Close, but no cigar…

THEIR skipper was buoyed by the performance and defending champions Robertson inches from conceding an outright victory.

Even so Hibo-Tully Park couldn’t prevent Robertson from inflicting a third consecutive defeat.

The men from Goulburn rallied after conceding a narrow first innings deficit and fell three wickets short of snatching a come-from-behind victory.

The hosts failed to secure an outright win, falling two runs short of collecting 20 competition points.

Form batsman Dane Stevenson was largely to thank for the visitors resurgence.

He made 80 in his team’s second innings of 144.

Robertson required 90 runs for an outright victory from 14 overs. They left nothing in the tank. The home side lost seven wickets en route to the finish and completed the match with 88 runs on the board – two shy of their target.

The fighting attitude of the troops was especially pleasing, stand-in skipper Brad Smith said.

“I was pretty happy with the way we turned it around,” he said.

“If we’d held more catches in the first innings, we probably win the game. That’s cricket I suppose.

“We had a mix up in the field. If that didn’t happen, they don’t make another 30 or 40 runs.”

It was clear the home side entered the game with more match practice under its belt.

Hibo-Tully Park struggled to make inroads with the willow on day one after a three week hiatus from the game.

Robertson, conversely, played two matches between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve. They claimed the NSW Country Plate with a victory over hosts Yass on December 28.

“While everyone was drinking beer and not even thinking about cricket, they were off winning the Country Plate,” Smith said.

“We’ve had a few players out and they’re full strength. I’m pretty happy with the way we’re going.”

Go-to man David Short again proved Hibo-Tully’s most dangerous bowler. Short bagged seven first innings wickets and two in the final stages of the match.

Top order batsman Jock Cartwright kept the visitors in the contest with a composed first innings score of 44.

Smith hopes his charges carry momentum gained from last weekend’s fixture into tomorrow’s clash with Bowral.

The Goulburnians host Cameron Belshaw’s men at Kenmore Oval on Saturday and Sunday. Cricketers will enjoy the weekend of January 26 and 27 on account of Australia Day.

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