Macarthur Raptors narrowly fought off Penrith Storm to finish with their first win of the season, while home side Liverpool Bulls claimed six of the available seven premiership points in their victory over Castle Hill Cougars on Sunday evening.
The Raptors set the tone early on in their batting innings, pushing the ball around the court to post 62 runs at the midpoint of their innings with two pairs totals of 31 apiece and only one wicket taken.
The Storm restricted the third pair to 15 runs before the Raptors fired up a 41-run final stand between captain Haylee Hoffmeister (28 runs) and Maeghan Robinson (13 runs).
Hoffmeister, who recently returned from her representative opportunity with the CA Aboriginal XI touring squad to the UK, drove the ball into the back net on three occasions to top-score for her team and take them to triple figures.
The Storm started their innings with a 22-run partnership between Joanne Kelly and Sam Arnold.
The loss of a handful of wickets in the middle of the innings restricted them to 49 runs with four overs to go.
In what was set to be an impossible run chase, the Storm sent in dynamite duo Naomi Stalenberg and Sophie Heath.
Scoring over 10 runs from each bowler faced, they finished with a partnership of 62 runs (Stalenberg 35 / Heath 27) falling seven runs shy of victory.
Tracey McGrath was the pick of the bowlers for the Raptors, finishing with figures of 2/6.
In the men’s Beastwear NICL live-streamed match of the round, the Bulls defeated the Cougars by 14 runs.
Liverpool’s skipper Brett Collison (24 runs) opened the innings with Russell Wilcoxon (13 runs), putting together a partnership of 37 runs.
Momentum shifted in the Cougars direction as they slowed down the Bulls batting rate through solid bowling spells from Luke Wilson (2/-5) and Kristian Messia (2/5).
The Bulls second and third pairs added 21 runs between them, before rounding out their innings with a final partnership of 22.
Left to chase down 80 runs, the Cougars got off to a good start of 22 runs but weren’t able to manage any greater partnerships than this across their innings, falling 14 runs short of the required total.
Both the Bulls and Raptors move to second-place on their respective ladders, a welcomed position with finals just around the corner for each Zone.
The weekly Beastwear NICL live-streamed games of the round will take a three week break as the CA Indoor Cricket National Championships are being held in Toowoomba from June 30 – July 14.
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