SULTANS OF SPIN
Albury's three-pronged spin attack suffocated St Patrick's.
The Patties posted only 126 from 45.2 overs, with the home club's spin connection claiming 8-79.
Leg-spinner Kade Brown captured 4-40, along with off-spinners Ross Dixon (3-20) and Mahesh Kodamullage (1-19 from 10).
"The pitch was spin friendly and combined with a slow outfield, we managed to tie them down," captain Dixon said.
WHEN IN ROME
And when it came time to bat, Dixon felt the club had to utilise Kodamullage's experience with spin.
"With the pitch being spin friendly and 'Mash's' background being Sri Lankan, we put him up the order to four, he's been batting at seven, and he dictated the pace of the chase," Dixon said.
Kodamullage, who was in the same spin squad as Test wicket world record holder Muttiah Muralitharan, posted his highest score in CAW with an unbeaten 46 from 92 deliveries.
(ALMOST) TOP SPINNER
Pacemen Jake Burge (North Albury) and Jarryd Hatton (Corowa) are the leading wicket-takers with 11 and 10 apiece after six largely rain-interrupted rounds, but the spinners are closing.
East Albury leg-spinner Praveen Pathmanathan, Belvoir offie Lachie McMillan and Kade Brown have all taken eight scalps.
Spin also featured last summer with five in the top 10, although speedsters Cam Suidgeest (43 wickets) and Burge (38) filled the top two, with Dixon third on 37.
Albury snapped a worrying trend when it ran down the Patties' total only five wickets down.
"We've lost the last three times we've chased, so it was good to break that hoodoo as a group," Dixon said.
Albury lost to New City in round five the previous week, failing to run down 8-222, and couldn't reach North Albury's 7-200 in round one.
And the most painful was in last season's preliminary final where North made 126 and the home side was a run short.
NOT A HAPPY CHAPPY
There's nothing like a run out to get an opener's blood boiling.
"I don't think 'Sharpy' and ''Sam O'Connor are speaking," Lavington captain Michael Galvin joked.
"'SOC' (O'Connor) barbecued him first ball, Matt Sharp had one off his thigh guard into mid-wicket and went for a quick single and was sent back.
"There was a single in it, 'Sharpy's' call, I'm not sure what 'SOC' was doing."
Not getting in Sharp's eyeline quickly, you would think.
Imagine what Richie Benaud would have made of North's effort against Raiders.
The Hoppers were 1-2 before brothers Anthony and Tim Hartshorn put on an unbeaten 220 for the second wicket to finish the innings on 1-222.
IN OTHER NEWS:
It was a marvellous effort, that.
And we can only hope, in the great tradition of Billy Birmingham's 'The Twelfth Man' that Richie might have said, "super piece of writing that, really funny stuff".