UNIVERSITY are one win away from securing their first minor premiership in 32 years after their bowling unit rolled a strong Hamilton-Wickham batting order cheaply for a second straight week.
Any questions over Uni’s premiership credentials were answered when Hamwicks fell for 140 on a quality Passmore Oval batting deck.
Uni (5-69) then knocked off the run chase in 16 overs to secure a home semi-final and possibly the minor premiership if they beat Belmont on Saturday in their 50-over game to complete the regular season.
Seamer Grant Stewart took 3-51 in the second innings to follow his 4-21 on day one.
Alongside captain Luke Bird (3-37), Michael Radnidge (3-16) and Tim Prescott, who did not bowl in the second innings, Uni have arguably the form attack of the competition. ‘‘We’re going well as a team and everyone is contributing well,’’ Stewart said. ‘‘Early on in the season playing against Merewether and Hamwicks they had the wood over us, but we’ve come together and are giving it a real shake.’’
The loss has almost certainly ruined Hamwicks’ top-two aspirations.
A 60-run 10th-wicket partnership between Rhys Hanlon (43) and Abe Gibson (17 not out) helped Hamwicks set a target after they came together at 9-80.
Charlestown’s desperation to keep their finals hopes alive with an outright victory almost resulted in a second-innings defeat against Toronto Workers at Ron Hill Oval.
The last pair of Chris Rendina (15 not out) and Isaac Wallace (0 not out) survived six overs for Charlestown to avoid an outright loss at 9-181.
Earlier, Charlestown skipper Dane Macourt declared in the first innings at 5-168, just six runs ahead of Toronto (160).
The Magpies’ push for maximum points was halted when Toronto openers Nathan Hudson (61 off 57 balls) and David McCredie (56 off 73) blazed an opening stand of 122.
Andrew Nicolai (42 off 48 balls) provided further annoyance as Toronto made 252, leaving Charlestown 37 overs to score 245 for victory.
Toronto seamers Joe Price (4-42) and Brinn Osland (3-42) reduced Charlestown to 5-38.
That left Parth Shah (61 off 71) and Daniel Arms (62 off 42) to launch the recovery with a partnership of 104 in 15 overs.
But when Hudson trapped Arms leg before, Charlestown’s semi-final hopes plummeted.
Merewether finished off an ordinary Stockton-Raymond Terrace to record their first outright win for the season and likely secure a top-two finish.
Stockton resumed their seconds innings at 4-56, still 13 runs behind Merewether.
Led by Mark Cameron (7-32), Merewether quickly destroyed Stockton for 70.
That left Merewether two runs to chase for an emphatic win that has sounded the warning bells for Stockton going into the play-offs.
In their final game for Newcastle City before returning to Kent, English imports Ben Harmison and Matthew Hunn finally delivered with the bat to avoid an outright loss against Wallsend at Learmonth Park.
In the first innings, City limped from 8-26 to make 58.
Dan McGovern (76 not out) and Anthony Young (66) then put on a 111-run partnership to carry Wallsend to a declaration of 4-197, a lead of 263.
Harmison (50) and Hunn (45) made 97 for the opening stand, which guided City to 8-197 at stumps.
Waratah-Mayfield had a rare win after their bowlers levelled Wests for 76 at Harker Oval.
Liam Wilson took (3-19) and David Sutherland, James Rushford and Nathan Martin claimed two wickets each.
The run chase was in trouble at 6-31 before Dean Marjoribanks (24 not out) and Martin (17 not out) guided Waratah to 6-77 in 17 overs.
At Cahill Oval, Belmont (9-158) tailender Alex Schmaler-Loomes hit two runs off the penultimate ball to lead his side to a win over Cardiff-Boolaroo (157).