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Tussle for third spot hangs in the balance

Ed Haylock sends one down for Macquarie, who are in a winning position despite Jordan Moran making 149 for Rugby. Photo: KATHRYN O’SULLIVANTHE third and final spot in this season’s Whitney Cup finals will be determined by 75 overs of cricket after day one of Rugby’s clash with Macquarie finished evenly poised.
Nanjing Night Net

Jordan Moran blasted 149 for Rugby on Saturday to put his side in a commanding position but received little in the way of support as his side was bowled out for 235.

In reply, the Blues finished the day on 1-33 which leaves a pretty simple scenario heading into day two – Macquarie need 203 runs and Rugby need nine wickets.

“It couldn’t be better poised really and whoever deserves to go through to the finals will go through,” said Moran, who was without doubt the hero of day one.

“It’s been a pretty even competition this season and to have the last spot in the finals being decided on the final day of the regular season shows that.”

For a period on Saturday though, it didn’t appear as though that would be the case.

From the opening overs, Moran was a man on a mission.

He punished anything loose from the Macquarie bowlers, hitting 17 boundaries and clearing it on six occasions.

Such was the dominance of his innings that when he was dismissed in the 39th over of the day he had made 149 of the 192 runs scored up until that point.

The only real support he received came from Nathan Munro (25) while down the order Tyler Woodrow (11) and Zac Murphy (11) were the only other batsmen to reach double figures.

“I was really happy with the way I played. Everything seemed to come out of the middle and it was one of those days where a lot of balls seem to be in your hitting zone,” Moran said.

“I was a bit disappointed when I got out though. There was still 25 overs or so left in the day and I could have made a big score that got us to 300 or beyond.

“On that pitch to score 235 was pretty disappointing but we have to come out with the ball next week and be very disciplined and put pressure on and see how we go.

“If we take the wickets we will have earned our spot in the semi-final against Newtown.”

Angus Cusack was the pick of Macquarie’s bowlers on Saturday, taking figures of 3-18 off 10.4 overs while Nathan Reichelt (2-31) and Sidhu Shaik (2-21) also chimed in.

When play resumes this Saturday it will be Richard Hawker (8no) and night watchman Shane Dupille (3no) who take to the crease after Ed Haylock (15) fell late on day one.

“Getting Ed was a big wicket for us as he has been scoring a few runs for them,” Moran said.

“They still have a couple of key wickets that we need to take. Keiran Brien has been batting well and ‘Gavo’ (Justin Gavin) has a lot of experience so we need to bowl and field well if we’re going to beat them.”

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