EVERY so often in the game of cricket a situation arises for players to grasp an opportunity and make a name for themselves.
At 8-143 chasing Strathfieldsaye's 214 in the BDCA last Saturday such an opportunity presented for the Eaglehawk pair of Josh Williams and Nick Farley.
With only two wickets left and 71 runs needed for victory, opportunity came knocking for Williams and Farley to produce something special - and they seized the moment.
No.9 Williams and No.10 Farley both defied their positions in the batting order with a superb partnership to deliver the Hawks a stirring against-the-odds victory.
The pair not only scored the 71 runs needed for the Hawks' second win, but their partnership extended beyond 100, putting on an unbroken 105 in Eaglehawk's final tally of 8-248.
Williams' 65 n.o. off 100 and Farley's unbeaten 46 off 56 were both career-high first XI scores for the Hawks.
"It was great to see the way they both applied themselves in a tough situation when we were in a fair bit of trouble. They batted really well and it was obviously great to get over the line," Eaglehawk captain Matt Fitt said.
"They relished the responsibility and even after they had passed the score they didn't look like getting out."
Thanks to Williams and Farley the Hawks are among a group of four teams on 15 points after five rounds and just percentage outside the top four.
Had the Hawks lost they would have been two games outside the top four with a pair of tough matches to come before Christmas against reigning premier Huntly-North Epsom and flag favourite Strathdale.
Following a turnover of experienced players, the Hawks are going through a transition season and are a new-look team.
The fresh look of the Hawks was evident in their top-order last week when their top-five included Brendan Archbold, Ben Williams and Angus Chisholm, who are all in the infancy of their first XI careers.
One of the biggest queries over the Hawks leading into the season was how they would stand up with the ball given their losses of Cory Jacobs, Shaun Knott, Cam McGlashan and Richard Tibbett, who last year combined for 64 wickets.
So far the bulk of their wickets have been taken by leg-spinner Russell Stockdale (11) and last week's batting heroes Josh Williams (10) and Farley (7).
* Hawks season so far:
Round 1: 8-185 def Bendigo 160;
Round 2: 135 lt Strathdale 321;
Round 3: 9-232 drew Sandhurst 0-0;
Round 4: 174 lt Bendigo 260;
Round 5: 8-248 def Strathfieldsaye 9-213.
MEANWHILE, Eaglehawk leads the way in the latest standings in the BDCA's Barry Ayres Spirit of Cricket Award.
Umpires assess first, second, third XI and under-18 teams on their conduct and mark each side out of 10 for every game. The four scores are then averaged to give a club rating.
Eaglehawk - 25.50
Strathdale - 25.09
Kangaroo Flat - 24.55
White Hills - 24.50
Bendigo - 24.38
Golden Square - 24.00
Sandhurst - 23.75
Bendigo United - 23.67
Huntly-North - 23.33
Strathfieldsaye - 23.18
Round six games:
Eaglehawk v Huntly-North
Kangaroo Flat v Golden Square
Strathdale v Bendigo United
Strathfieldsaye v Sandhurst (QEO)
Bendigo v White Hills
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