PRIOR to Christmas Ben Cant got his first taste of Bathurst Orange Inter District Cricket batting when he hit nine runs at the end of the St Pat's Old Boys innings against Rugby Union.
Bushfire smoke unfortunately prevented Cant from going out the following weekend and putting on some quick runs.
But on Saturday against CYMS he picked up where he left off.
Cant rose to the occasion for the Saints as his innings high 84 runs lifted the Saints out of a precarious position of 4-67 when he arrived at the crease.
By the time Cant was dismissed - the last Saints batsman sent back to the pavilion - he had helped his side post a competitive total of 175.
CYMS may already sit at a dominant position of 3-97 in their reply but if it weren't for Cant's crucial knock the hosts would have been in even more trouble at SASC Scots Campus.
"It was really rewarding because I've worked hard for it, and the team needed someone to stick around and get some runs to help us post a decent total," Cant said.
"I didn't really feel nervous because I felt like the people I was batting with were up to the challenge and that they'd be able to stick around and get runs as well.
"It was a goal of mine to try and make my way into first grade this season and score some runs."
Cant's innings was certainly an entertaining one.
He was dropped on a couple of occasions but it never stopped him from dimming down his attacking intent.
His 84 runs came at a strike rate of 108 and included 10 four and a six.
After Bailey Brien (25), Adam Ryan (21) and Connor Slattery (18) all failed to capitalise on their starts St Pat's badly needed someone in the middle or lower order to step up.
Cant delivered in spades, although no-one else in the lower order was able to hang around long enough for the team to crack the 200 mark.
It's a tough road ahead for the Saints next Saturday as they try to stop an unbeaten Tom Belmonte (50 not out) from doing more damage.
Ben Parsons was the pick of the Saints bowlers with 2-11 from seven overs.
"If we can get a couple of early wickets and expose their tail we'll have a really good chance," Cant said.
"Keeping their top order under a decent total will give us that chance of bowling them out."
The Saints-CYMS game will be one to watch closely next Saturday, as the winner is highly likely to end the round sitting third on the ladder with just three games remaining.