RSL-Colts star Brad Cox showed why he is still considered by many to be the best batsman in Dubbo with a determined century in trying conditions against Souths at No.1 Oval on Saturday.
Cox made 108 as Colts rebounded from being 3-10 early to post 8-308 from their allotted 75 overs after being sent in on a wicket that provided early assistance for the fast bowlers.
Tim Berry (2-59 off 21) and Mick Daly (3-50 off 14) did the early damage by removing Paul Hulthen (0), Tim Howarth (8) and Matt Keenan (0) but that only brought Cox and Will Wolter together.
The pair terrorised the Souths attack and put on 153 runs for the fourth partnership, with 16-year-old Wolter (67) providing ample assistance as Cox showed that despite limited chances so far in 2012/13, he is still dangerous.
"Will's innings was pretty important because the pitch had a bit in it early and Tim Berry in particular was getting it to pop around," Cox said.
"We hung around and saw off the movement and as the pitch dried out it became better to bat on."
Cox was dropped twice by former clubmate Nathan Finlay during his innings but admitted luck is needed when you make a big score.
That luck ran out when a botched attempt at a single to square leg saw a Nathan Astri direct hit catch him short.
"Poor old 'Nads' put me down a couple of times but you need something like that to go your way," Cox said.
"With the run out I was probably getting a bit tired but it was a "yes, no, yes" call and a good throw from Nathan.
"Unfortunately the rest of the middle order didn't really score too many runs but Nathan Jones (70no) at nine and Jake Gardiner (29no) at 10 batted well and got us to a decent score."
Colts will welcome back all-rounder Greg Buckley and wicketkeeper-batsman Jason Ryan from rep for day two while left-arm orthodox spinner Matt Saul will also come in after missing the first day of play.
With close rivals Rugby already taking first innings points against Newtown, Colts will be keen to defend their total and stay in the hunt for top spot.
"Over the years we have always set ourselves up in the first half of the season by winning games, and that has made it easier for us after Christmas," Cox said.
"We're going OK at the moment but we have a few guys not in the best of form.
"If we can keep winning games while that's the case then when they do find form things will become much easier."