IT WAS always going to be tough for Rochester on Saturday.
Sitting outside the four by six points, they needed to be in a good position at the close of day one if they were to be in the conversation at Christmas time.
But Moama's Kirk Teasdale went out of his way to make that challenge even harder.
Teasdale dominated with the ball, taking a stunning 5/18 in nine overs to lock out Rochester's batsmen, as the reigning premiers collapsed for 92 in just the 41st over.
It gave the Magpies 38 overs to put the game in a near unloseable position, with the team finishing at 5/105, earning first inning points in the process.
Teasdale's five wicket haul included opener Tim Bubb for 11, before clean bowling Rochester's captain Sean Williams for a duck.
Seven of Rochester's batsmen didn't make double figures, before Moama's captain Jack Russell top scored with 34 not out at the close of play.
●A TOP score of 52 not from Shaun Haffenden was a saving grace for Echuca South, who were dismissed for 123 in the 54th over against Tongala on Saturday.
With Tonny sitting second, just six points behind competition leaders Ky Fire Brigade, their battle for points started incredibly well.
When Haffenden was joined by number 10 Ben Eade, South was in serious trouble at 8/37 and looking for a lifeline, which they found in a tenth wicket partnership of 86.
Figures of 5/18 from opening bowler Joshua Thurston were huge from Tonny, before his side used their 23 overs to close play on 2/51, with Jayden Tucker top scoring with 23.
●KYABRAM has added a bit more pain to BLU's season, flying to 9/195 at the end of day one.
No batsman dominated, with 32 for Kaine Herbert the top score as the Flames produced a full team innings.
Both Amila Gunathilaka and Joseph Nicholls took three poles for BLU.
While the score was strong, it is within reach for BLU on the second day of play on Saturday if all the bats can fire.
●THE bowling of Matt Hinks and Simon Maddox has kept Echuca well and truly in their contest against Cooma.
The opening bowlers combined for seven of Cooma's wickets, with Hinks taking four and Maddox three as the side was dismissed for 168.
Cooma captain Michael Hill was the star with the bat in making 67.
Echuca is desperate for a win, so this is a contest they will need to capitalise on, as they are a real chance of winning if they do.