They've been the frontrunners of the Eddy Marr Bowl competition right through March, but Hamilton Old Boys are poised to miss out on making the Howden Cup three-day final.
The last round of two-day fixtures got under way on Saturday, and Ricoh Old Boys find themselves in a big hole against second-placed Lonestar Hamilton Boys' High School, while third-placed The Bank Star University look set to jump ahead of Old Boys too.
At the school ground, HBHS posted a competitive 273, thanks to 131 runs for the last three wickets.
Earlier, opener Shaun McCarthy struck 67 to give the innings some momentum, however his side slumped to 142-7. But then No 7 Shaan Singh-Parhar (49) combined with No 9 Dean Devcich (39) to put on 70 for the eighth wicket and completely frustrate Old Boys.
Medium pacer Ben Wilcock eventually collected 4-76 off 20 overs, before Singh-Parhar was the last man dismissed, run out.
Old Boys got off to a steady start in response, with openers Elliot Santner and Nitan Dhiman seeing out more than an hour before HBHS skipper Josef Walker had Santner stumped by George Wills for 21.
Then it became the Walker show, as the off-spinner dismissed the next three batsmen for ducks and finished the day with 4-27 off 22 overs. Wills took a catch to have Anish Desai out, followed by a stumping of Tim Seifert, then Walker had Carl Gallagher caught and bowled.
When Steve Martin was lbw to Paddy Carsons Old Boys had lost five wickets for 15 runs.
Old Boys will resume on 69-5 this weekend, trailing by 204, with Dhiman (21no) and Wilcock (13no) at the wicket.
Star University have also turned up the heat on Old Boys after a dominant day against Shenanigans Fraser-Tech at Galloway Park.
Steven Rae was the star with the ball, the big seamer capturing 6-51 off 18 overs to bundle Tech out for 169. No 8 Ryan Smith top-scored for Tech with an unbeaten 38, as their side struggled to put any partnerships together.
Star then showed there was nothing wrong with the batting conditions, as Rhys McCarthy played another one of his belligerent knocks at the top of the order.
Despite having to face Northern Knights seamer Jimmy Baker, McCarthy blazed a ton in just 98 minutes as he and Hamish Forsman put on 128 for the first wicket, with the latter contributing just 30 of those, before falling to captain Prakash Gosai.
The off-spinner had McCarthy moments later, but Star carried on their way as Ben Speake finished the day unbeaten on 76 to leave his team very well placed at 255-3 with a lead of 86 runs.
In the other match between Gallagher Melville and The Riv Marist-Suburbs, also at Galloway Park, Melville's Clinton Price had a superb all-round day, snaring four wickets and hitting a century.
Marist-Suburbs opener Shaun Devoy made 44, but the rest of his team managed just 46 off the bat as they were rolled for just 95. Opening bowler Price came back to wrap up the tail and finished with 4-23 off nine overs, while captain Hayden Cargo picked up 4-21 off seven with his leg-spin.
Melville lost Mike Allen early in their reply, but then Josh Lenssen (89) and Price (114no) combined for a huge stand of 166 for the second wicket.
Soon after, Melville lost 3-3 to be 194-5, but Oliver Henry (30) and Cargo (29no) contributed useful runs to see them finish the day 283-6 with a lead of 188.
Meanwhile, there was a dramatic finish to Saturday's Senior C final between Old Boys and Suburbs.
Suburbs were bowled out for 169, 4.4 overs shy of their allotted 35, before Old Boys replied with 169-9 off 35, the match ending in a tie and the clubs sharing the Claude Hamilton Cup.
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