WALLSEND skipper Nathan Price continued his prolific start to the Newcastle District Cricket Association season with an imperious century against Hamilton-Wickham at Wallsend Oval on Saturday.
Price posted his highest score of this campaign, 156, and in so doing took his season tally for the Tigers to a remarkable 574 runs.
Since returning to Wallsend after a stint with Randwick-Petersham in Sydney, Price had scored 124, 86 not out, 59, 47, 102 before Saturday’s 156. The 47 was when he had to retire because of representative commitments.
“Hamwicks are a good attack and have been for years, so we were pretty satisfied to play the way we did,” the former NSW under-23 representative said.
“It was a good day out for us, and hopefully we can go on and get the result next week.”
Wallsend were in strife early, losing their first three wickets for only 22 runs.
But then 31-year-old Price joined forces with Jacob Page for a fourth-wicket partnership of 219.
In a 216-ball master class, Price hit 14 fours and four sixes, while Page provided crucial support with 75 in 211 balls.
The Tigers then received a belated boost from Matthew Lynch at No.7, who chipped in with an unbeaten 50, steering the home side to 8-317 at stumps.
Thomas Dwyer (4-88) was the best with the ball for Hamwicks.
At Kahibah Oval, Charlestown are playing for maximum points after grabbing a first-innings lead against Waratah-Mayfield.
After winning the toss and batting, Waratah struggled against the spin of Sri Lankan import Sashreeka Pussegolla (4-37) and Daniel Chillingworth, reaching only 116.
Charlestown passed that after the loss of three wickets, thanks largely to a brisk 64 from opener Daniel Arms, and immediately declared.
Waratah resume their second innings at 0-1.
The games between Belmont and Newcastle City and Wests and Toronto were evenly poised.
At Harker Oval, defending champions Wests scored 209 after electing to bat, and by stumps the Kookaburras were 3-113 in reply, with skipper Adrian Chad at the crease on 21.
Belmont were in a similar situation at No.1 Sportsground.
City made a positive start with a 65-run opening stand, but then paceman Daniel Bailey (5-33) found his groove to help roll the Sabres for 163.
Belmont advanced to 3-72 by the end of play, of which skipper Marcus Hainsworth had contributed an unbeaten 50.
At University Oval, representative all-rounder Josh Geary provided the backbone of Merewether’s 8-230 against the Students.
Walking out to bat with the scoreboard reading 4-100, Geary scored 84 not out, with six fours and two sixes. Uni seamer Michael Radnidge kept it tight all afternoon, taking 3-28 from 23 overs, 11 of which were maidens.
In the remaining match, Cardiff (1-76) were on track to chase down Stockton’s 164 at Cardiff Oval.