Newcastle will head into the weekend with a win next to their name at the NSW Country Championships thanks largely to a 180-run, middle-order partnership between Jed Dickson and Adrian Chad.
Dickson (98) fell two short of a century and along with Chad (88) rescued Newcastle in a 152-run victory over Riverina in Berry on Friday.
The pair came together at 4-43 and guided Newcastle to 5-223 during the one-day fixture.
The defending champions ended up 9-253 from their allotted 50 overs before dismissing Riverina for 101 in reply.
Charlestown captain Dickson struck eight fours and three sixes in his 110-ball knock, which lasted two hours and eight minutes.
Chad, Toronto skipper and last season’s Newcastle district first grade player of the year, faced 113 balls and hit eight fours and one six over two hours and 16 minutes.
Wallsend’s Nathan Price (21), coming in at No.3 and leading Newcastle for the first time at the three-day carnival, was the only other batsman to reach double figures.
Riverina opening bowler Ryan Brown was the best for the opponents with 5-36, including the wicket of Chad, from his 10 overs.
In the second innings Newcastle tweakers, veteran Nick Foster and debutant Toby Gray, did most of the damage and sparked a late collapse of 5-27.
Stockton off-spinner Foster finished with 3-9 from 5.2 overs, including top-scoring Riverina opener Brayden Ambler (39) while Belmont leg-spinner Gray had 2-16 from five overs.
Waratah’s Jonty Durrheim (2-19), Merewether’s Josh Geary (1-11) and Wests’ Brad Aldous (1-18) were the other wicket takes for Newcastle.
Aldous also picked up a run out.
Riverina were all out in 32.2 overs.
Newcastle now meet Greater Illawarra in Worrigee, near Nowra, on Saturday.
Greater Illawarra lost by five wickets to ACT Southern Districts at Worrigee’s Hayden Drexel Oval on Friday after having 152 chased down in 35.3 overs.
Newcastle round out the tournament against ACT Southern Districts at Berry on Sunday.