University captain Matt Gawthrop wasn’t giving too much away about his tactics but regardless of which way he goes on Saturday an outright result remains the primary objective.
The Students have put themselves in a position to pounce on maximum points on day two of the Newcastle first grade cricket fixture, resuming at home with a 25-run first-innings lead over Stockton-Raymond Terrace and seven wickets in hand.
Gawthrop must decide between declaring on University’s overnight total of 3-116 and attempting to dismiss the Seagulls again or building some form of lead and then trying to take 10 wickets before stumps later that same afternoon.
“I’d like to keep that one quiet until game day,” Gawthrop said.
“But it’s refreshing to have those first-innings points in the bag and we can talk about how we’re going to get more points rather than the initial six.
“We played really well last week and come the back end of the season, as we’ve learned before, outrights can be really important.”
On the opening day’s play eighth-placed University rolled Stockton for 91 with Michael Radnidge picking up his competition-best figures of 6-34. Depending on other games, an outright could see the Students rise as high as fifth on the ladder.
Elsewhere in round eight fixtures, both Wests and Newcastle City will look to further cement their top-four spots when they resume play on Saturday.
Tom Locker Cup champions Wests (1-56) need 90 more runs to pass Cardiff-Boolaroo (145) at Harker Oval while undefeated City (0-24) are 131 behind Toronto (155) at No.1 Sportsground.
Hamilton-Wickham (256), Waratah-Mayfield (4-235) and Merewether (8-217) are defending totals against Charlestown, Belmont and Wallsend respectively.
With two wickets remaining Merewether have 11 overs available to bat at Townson Oval following last weekend’s wet weather interruptions while Waratah’s Jonty Durrheim has 48 balls left to add to his unbeaten 125. Hamwicks were bowled out before the rain at Passmore Oval, meaning the Magpies get the full 90 overs.