SECOND-YEAR Heytesbury Rebels captain Joel Moriarty feels well placed to lead his side to a South West Cricket finals berth this season.
Moriarty, 24, was influential in the Rebels' round two win against Cobden on Saturday, top-scoring with 57 runs.
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"Last year was my first year (as skipper) and we were coming off a tough year at the club and it was a decision to split roles up," Moriarty said.
"We had 'Harko' (Simon Harkness) come on as coach last year and we wanted to split up the coaching and captaincy to lighten the workload.
"It was my first year on the job and I wasn't the best but I learnt a helluva a lot and this year I'd like to think I am a little bit more prepared. I just love it."
The Rebels were struggling at 3-35 against the Knights before Moriarty led their revival.
They went onto post 7-158.
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"It's always nice to get a few and contribute in some way," he said.
"We were in a bit of trouble early. We had to consolidate through the middle overs and then failed to accelerate at the end."
Cobden, with skipper Johno Benallack leading the way with 54 runs, gave Heytesbury a scare, making 156 in reply.
"It was a tight game in the end. I think both teams did really well," Moriarty said.
"It wasn't super high-scoring. It was just a really good contest.
Moriarty praised his counterpart Benallack, who has now scored 115 runs in the Knights' first two matches of the summer.
"He was by far their best batter. We couldn't get him out but the run-rate was ticking up," he said.
"We were confident we'd hold them out.
"We started a bit flat but after drinks Tom Hunt came on and bowled 10 (overs) straight and pretty much won us the game.
"At the death it was Tom Hunt, Chris Vogels and Paul Vogels and they were the standouts."
Chris Vogels had a day out, taking 5-33, and Hunt finished with 3-29.
The Rebels are now 1-1 leading into their next clash against Camperdown.
Moriarty has high hopes for their season.
"We are very bullish. We pretty much have the same squad or are very similar to last year," he said.
"We have lost one from our division one team and then picked up two or three guys who could go through the ones.
"It's early days but the team we've got is definitely good enough to at least play finals."
In other matches, Noorat, which had the bye in round one, proved too strong for Terang, winning by 44 runs.
Wicket-keeper Jacob Fishwick was dangerous with the bat, making 44, as was skipper Gus Bourke (46).
Mortlake recorded a nine-wicket win against Camperdown with opener Corey Rounds (40) and Will Kain (37) unbeaten at the crease.
Reigning premier Pomborneit overcame division one newcomer Woorndoo while Bookaar Pelicans had the bye.
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