A THRILLING final over victory and a crash down to earth in the following game - Western got to experience their share of highs and lows from the opening day of the NSW CHS Girls Cricket Championships on Monday.
Western overcame South Coast by six wickets in the first of their four Twenty20 matches for the tournament, chasing down their opponents' score of 9-73 on the third last ball of the innings.
Parkes' Maddy Spence led the way for Western in the chase with her unbeaten 31 at the Sportsground, which included all five of the runs needed to win in the final over of the match.
The Western opener received support through the innings from Wellington's Amali McNeill (17), Broken Hill's Katie Letcher (10) and Parkes' Abi Simpson (8 not out).
Another key to victory for Western was their superb bowling at the death.
They gave up just 10 across in as many overs and had South Coast batters five through nine all out for ducks.
Western's opening bowling combination of Blayney's Taylor Hobby and Dimity Parton finished with enviable figures of 2-12 and 2-6 respectively.
Western's big highlight was when they scored a team hat-trick, with two of Parton wickets separated by a run out.
The hosts sought to repeat their effort against another round one winner, North West, but found runs hard to come by after losing the toss and being sent in to bat.
Openers Parton (23) and fellow Blayney player Ella Tilburg (25 not out) were hard to remove but North West kept the run rate under control.
McNeill (24 not out) put on some valuable late runs for Western to help them reach a total of 88.
Western gave themselves hope with an early run out and some economical overs but once North West's Lara Graham got going she proved too hard to stop.
Graham brought up her half century before her side reached the target in the 14th over, then went on to finish unbeaten on 78. North West finished their 20 overs at 3-126.
Western coach Rachel McCann said the opening round success was an exciting way to get off the mark.
"It was a slow start with the bat but we managed to chase down those runs, which led to a tight but exciting finish in our first game," she said.
"That gives the girls a bit of confidence going into their next round games.
"In this game there was some consistent batting that was just too hard for us to break down."
Western will face North Coast and Hunter in Tuesday's pair of Twenty20 matches.