strachan had different a different idea.
He removed Smith (2) in the third over before cleaning up Matt Keenan for a duck with the first ball of the fifth over.
Two overs later he grabbed the vital wicket of Brad Cox (4) to leave Colts 3/15 before Hulthen (17no) and English import Greg Buckley (3no) saw their side through to the end of the day's proceedings.
The late wickets have set up and enthralling second day of play this Saturday, with Colts needing a further 174 runs while CYMS require seven wickets to set up their first finals appearance for many seasons.