Brad Jenkinson produced a match-winning cameo as Albion claimed first innings points on the first day of their two-dayer against Kookaburras at Kitchener Park.
In the process of relocating to Newcastle after receiving a work transfer, the allrounder saved the day with the bat, his 90 guiding Albion to a defendable 139. It was lean pickings aside from Jenkinson, and as stand-in co-captain James Mack, he and Jenkinson shared the duties, admitted, it might have been a different story if not for his innings.
"He was a good addition to the side," Mack said.
Mack also chipped in with a valuable 25, he and Jenkinson putting on 60 for the second wicket to get them out of a bit of a sticky situation after they had lost Zach Martin first ball of the innings.
It could have been a catastrophic blow with Albion "a bit light on" in the batting department.
"Brad Cady (their regular skipper) and Damo (Damien Baldwin) were both away. They're two of our top order batsmen and had been in pretty decent form," Mack said.
He said he and Jenkinson didn't put any pressure on themselves.
"We were just having fun really," he said.
"We didn't get too bogged down in what the state of the game was."
And while none of the other batsmen made double figures, they did play an important role.
"The other guys whilst they didn't score a lot of runs they were still out there and made sure we didn't lose wickets in clumps," Mack said.
Robert Briggs was a prime example. He only made two but shared in a 37 fifth wicket stand with Jenkinson.
Braithen Winsor was the main destroyer for Kookaburras claiming 5-27 while Lachlan Straney and Cameron Milne each picked up two.
Mack thought 139 was a pretty good total considering, but thought Kookaburras were a good chance of getting the runs with the batting line-up they had.
Albion didn't do themselves any favours with the ball early.
"We didn't bowl great at the start. Our first five or six overs were a bit rusty," Mack said.
"But after that things tightened up."
Gary Briggs was the pick of the bowlers early and provided the first breakthrough trapping Paddy Paul in front for six. Ash White then picked up the big wicket of Cameron Milne.
Tim Kelly followed him the next over leaving Kookaburras 3-23.
Captain Kris Lodge (12) tried to rally his side but when he became Brigg's third scalp it became a real uphill battle. Matt Agostino (13) and Shayne Riordan (14) showed some brief resistance but Mark Ewington's dismissal of Agostino was the beginning of the end for Kookaburras as they were bowled out for 88.
Ewington was again impressive, finishing with 4-7.
"He bowled great line and length," Mack said.
Mack convinced his Gunnedah Bulldogs AFL team-mate to have a crack over a few rounds of golf, and said he has been a very handy addition his four-for following three the previous week.
"He's from Tasmania and he hasn't played since he left down there - something like 25/26 years," he said.
"He nearly played last year but he couldn't fully commit."
"He's been one of the better pick-ups I've seen as someone out of the blue."