JOSH Julius celebrated his first day as skipper of Hawkesdale with a match-winning century against Mailors Flat.
The batsman-wicketkeeper blasted 101 not out as the Cats defeated the Jets by 61 runs in Grassmere Cricket Association A grade action.
The ton, his third in two seasons, included two dropped catches, eight sixes and four fours — and potentially fewer singles than boundaries.
“Someone did have a joke about that, so there could’ve been more to it,” Julius said yesterday.
Julius was happy he could lead his inexperienced Hawkesdale side from the front at Winslow Recreation Reserve.
Mailors Flat won the toss and sent Hawkesdale in, a move which backfired as the Cats reached 4-198.
Mailors Flat, back in A grade after a one-season stint in B grade, was always battling to keep up with the required run rate and finished on 6-127.
Jets opener Alex Goudy carried his bat in making 54 not out, while David West was the pick with the ball, collecting 4-18.
“Last year we struggled to be one down at drinks and that’s where we were yesterday, which is a good achievement for ourselves,” Julius said.
“The bowling dropped off a bit and it was pretty windy. I was able to lob a few up in the air and the wind would take them.
“There’s good value for shots at Winslow because it’s a pretty small ground.”
Julius said he believed Hawkesdale would be in contention for a finals berth come the end of summer.
The Cats have lost opening bowlers James North and Daniel Roache, promoting a host of teenagers in their place.
“We’re certainly not shying away from finals, we definitely think we’re a finals chance,” Julius said.
In other GCA A grade action, Purnim snatched a thrilling win against Wangoom in the only match which went down to the wire.
The Bulls posted 6-225 and secured a three-run win after the Roosters, needing 14 to win from the final over, finished on 6-222.
Purnim captain Greg Bull and Daniel Ryan were the heroes, bowling the last two overs to secure the win.
Bull said he was pleased with the result.
“To go out and make 225, we probably haven’t done that in a two-day game for two years,” he said.
“It would’ve been a horrible way to lose the game. We didn’t bowl or field overly well.
“But to come away with a win, it’s good for the young blokes to get to that position and hold their nerve a bit.”
Both sides had batsmen star with the willow. Sam McKinnon crafted 86, Bull hit 54 not out and Aaron Peterson made 44 for Purnim.
Chris Arthur top scored for Wangoom with 82 and shared in a 93-run partnership with Mark White, who reached 51.
Rock-solid opener Steve Gleeson made 62 to help Yambuk to a crucial win against Killarney at Killarney Recreation Reserve.
Yambuk made 8-180, with Daniel Jones snaring 3-13 to be the pick of the bowlers.
Killarney, in reply, managed 8-145. Rob Bleumink collected 5-30 in a standout effort with the ball.
Reigning premier Panmure had little trouble dismantling Grassmere at Panmure Recreation Reserve.
The Bulldogs limited the Meerkats to 8-133 and reached the target just four wickets down, with four overs to spare.
Bulldogs paceman Nathan Shand and Dan Meade combined for seven wickets while James McKinnon made 43 not out in the chase.
Ben Small was the best for the Meerkats, hitting 59 in the middle order.