The defending premiers were back to their best cricket in their return to Victoria Park for the first round back of the RSL Whitney Cup, with the Newtown Tigers putting in a comprehensive, rejuvenated performance and dealing the South Dubbo Hornets another loss on Saturday.
The Mat Skinner led outfit paved the way with an early half-century scoring effort from Lee Price (57), who opened the batting lineup alongside Adam Davis (2), where the hard-hitting opener was felled after just five balls from South's Tyler Martin.
Price's heroics were backed up by Doug Potter (33), Mitch Russo (29) and Dan French (22), but it was Newtown's skipper who did most of the damage with the bat, sailing past a half century and totalling up 75 runs with five each of 6s and 4s.
"It was a lot better from our batsmen this time out, we had a good couple of blokes putting up runs on the board and giving us a solid total to defend," Skinner said.
"Losing one of your openers obviously isn't ideal, I'd actually been tossing up whether to bowl or bat first because it was overcast and the deck looked a bit green, so after that happened, I was worried it had come back to bit me, but Doug and Pricey both put in a good partnership and brought us back to where we wanted to be."
Skinner, who made the switch from an opening batsmen to the middle of the order in order to take a more controlling role in the middle of the order, walked away contented with his own contribution.
"I had been opening the batting, but I wanted to bat down the middle of the order in order to control those overs a bit more, it worked out ideally for us, just getting to assess how the game is going and being in the captain role and doing that, that was very helpful."
Newtown finished their innings 6/246 and while South Dubbo put up a fight and gave Newtown an early scare with opener Joshua Williams (39) and a heroic effort from third placed batsman Angus Norton, who went 67 not-out, the Tigers' bowling line-up were able to put the finishing touches on with a haul of 9 wickets for the Hornets 128 runs.
With usual bowling fixture Steve Skinner unable to collect a wicket in a display that would have spelled disaster for Newtown earlier in the season, Price was again a standout in the bowling.
"Everyone seemed to do their job well yesterday, Steve has been our most reliable bloke up until today, but he didn't get there and when one of your key players doesn't get it done, you need everyone else to put their hand up, which is what happened," Skinner said.
Price (3/29) was backed up by Mitch Lincoln (2/21) and Matt Hull (2/32).
Newtown still have ground to cover in order to ensure a spot in the top three, but Skinner is confident his side is coming together at the right time.
"Yeah, I'm pretty happy with how we're shaping up again at the moment, we've got a massive game coming up against Colts, so that'll show where we at and whether we're in contention."