Rugby are no closer to knowing who their Whitney Cup grand final opponent will be, after a tense opening day left both Macquarie and Souths confident they can progress to next weekend’s decider.
Macquarie will resume their inning on 1/28 on Sunday after they bowled Souths out for 220 in 60 overs on day one of their semi-final at No.1 Oval.
Momentum ebbed and flowed through the day, with the Blues starting strongly before the Hornets’ middle order launched a counter-attack.
At one stage Souths were 4/43 as the seam trio of James Hughes, Angus Cusack and Jeremy Dickson combined to remove Josh Williams (2), Angus Norton (1), Corey McDean (15) and Mitch Bower (9).
But young all-rounder Henry Railz showed patience beyond his years, grafting early before going on to hold the middle order together.
He made 53 before Dickson (2/54) trapped him LBW, and when a mix-up between Adam Wells and Mat Finlay saw the latter run out Macquarie were back on top.
But Wells atoned as he refused to be bogged down and make a quickfire 44 before Cusack returned to remove him and Mick McCarthy as Souths clawed to 220.
Cusack was the pick of the Macquarie bowlers, taking 4/43 while Hughes bagged 3/51.
With about 50 minutes remaining in the day, Macquarie took to the crease and the aim was survival.
Railz bowled an inspired spell that saw him beat the bat on numerous occasions before his persistence paid off and he removed Ryan O’Connor (8) in the ninth over.
Ed Haylock (12no) and captain Keiran Brien (0no) then saw their side to stumps, with the score 1/28.