Nagambie is hanging on for dear life in its round 12 Haisman Shield clash against Old Students after a dramatic day of cricket at Congupna.
The Students rattled through the Lakers’ struggling batting line-up for 99, but by stumps found themselves in a spot of bother at 5-54 after the Nagambie bowlers stepped up to the plate.
But the day belonged to Students bowler Liam Callegari, who ripped through Nagambie to finish with outstanding figures of 7-31, the first five-wicket haul of his Haisman Shield career.
After winning the toss and bowling, the Students would have been thrilled with that decision after Tim Looby trapped Matt Martin leg-before to make it 1-1.
James Auld and Luke Nolan steadied things before the Callegari chaos began, the star man picking up Auld and Zac Winter-Irving to leave the Lakers 3-29.
Joined by brother Mark, the Nolans put on 37, but Nick Breslin came up with a game-changing delivery, the Laker captain given LBW for 25 with his side falling to 4-66.
What proceeded was a genuine dismantling, the Students finding the remaining six wickets for just 33 runs in a terrorising display.
Only Luke Nolan was able to survive the serious test, finishing on 41 not out after saving his side from further blushes.
Batting, the Students had an early setback with Breslin caught for five, but Brendan Crouch (28) and Felix Odell (six) pushed the side forward to 1-31.
Odell was caught off Brayden Biggs’ bowling, but the real damage came late in the piece, when the Lakers found 3-8 to have their opponent 5-49.
Looby (two not out) and Luke McPhillamy (two not out) survived until stumps, with the Students needing a further 46 runs this weekend to secure victory.
Nathan Fothergill (2-17) and Biggs (2-10) were the danger men for Nagambie, while Mark Nolan found the other wicket and will look to have an impact on Saturday.
Securing the fightback win could be vital, with the Lakers still at risk of dropping out of the top six if they do not win at least one of their last two matches.
● The C-grade contest between Nagambie and Numurkah is evenly poised heading into day two, with Numurkah 2-68 in reply to the Lakers’ total of 162.
In the must-win game for Nagambie, batsman Harley Taylor-Lloyd stood tall with a stellar 55-run knock as the Blues’ bowlers caused headaches for the home side.
Numurkah's Sam Lewis finished with impressive figures of 5-48, while fellow opening bowler Hamish Lambert collected 3-24.
The Blues’ Jason Verhoeven (29 not out) and Daniel Hughes (16 not out) will resume at the crease this Saturday needing a further 95 runs for victory.