WITH big scores the theme of the round for Barber Shield cricket on the weekend, an exception to the trend was the clash between Mil Lel and South Gambier at Frew Park.
The Demons won the toss and sent the hosts in to bat for day one of the Round 7 match, with Mil Lel bowled out in the 57th over for 152 runs.
The score is defendable, but if South can come out firing when it returns to the crease in day two, it is more than achievable.
A six-wicket haul from the Demons’ Camron Jorgenson took the edge off Mil Lel’s innings and he was backed up by Robbie Drenthen and Dylan Clough, who both claimed two scalps.
For Mil Lel, Justin Lamont opened alongside Tim McInerney at the crease and the pair posted nine runs before the latter was dismissed, with just a run to his name.
Lamont was then joined by Carey Megaw and the runs started to come, with Megaw making 20 before he was caught and bowled by Robbie Drenthen.
The total was at 35 when Todd Carpenter took to the crease, with Lamont still going strong.
An lbw off a Jorgenson ball saw Carpenter out with four runs to his name, with the total then at 58.
Another solid stint saw Daniel Justin join Lamont, with the duo posting a joint 42 runs before the former was dismissed in the same fashion as Carpenter, on 31 runs.
The next partnership was short-lived, with Lamont caught out for 37 runs, leaving youngster Tom Nieuwerkerk to another brief run alongside Jack Miller.
Miller was bowled by Dylan Clough with just a run to his name, with the total at 105.
Captain Craig Lock helped steady the ship and joined Nieuwerkerk for a 29-run partnership, before the skipper was caught out for 19.
The young brigade took over from there, with Nieuwerkerk joined by fellow rising star Ben Thiel to add 15 runs to the total.
Another lbw from Jorgenson saw Nieuwerkerk dismissed on 12 runs, while Jarryd Burston took his place, but failed to add to the score before a fourth lbw from Jorgenson sent him on his way.
Dylan Gregory was the last to pad up, though only for a moment, as Thiel was caught out three runs later with 16 to his name.
That saw the total at an achievable 152, with the Demons then taking to the crease for the remaining overs.
Heading into day two South sits on 3/58, with Josh Thompson (19-not-out) and Jacob Parham (15-not-out) to open the batting on day two.
Jorgenson and Nick Seager opened on on day one, but the latter was dismissed for a no score and Jorgenson managed just five runs before he was fittingly sent back to the bench by an lbw.
Clough posted six runs before he was bowled out, with the current partnership then taking over.
The match looks to be the closest of the round and could still go either way, with all eyes now on the second day of play this Saturday.