TWO centuries to batsmen in opposing Warrnambool and District Cricket Association teams ensured the match went down to the wire.
North Warrnambool Eels' Kory Howlett scored 105 from 116 deliveries on Saturday, helping his side post an imposing 3-206.
Mark Murphy answered the challenge, responding with 103 off 97 balls for Brierly-Christ Church which fell just seven runs short of the Eels' total.
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North Warrnambool Eels leader Nick Butters said the two tons made for an interesting contest.
"It is very rare to see 100 made down here (at Brierly) and we had two in the one game," he said.
"It was a high-scoring game in the end."
Butters praised Howlett for working his way into his innings before applying pressure to the Bulls' bowling attack.
"It was pretty tough early, a bit up and down and he just grounded it out and after drinks he really put the foot down and smacked them everywhere," he said.
"He is a super player and has probably been a bit down on the high standards he sets for himself the last couple of years so it was nice to see him get a score early (in the season)."
Jackson Grundy (42) played a crucial role alongside Howlett in a 125-run fourth-wicket stand.
Butters said the dangerous and highly-rated Murphy - a former association player of the year winner - put the Eels on edge.
"We were cruising and we kept dropping Mark and he kept making us pay," he said.
"Once we got him out, we got a bit of a run on which was nice."
Butters said Murphy was difficult to combat, such was his vast shot selection.
"You just can't set a field for Mark. You just don't have enough fielders, certainly on the boundary so you can stop him," he said.
"You have to try and strangle him and hope he plays it big or dumb shot but he didn't play one and we dropped him a couple of times which never helps."
North Warrnambool Eels - formerly Woodford - are now 2-0 under their new name while the Bulls are still seaching for their first win.
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