BARBER Shield cricket returned on Saturday after a break for the festive season and North Sportsman’s Jake Schutz simply picked up where he left off.
But more than that, he took his game to another level, with a double-century against East Gambier down at Marist Park on the opening day of round seven.
Schutz’s 224-run knock included 28 fours and two sixes, which saw the Tigers finish the day at 8/363 after the full 80 overs.
It places the Bulldogs in a precarious position on day two of play, with a super-human effort required to run the total down.
But on Saturday it was all about Schutz, as he watched partners come and go, but continued to ply his trade to good effect.
He almost carried his bat through the entire innings, but fell just short, eventually dismissed in the final over trying to eek out every run possible for his side.
But it was not an easy run for North early, with a middle-order blitz where the damage was really done.
Schutz opened the batting with Michael Johnston, but the latter could only offer four runs before he was judged lbw to youngster Liam Turley.
Turley continued to impress at the senior level when he claimed the scalp of Mitch Lewis just five runs later for a duck after a snappy caught-and-bowled effort.
Justin McConnell then joined Schutz in the middle and after its shaky start, North looked more composed.
The pair began to pile on the runs, with McConnell in form.
The fruitful partnership produced 44 runs, with 31 of those going to McConnell, but he fell victim to Nathan Gore when also judged lbw.
By then the total had reached 59 and the Tigers were up and running, but just two runs later Tom Edwards was sent back to the shed with a solitary run to his name, clean bowled by Gore who was beginning to compile what would be an impressive day with the ball.
At 4/61 the Tigers appeared to struggle, but once again they settled, with Gavin Coon joining Schutz to compile a handy 42-run partnership.
Again it was Gore who broke it apart, with Coon plumb in front for 13.
Youngster Elliott Fisher held up his end for another handy partnership with Schutz, but also fell lbw, this time to Kyal Chapman for eight, before Schutz began to cut loose.
That was in the 33rd over with the score at 6/131.
By the time the incoming John Storck fell for 34 in the 73rd over, the score had reached a massive 286.
Schutz simply kept finding the boundary to push the total along at an alarming rate.
He eventually fell for 224, lbw to Gore, but not before putting the game out of East’s reach, barring some miraculous chase on day two.
Declan Kenny finished off the day unbeaten on 33, with three consecutive sixes boosting his total.
Gore would be disappointed with the final tally, considering his four-wicket haul.
He finished the day at 4/71 off 21 overs, while Turley managed 2/26 off his five.