This season we'll be bringing you the best performers of the RSL Whitney Cup each week and providing an insight on where each first grade match was won and lost.
The first round of two-day fixtures came to a close on Saturday and while there were some lopsided results there was a also a few valiant performances in losing sides.
Last season's grand finalists have shown their quality yet again. Colts and CYMS dominated their respective matches on day one last week and both wrapped up outright wins on Saturday.
Colts was the biggest winner of the weekend, crushing Souths by an innings and 32 runs.
Colts made their way to 272 on day two after comfortably wrapping up first innings points on day one, and then four wickets from Ben Semmler helped knock over the Hornets again for 142 in reply.
At No. 1 Oval, Newtown resumed batting against CYMS knowing they had a mountain to climb and while captain Dan French hit a brave 74 his side could only manage 133. That left CYMS just 53 runs to win and they reached the target inside 11 overs with just two wickets down.
In the final game, a captain's knock from Lachlan Strachan helped salvage some pride. Strachan made 100 not out as the Blues posted 4/205 against Rugby. It stopped an outright win but Rugby still gained first innings points after rolling Macquarie for 52 on day one.
Team of the week
1 Danial French (Newtown)
One of the few Newtown players who took the fight to CYMS on Saturday. He dominated the Tigers' innings, making 74 of his side's 133. It was a tough-as-nails knock as the captain faced 182 balls and held firm for long periods against the best pace attack in Western Zone.
2 Lachlan Strachan (Macquarie)
He's not one to normally open, but given the lack of batters who dug in on Saturday and the sheer quality of his knock, he's in.
With his side in danger of suffering an outright loss when they resumed at 2/41 on day two, Strachan dug in while also still taking the game to the Rugby attack.
He went on to make 100 not out, with stumps called early after the all-rounder reached his milestone. He helped Macquarie to a fighting 205 and his knock included 11 boundaries and a six.
3 Tyson Deebank (Macquarie)
Strachan was the star for Macquarie, but young gun Deebank continued his impressive season by playing an important supporting role.
He came in at 4/88 and with Rugby still well in the hunt for a big win, but combined with his captain in a gutsy innings.
Deebank frustrated Rugby and finished with a patient and crucial 53 not out from 109 balls.
4 Greg Buckley (RSL Colts)
He wasn't needed with the bat on Sunday but the classy off-spinning all-rounder certainly delivered with the ball.
We mentioned earlier Ben Semmler led the Colts attack but he still went at more than four runs an over. It was understandable given Colts were firmly on the attack, but they still needed someone to hold things together and build pressure.
That was Buckley and he finished with 1/23 from his probing eight-over spell.
5 Max Richardson (Souths)
Another who gets a promotion in our team. The return of two-day cricket wasn't hugely enjoyable for Souths given the heavy loss to Colts but there were a few positives.
Richardson's performance with the bat on day two was one of those.
Richardson, fresh from playing for Western at the NSW Combined High Schools state champs during the week, came in at 5/63 and his side hurtling towards a huge loss.
He helped the Hornets briefly rally with a knock of 43 from 54 balls and was one of just three Souths batters to reach double figures.
6 Ben Patterson (CYMS)
Doing a job and earning a spot in this team again. It's been a handy start to the season for 'Patto' and he did his part as CYMS' powerful pace attack did the job again on Saturday.
Patterson ensured Newtown never got a moment to relax with his relentless effort. He finished with 3/27 from 13.5 overs and he also picked up the important wicket of French (74).
7 Ben Knaggs (CYMS)
Just more of the same. Ultra-consistent, always a threat, and never allowing batters to feel comfortable.
The CYMS captain did it all again on Saturday and helped ensure another strong win for his side. He might have only bowled seven overs in the second innings - some of those last week - but he took three wickets and conceded just 13 runs. Pretty handy.
8 Bailey Edmunds (CYMS)
The third CYMS quick to make our team and man of the match in the Cougars' victory.
After taking five wickets in the first innings, Edmunds followed it up with four more in the second innings.
Showing his importance, he knocked over four of Newtown's top six and, much like his fellow bowlers, kept things tight while doing so.
Edmunds finished with 4/35 from 18 overs.
9 Ben Semmler (RSL Colts)
The Colts veteran doing what he does best. Moving the ball, using the wicket, and going through opposition batting lineups.
Semmler tore through Souths' middle and lower order on Saturday and helped wrap-up an innings win by taking 4/28 from 6.5. Three of those four wickets were bowled as well.
10 Finn Macleod (RSL Colts)
He's quietly gone about his business pretty well with Colts this season after stepping up to take on a bigger role in the top grade.
While Colts were always favourites to win comfortably on Saturday, Macleod helped make sure of it by taking the first two Souths wickets before the score was 20 and he finished with 2/21.
Having taken two wickets with the new ball on day one, he's doing about all you want from an opener.
11 Kane Macfarlane (Souths)
The last spot in the team was a tricky one and while Dugald Shepherd was again solid for Rugby against Macquarie, Macfarlane gets the nod for showing promise against the might of Colts.
He had 0/32 after six overs at stumps last week but by the end of the innings his figures were 2/47 from 10 overs. That's a handy second spell against a Colts side looking for quick runs.
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