It was just a matter of time
By Tony White
It was only a matter of time Damien Rouse firmly believed.
On Saturday at McKittrick Oval, the GI Hotel Tucabia-Copmanhurst batting line up scored a timely 8-276 declared against Harwood Hilton on day one of the Bananacoast Community Credit Union Premier League two-day fixture.
"Nearly all the top order batted really well," Rouse, the young Tucabia captain said.
"With the calibre of batsman we've got in the team I've always said it was only a matter of time before they fired and thankfully they did on Saturday."
And the Tucabia batsman were spurred into action after copping a fair degree of sledging.
"You know the story, what happens on the cricket field stays there," Rouse said when questioned about the sledging.
"Let's just say there was a fair bit of niggle.
"It stirred and encouraged both teams to play harder.
"Yes there was plenty of sledging, nothing untoward, just what you'd call good natured banter."
On a wicket that required patience and deft placement, opener Greg Watkins (56), Bob McKenzie (52), former captain Matt Pigg (67) and tail ender Aaron Amos (45) were the major contributors to Tucabia's competitive total.
"We faced nearly 70 overs and you had to be patient to score," Rouse said.
"In the end Aaron Amos really cut loose scoring 45 in bugger all balls.
"Harwood toiled hard all day but I think Aaron's innings broke their backs.
"We've always had the potential to score plenty of runs and we did it with some people like Matt Blanch (8), Graeme Egan (1) and myself (2) missing out."
Opener Egan was the first wicket to fall with only one run on the board. When Blanch fell the score was 2-32 and Harwood pressed hard.
However, a watchful Watkins and McKenzie's return to form bolstered the score line.
Top scorer Pigg's presence on the field for Tucabia is a great bonus Rouse said.
"Matt provides a lot of experience and he's such a lively character he brings enthusiasm to everyone," Rouse said.
"He batted very, very well as did Wokko (Watkins) and Bob (McKenzie)."
Declaring late in the day after Amos's dismissal, Tucabia scored a tremendous breakthrough when Harwood opener Geoff Simmons, Premier League's top run plunderer this season, was dismissed for a duck in the second over.
Driving a Rouse delivery, newcomer Seb Dalton caught a screamer at short mid on.
"It was a key wicket, very big," Rouse said.
At the close of play, Harwood were 1-6 after eight overs with Kane Aeschlimann 1no and Nathan Ensby 0no.