COUTTS V SOUTHS: A dominant display from the top order has put Coutts Crossing in the box seat heading in to the second day of their do-or-die clash against South Services at McKittrick Park.

A disciplined batting effort saw Coutts post 296 before being bowled after 76 overs to end the day's play.

After Coutts openers Brenden Cotten (61) and Lewis Chevalley (16) saw off a tight spell from South Services opening pair Matt Peterson and Brendan Cleaver the runs began to flow.

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"Once you got yourself in, there was plenty of runs to be made," Cotten said.

"In the early stages it was tough with the ball moving a bit but once we got through the new ball it was easier.

"After we saw that off it was just a flat track with not much movement so you could play through the line without too much hassle.

"The outfield was pretty quick as well. It was hard going chasing the ball down before it hit the boundary rope."

Cotten combined with Nick Wood (42) for an 85-run 2nd wicket stand before Bill North (64) batted patiently in a much needed return to form to continue putting together decent partnerships and guiding the them to an imposing total. North shared an important 43-run 5th wicket stand with 14-year-old rookie Eli Fahey (30) and put on 77 for the 6th wicket with all-rounder Adam Elliott (38).

"Woodsy and myself started it off before Northy (Bill North) came in and took over the scoring. He then put on a decent partnership with Adam (Elliot) which was good for us," Cotten said.

"They were really good partnerships. It is always a team performance and you really need all the guys to perform on the day if you are going to put together a decent total and we had that."

Cotten said North, who top scored for the innings with 64, had done well to maintain his composure after an uncertain start. A quick single to get off the mark ended a run of 1, 0, 0 and 0 in his four bats since Christmas.

"Northy batted really well on the afternoon," he said.

"He was pretty scratchy at the start when he was on the duck egg but once he got off the mark the runs just began to flow for him."

With the return of Zac Page expected ahead of the second day next week Cotten believes Coutts Crossing are in a good position.

Victory for Coutts Crossing will ensure them a place in the finals.

"We have got them and they have got to get them," he said.

"It's a lot harder chasing a big total."

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