The Danny Bower Cup delivered on Saturday with RSL-Colts downing Rugby in an unusually low-scoring match at Lady Cutler 2.
Usually a haven for high scores, the Lady Cutler 2 pitch was much more green than usual and offered plenty for the bowlers.
That, combined with tight bowling from the Colts bowlers, kept Rugby to just 9/129 from its 45 overs.
The defending premiers got off to a flying start in reply but a middle order collapse made things much more interesting.
However, Rugby’s total proved that bit too low and Colts’ charge towards the top of the ladder continued courtesy of a two-wicket win.
“All three games on turf there on Danny Bower Cup day were tight so it was an exciting day,” Colts’ Jason Ryan said.
“We turned up and there was a lot more grass on the pitch and the bowlers were licking their lips so it wasn’t your average day at Lady Cutler.
It was a bit different but in the end there was good cricket played.Colts' Jason Ryan
“It was a bit different but in the end there was good cricket played.”
Ryan said the fact Rugby skipper Nathan Munro batted close to 30 oversa for his 37 was proof of how difficult batting conditions were.
Munro top scored after winning the toss, while a late 20 from Ben Taylor helped the score well past 100.
The Colts spinners again did a job through the middle overs, Greg Buckley finishing with 3/33 while Wes Giddings claimed 2/26.
Giddings (22) and Matt Keenan (27) got Colts off to a strong start in reply and Ryan admitted the thought of chasing a bonus point win was firmly in his side’s thoughts.
“It was a bit (nervy) late but we should have probably won with only three or four (wickets) down,” he said.
“The thought of the bonus point gets in people’s minds but by then we just concentrated on getting the win, which was difficult enough.”
Brad Cox, still battling an injured shoulder, returned and finished 13 not out to get his side home.
Taylor took 3.20 for Rugby while Ben Patterson and Adrian Carey claimed two wickets apiece but the day belonged to Colts, who have now won three straight.
“We talked about how we’ve got to win most of our one-dayers and then really concentrate on our two-day games,” Ryan said.
“Winning yesterday (Saturday) was a really good start.”