BELVOIR snapped a four-match losing streak with a hard-fought 27-run victory over fellow finals contender New City at Kelly Park on Saturday.
Defending a competitive 277 runs, the Eagles withstood a brilliant display of power hitting from Phoenix star John Pratt to dismiss their opponents for 244 in the 74th over.
Pratt bludgeoned 89, including 14 boundaries and two sixes, before being dismissed with the score on 136 which triggered a steady flow of wickets from spinners Zach Simmonds and Ryan McNeil.
McNeil said it was a crucial win with the pressure on for finals spots.
“It was very important we won this game,” McNeil said.
“It’s tight around the five, six, seven and eight positions on the ladder and New City were right on top at 1-130 with Pratt batting really well.
“He‘s a very hard hitter and we were struggling to get him out before he played a false shot and Johnny Spencer took a good catch.
“They were probably on top for most of the day, but the boys stuck at it and we got over the line.”
Simmonds, who has 19 scalps this season, was the hero with 5-71 off 25 overs with McNeil saying he was unlucky not to have even better figures.
“Zach bowled most of the day and was sensational,” McNeil said.
“He probably should have had more than five wickets.
“He’s a quality cricketer and quality bloke.”
Spencer also enjoyed a good day in the field with his sharp catch to dismiss Pratt at mid-on and a brilliant direct hit run out to send Englishman Will Brown packing for 45.
McNeil ran through the tail to pick up 3-33.