IT'S been quite a theraputic weekend for the Coro Cougars.
On Friday night, Coro's torturous grand final hoodoo against arch-nemesis Diggers was shattered with a 20-run win in the Don "Captain" Coleman Twenty20 Shield decider.
Then the very next day, the Cougars stamped their authority against the reigning first-grade champions once more with a performance at Exies No.2 that has put them in the box seat for the minor premiership.
Diggers met Coro in three of the last four first-grade finals prior to Friday, with Diggers taking the win in each one to hold the upper hand in one of local cricket's great rivalries.
But after securing the first trophy on offer this season and following it up with a terrific showing on day one of the last two-dayer of the season skipper Hayden Pascoe said: "I suppose the monkey is off the back now."
"We were always confident we had the side to beat them in the final but to finally get one back on them is a good feeling."
Pascoe was hugely influential in both matches, starting with his match-defining knock of 51 not out in the T20 final before taking three crucial wickets just before stumps on Saturday.
With the one-day final against Exies coming up this Sunday and the double chance in the two-day competition all but locked in, Coro are now in with a real shot of capturing all three pieces of local cricketing silverware on offer this season.
But even though the Cougars are just five wickets away from sealing top spot on the ladder with first-innings points in their two-dayer against Diggers, Pascoe was not about to crow early.
“There’s still a big day of cricket to come next week,” he said.
“It’s definitely not over yet. We still need five wickets to take the win and there’s still some very capable batters at the crease or yet to come, so we can’t write them off.”
Opener Scott Smith (13 not out) and Mick Duncan (six not out) will be the men tasked with Diggers’ recovery efforts, and will resume with their side at 5-55 chasing 130.
Pascoe’s four overs late in the day saw him score the key wickets of top-scorer Pat Whittard (24), Diggers captain Nathan Smith (one) and Tom Webb, who was bowled for a golden duck.
“It was perfect bowling conditions – there was a nice big breeze and it was a bit overcast so the ball was moving in the air,” he said.
“And it was a green-top deck too, so the ball was cutting around a bit. It worked perfectly for me.”