HE might have come up just short of notching up a fourth half century in NSW Premier Cricket first grade but Bathurst's Callum Hotham played a big hand in Western Suburbs' crucial win over hosts Bankstown on Saturday.
Hotham hit 41 runs in Wests' six wicket win, which was earned with just eight balls to spare.
The Bathurst product combined with James Psarakis (67 not out) in an 82-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Hotham departed with the score at 226, eight runs short of Bankstown's total, but Psarakis was able to finish the job with his seventh boundary of the day.
The early days of Hotham's first grade Sydney career have been promising. He hit 66 on debut at the end of last season and has scored 75 and 65 against UNSW and Hawkesbury respectively this season.
Hotham has regularly batted at the top of the order for Wests but on Saturday he played his steadying role perfectly in the middle order.
"it was a tricky total to chase because the deck was quite wet," Hotham said.
"That was something new for me, batting down the order, and I had to get myself in and try my best not to leave the job up to the next person, and I was able to do that.
"I went out there to try and finish it by the 48th or 49th over, just to try and avoid that nervous last over, but I was caught trying to hit out the spinner."
Hotham said the season's been a mixed bag on a personal level and he would love to take the next step with his batting.
"I probably haven't converted as many of my scores as I would have liked," he said.
"If I want to get to that next level then I need to be pushing on to the 80s, 90s and past 100."
Meanwhile, Bathurst's Trent Copeland took two wickets for St George in their 98 run win over Mosamn.
Copeland also took two catches, including the match-winner, to go along with his figures of 2-34.
St George's quarter-final hopes for the one-day cup are still alive thanks to the win.
They're only outside the top eight due to a worse quotient than Parramatta and Bankstown.