THEY weren't quite breaking out the champagne, but with the bulk of the Emerald Magpies batting line-up decimated at 6/43, you would assume Rolleston were a short-odds chance of taking out last weekend's Central Highlands' club clash.
Well, think again.
Magpies batsman Zac Bills arrived at the crease and wasted little time plastering his way to an unbeaten 97-run stand and smashing a phenomenal 14 sixes in the process.
The powerful batting display helped revive Emerald's run-chase to eclipse Rolleston's 147 first-innings total and win the match.
Rolleston spokesman Heath Gibson said with six wickets already under wraps in the ninth over, their winning prospects appeared relatively strong.
"We were quite confident at that stage," Gibson said.
"We were actually bowling quite well but then Zac just opened up.
"It was pretty impressive... how strongly he played."
Bills' starring role overshadowed a number of great supporting roles from the other Magpies batsman, including a solid 43 knocked by captain Scott Boyle and strong tail-end performances by under-17 players Kurt Hodgers and Caleb McIntosh.
Despite having the win snatched from beneath them, Gibson wasn't holding any grudges with his Magpie opponents.
"We all get along pretty good and it's always played in the right spirit," he said.
Rolleston's Dan Abraham was by far and away the playing best, taking a hefty 5/15 in the bowling stakes and top-scoring with the bat, with 36 runs to his name.
Meanwhile in Blackwater, Clermont's Rhys Williams posted yet another century for the visitors - his second for the Central Highlands season, before he was caught off the bowling of Huxley for 106.
With almost all Clermont batsmen pushing their scores into double figures, the weighty 245-run total proved too great for Blackwater - bowled out for just 83 in the 27th over.
Stewart Harris (18) and Ryan Campbell (19) were the primary contributors during Blackwater's time at the batting crease.
Emerald Brothers continued their winning form with a seven-wicket win over Springsure at the weekend.
The bowling arm of Emerald Brothers' rookie Anthony Smith will be warmly welcomed this season.
Smith's 4/23 haul for the Brethren helped secure a seven-wicket victory win over Springsure at the weekend.
Brothers 20, Clermont 14, Springsure 12, Rolleston 10, Blackwater 8, Magpies 8.
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