MOAMA bounced back from its first defeat of the Goulburn Murray Cricket A grade season on Saturday, its star batsmen taking control from the off to confidently take care of Echuca South.
Batting first for the fifth time in as many games, Moama lost Joel Murphy for 13, caught by Joshua Platt off the bowling of Jack Duggan to make the score 1/15.
But it was the last South would be celebrating for most of the day, as Jordan McGregor and Layton McCann piled on runs in an extraordinary partnership.
The biggest second-wicket partnership in nearly two years, the pair put on 192 to leave their side in the box seat, finishing the innings on 2/230 from 45 overs.
McCann again starred, with a third century in five games. He finished with 117, including 12 fours and four sixes to help his side to a total of more than five runs an over.
He was caught by Dylon Haimes off the bowling of Luke Thompson with little time left in the innings.
Brayden McGregor joined his brother at the crease and made the most of his four balls with a four and a six for some quick, late runs.
For South, Haimes came up with some tidy bowling to go for just 15 runs from his nine overs, Duggan producing in a similar vein with 1/30 from nine.
But the rest of the bowling lineup couldn’t trouble the Moama bats and were all too expensive, allowing a total never likely to be chased down.
South made a promising start with the bat though through Thompson and Hugh Nelson, before Nelson fell to a run-out for 29, the score 1/68.
Thompson’s 62 included six boundaries and was exactly what his side needed, but ended when he was trapped leg before to the bowling of Ben Docking.
It also ended South’s chances of tracking down the monster total, Chris Uys and Shaun Haffenden both going in quick succession to see the side fall from 1/109 to 4/109.
Alistair McCann picked up a couple of late wickets, Moama eventually comfortable winners as South finished 6/144 from 45 overs, 86 runs behind.
The win kept Moama in second place on the table, one win clear of Kyabram Fire Brigade, Cooma and Tongala but still chasing undefeated Rochester United.
For South, the improvement at the top of the order was encouraging, including a second straight week of good form from Thompson who backed up last weekend’s 43 with his first half-century of the season.
But the side will need to improve plenty more to compete with the league’s top sides, now winless after five games.
Its next chance for a win comes against a surging Tongala side that has won its last three games in thrilling fashion.