Above: RSL opening batsman Zaac Brayshaw smashes a drive in Saturday’s round 12 first grade win against Crossroads Hotel. In a starring performance Brayshaw scored 91 runs, took a wicket and claimed a runout. Watching on, right, is Crossroads Hotel wicketkeeper Nick Tomlinson.

The RSL Cricket Club’s first XI took on Crossroads Hotel at Collins Park on Saturday in round 12 of the Narrabri District Cricket Association 2018-19 45-over first grade season.

It was a game that RSL needed to win to keep its minor premiership and automatic grand final qualification hopes alive.

The second-placed RSL knew that it needed to win the match after news had come through of the first-placed Western Imperial Razorbacks’ one-wicket win against Civeo next door on Hogan Oval.

That saw the Razorbacks move 10 points (more than one win) clear of RSL on the live ladder.

To move back within three points of the Razorbacks, RSL had to beat Crossroads.

The competition’s second-placed side got the job done but did it the hard way.

Last-placed Crossroads Hotel won the toss and batted first, making 7-196 from 45 overs.

At the 30-over drinks break Crossroads had reached 4-114

It piled on 82 runs for the loss of just three wickets in the final session of the innings.

RSL chased down the required total in the 43rd over of its innings.

The win was a Zaac Brayshaw-inspired one for RSL.

The club’s former first grade skipper opened the batting and remained in the middle for the entirety of the side’s successful chase.

He fell just short of what would have been a remarkable century, finishing unbeaten on 91 when RSL reached the required total.

The 91-run knock was a patient one as the opener struck just four fours and one six, his other 69 runs coming from ones, twos or threes.

In the first innings of the game Brayshaw also chipped in with a wicket, as well as what was one of the runouts of the 2018-19 first grade season.