Victories in the WACA 1st grade have been few and far between for Midland-Guildford in recent seasons but they had one to savour last Saturday - their first for the season.
In the one-day round 9 fixture at Lilac Hill, bottom team Midland knocked off 2010 improvers Mt Lawley, achieving victory on the first ball of the final over.
It was an even sweeter win after the letdown of the previous round when they beat South Perth on first innings but lost outright in the two-day fixture. And it lifted them from the bottom of the ladder.
Midland have lacked the superstars of past years, such as when Tom Moody, Jo Angel, Brendon Julian, Tim Zoehrer, Simon Katich and Chris Mack played in the 1990s, and Alec Stewart and Bruce Yardley before that, but they seem to be building again, despite some heavy losses this season.
After being dismissed for under 160 twice against South Perth, chasing Mt Lawley's 226 would have seemed a massive task. But contributions from all batsmen, particularly opener Adam Tropiano (45) and No.4 Tom Casey (78no), gave Midland victory with six wickets down.
It was a breakthrough innings for Casey, who has had plenty of starts this season but had failed to reach 50, while Tropiano now has four 40s to his credit.
WA Futures League opening bowler Zac Howard has also risen in stature this season, taking 22 wickets, including 2-26 off 9.5 overs on Saturday.
Swan Districts teenage football sensation Stephen Coniglio made an impact in his 1st grade debut, taking 3-35 off 10 overs, and making 13 batting at No.3.
Mt Lawley captain Shane Rakich continued his outstanding season with 54 and his run out was a turning point. After being 1-137, Mt Lawley lost 6-26 to put Midland back into the game. Rakich now has 586 runs at 73.25.
Scores, round 9
Mt Lawley 226 (Kendrew 56, Walshaw 32, Rakich 54, Goodall 34, Howard 2-26, Coniglio 3-35) lost to Midland-Guildford 6-229 (Tropiano 45, Casey 78no, Walshaw 2-38, Verco 3-46) at Lilac Hill.
Willetton 187 (Bond 35, Johnston 31, O'Connell 46, Molinari 3-39, Mangan 5-31) d University 171 (Mangan 43, Molinari 52, Johnston 3-18) at James Oval.
Claremont-Nedlands 8-191 (Turkich 47, Clements 33, Penter 3-40) lost to South Perth 4-195 (Brown 59, Hood 50, Downie 35no, Paris 2-38) at Cresswell Park.
Fremantle 178 (Kennedy 57no, Nicholas 3-29) lost to Perth 3-181 (Webster 60, Walters 83) at Fletcher Park.
Gosnells 2-236 (Pomersbach 76no, Short 110no, Loveridge 2-37) lost to Rockingham-Mandurah 6-237 (Sutton 72, Scott 78, Caddy 3-31) at Lark Hill.
Bayswater-Morley 9-207 (Godleman 65, Mitchell 3-40, Hopes 3-37) d Scarborough 136 (Johnson 48, Thistle 3-35, Waterhouse 3-29, Daniells 3-23) at Abbett Park.
Subiaco-Floreat 257 (Murphy 61, Glew 63, Bolton 32, Boyland 2-45, D'Cruz 3-41) d Joondalup 189 (Mason 40, Tomlinson 50, Sansalone 3-43, Monteleone 3-41) at Floreat Oval.
Wanneroo 194 (Fairchild 45, Charles 72, Turner 3-27, Porter 3-31, James 3-48) d Melville 168 (Porter 48, Quelch 2-32, Dixon 2-26, Miller 2-21, Morton 3-53) at Kingsway.
South Perth 85.83
Mt Lawley 77.85
A 55-year-old main was refused bail and will appear in Kalgoorlie court tomorrow.