Exies and Coro look set to take the battle for second spot into the final weeks of the season with the sides locked on 53 points with three rounds remaining.
The Cougars took on Coleambally at Griffith Showgrounds and after the Nomads won the toss and elected to bat were able to make an early impression with the ball as Ben Wood (1/15) picked up the wicket of James Clarke (2).
Thomas Munn (10), Nicholas Graham (11) and Danny Graham (15) were the only Coleambally batsmen to break double digits as Rhys Carnell (2/4), and Jack Hutchinson (2/1) did the most damage with the ball as the Nomads reached the end of their 35 overs on 8/74.
It was a tricky start for the Coro side as they lost Kyle Bennett (0) and Wood (0) to the bowling of Munn (2/11), but that was the last of the successes for the Nomads. Hutchinson (38*) and Charlie Jones (24*) were able to guide their side to a comfortable eight-wicket win with 15.5 overs remaining.
Meanwhile across on the second ground Exies were able to pick up the points against Leagues. After winning the toss and electing to bat the Exies side were able to make a strong start with Mason Ashcroft and Jacob Testoni putting on 41 for the first wicket.
Fergus Shelton (4/16) tried to swing the momentum back in the Panthers favour as he dismissed Testoni (12) and Nate McGregor (0) in the space of three deliveries, but the middle order from Exies ensured their side wouldn’t fall into trouble. Ashcroft (15), Hayden Forner (12) and Kokulan Kandeepan (11) got Exies moving in the right direction before Sam Payne (2/27) struck to remove Forner and Kandeepan.
Exies lost two quick wickets as Patrick Payne (1/12) picked up the wicket of Mason Salvestro (0) while Enzo Nolan (1/17) dismissed Arjun Kamboj (0) to see Exies sitting on 7/95. Ryan Bock (32) and Jaylan Gatto (32*) led a fightback for Exies as the pair put on 68 runs to see Exies reach 165.
It was a tough start for Leagues as they look to chase down the big total with Enzo Nolan (2) falling to Gatto (1/13) while Bock (2/1) picked up Oscar Nolan (1) and Sam Payne (0) in consecutive deliveries to see the Panthers sitting on 3/4 after 3.3 overs.
Patrick Payne (37) was the one Leagues batsman to get a start and was able to on 42 runs with Ryan Minato (5) however the bowling of Nate McGregor (3/9) broke through the lower order to see Leagues eventually bowled out for 79 to hand Exies an 86-run victory.
The third graders will return to the shortest format on Friday with Leagues taking on Hanwood and Exies play Coro in a game which could decide second place.