Finley’s Premier Division fell short of victory on Sunday with Deniliquin proving a little too strong.
The final scorecard probably doesn’t reflect the contest with the Rhinos eclipsing the Cats’ target with four wickets to spare.
The Cats were sent in on their home deck and the innings started horribly with Russell Stockdale (0) caught at deep fine leg off the bowling of Andrew Hogan (1/8).
Finley bounced back though with Daniel Hibberd (43) and Dan McHugh (21) adding 65 for the second wicket to give the Cats a more positive start.
The pair negotiated some handy Rhinos bowling and made sure to dispatch the bad ball.
Both batsman rode their luck in the blustering conditions but the score rolled along.
The Rhinos hit back though with McHugh eventually caught behind and the pressure building.
Runs began to dry up through the middle overs with the Cats unable to get any momentum.
Matthew Wilson (15) hit three fours in a whirlwind knock but the bowling of Brad Todd (2/22) and Anthony Bradley (3/11) ripped through the middle order to have the Cats struggling at 7/110, with the overs winding down.
The brothers Isedale added some vital runs at the end of the innings with Tom (12) and Cameron (9 not out) getting the Cats to a final score of 137.
The Cats took to the field determined to make batting difficult for the visitors.
And a superb opening fifteen overs ensured a tight contest.
McHugh, Stockdale and Chris Shaw all bowled tidily to keep the run rate in check early.
Dean Edge (25) was the first to go, caught at slip with the score 37 off Stockdale (1/34), but a 53 run stand between Ash Germano (63) and Hogan (16) looked likely to steer the Rhinos home.
At 2/90 the visitors were well in control but the Cats hit back to at least keep the Rhinos honest. Duncan Clarke (2/43) bowled some great variation to snare Hogan before McHugh (2/21) and Shaw (1/21) picked up scalps to have the Rhinos 5/129.
Clarke had the sixth wicket claimed with scores tied before Deniliquin crept past the Cats target.
With the result known, play continued and the Rhinos took advantage to hit some runs.
The Cats introduced Wilson (2/24) and Dan O’Bryan (1/27) into the attack with the latter picking up his first Premier Division wicket.
When the overs were bowled out Deniliquin had reached 9/215.
The Cats travel to CYU on Saturday.
Finley’s Divison Two side remains unbeaten after a comfortable six wicket win over CYU on Saturday.
CYU won the toss and batted first.
Leading the way for the Blues with the bat were veterans Brett Andrew (27) and Mark Watson (32) but some effective bowling from the Cats curtailed any of the remaining batsman plundering the attack.
Darcy Webb (1/8) bowled miserly again with the new rock and this was backed up throughout with Marcus Anderson (4/31) bowling a superb spell to rip through the heart of the Blues batting.
Phillip Leatham (3/16) came on late to clean up the tail as the innings closed at 111 in the 35th and final over.
A positive start with the blade followed with Justin Crowley (40) and Clay Webb (38) all but securing the win with a brilliant 87 run opening partnership.
The pair batted sublimely with the pair hitting five boundaries each.
The pair were unable to see the victory target reached with both men out with the score on 87.
The target was eventually reeled in thanks to the batting of Ian Armer (11), Marcus Jackson (5 not out) and Dale Rees (6) as the Cats reached the target with 16 overs to spare.
The Division Two Cats will play Berrigan under the lights in Finley at 5pm on Friday.
~ Junior reports on page 18.