An outstanding batting performance from two of its stars has put Finley in a position to win its first Murray Vallley Cricket Association premier division match in two years.
The Cats last tasted victory on January 16, 2016 against Cobram-Yarroweyah United — and it is against the same opponent in which the outfit finds itself in a strong position once more.
After losing the toss and being sent in to bat, Finley started in the worst possible way by losing opener Joel Bunce without troubling the scorers.
The early wicket brought Daniel McHugh to the crease, joining opener Daniel Hibberd, and the pair set about breaking records on its way to engineering twin tons.
Hibberd (121 not out) and McHugh (107) reached triple figures for Finley for the first time as they dominated proceedings.
When McHugh was finally dismissed the duo had put together a season-high (for any wicket) 191-run partnership — missing the division record for the second-wicket by 24 runs.
To rub salt into United’s wounds, the Cats piled on quick runs before declaring at 2-277 to send the away side in to bat as stumps loomed.
The ploy worked a treat, with the combine limping to 1-4 from eight overs and facing a mountain to climb when play resumes this weekend to avoid defeat.
Other matches in the round also followed a high-scoring trend.
Deniliquin found its way to 9-257 from its 80 overs against Cobram thanks to Andrew Hogan’s 95.
Adam Decicco did a power of work for the Tigers, sending down 27 overs for figures of 4-83.
Luke Carter (75 not out) and Liam Evans (73) steered Nathalia to 7-275 against Katamatite, with Tom Rutter (3-68 from 30 overs) and Tom Pendlebury (3-70) the pick of the bowlers for the away side.
Barooga’s Riyaad Henry (5-57) ripped through Waaia’s batting line-up to help dismiss the Bombers for 164.
The Hawks will resume next week on 0-11.