DEFENDING premiers Rugby are in a prime position to snatch a rare outright win after dominating day one of their two-day clash with Newtown at No.3 Oval.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl first, Rugby were able to rip through the Tigers batting lineup and restrict them to just 89.
Then, when they had their chance to bat, Rugby capitalised to finish the day on 1-167.
Interestingly, Newtown batted for two-thirds of the 75 overs played on the day with a combination of tight bowling and less-than-adventurous batting conspiring against the side.
Dan French was the shining light for Newtown, making 39 as his side regularly lost wickets and failed to apply much pressure on what eventually turned out to be a decent batting surface.
Five of the six Rugby bowlers used took wickets, with Dan Horrocks taking 3-20 off 10 overs.
Ben Taylor (2-19 off 12), Al Horrocks (2-31 off 17) and Glenn Shepherd (2-16 off eight) were each rewarded for their efforts while Doug North chipped in with the final wicket.
Michael Kempston (93) and Mitch Bower (66no) got Rugby off to a flying start, displaying good stroke making as they put on 156 inside 25 overs for the opening partnership.
Bower and Andrew Rose (4no) will resume on day two, and it is expected they will be given free rein for a few overs to try and push the lead past 100 before their bowlers go back to work in search of an outright win.
"Outright wins are rare at the best of times but with the pitches the way they are this year, bowling teams out twice is going to prove hard to do," Rugby's Glenn Shepherd said.
"We have built up a good buffer already so I wouldn't think that we would bat for too long on day two if we elect to go that way at all because we will want time to take the 10 wickets.
"They will try as hard as they can to stop us from achieving the outright win but if we can get it, it will give us a nice cushion at the top of the ladder which is important, because the competition is pretty even this season."