The battle of the two Stawell-based teams did not disappoint on Saturday, with Swifts-Great Western claiming the honours from the first day of play.
The Clubbers batted first after winning the toss but could not capitalise on their home pitch.
Nic Baird was the best of Youth Club’s top order, scoring 49 before getting caught out.
They lost eight wickets for 103 runs and looked in trouble before number 10 batsman Clint Slorach joined co-captain Cam Kimber at the crease.
The pair managed to put on 67 runs to take the Clubbers to 170.
Kimber fell on 45 and Slorach did not last much longer, losing his wicket on 22 to see the Clubbers’ innings end with a score of 173 from 44 overs.
Kimber said he would have liked to see his team bat for longer.
“We weren’t able to bat in partnerships and lost regular wickets which hurt us,” he said.
“We would have liked to bat longer and make a bigger total than what we did.”
Matt Heffer took five wickets while Brady Miller took four to rip through Youth Club’s lineup.
Combine captain Sam Cocks said the bowling effort was the best he has seen this season.
“The boys bowled a lot tighter lines and made the batsmen play,” he said.
“We haven’t bowled too well in the last few games.”
The Combine were given 35 overs to bat on Saturday and they made the most of it.
Opening batsmen James Devery and Cocks chipped away at the target, putting on a 102-run stand before Cocks lost his wicket on 63.
Travis Nicholson (12) joined Devery (49) and both players survived until stumps.
Swifts-Great Western will resume its innings on 1-133, trailing Youth Club by 40 runs.
Damon Folkes has taken Youth Club’s solitary wicket.
Cocks said the day was nearly perfect for his side but an outright win is unlikely.
“I was really happy with how we performed,” he said.
“If things fall our way we might entertain the idea (of playing for an outright win). We have a few guys away so I would think it would be unlikely.
“We will try and give a few blokes a hit, but we have to make sure we get the six points first.”
Kimber said he knows his side is in a tough position.
“The game isn’t over yet but they are in a good spot,” he said.
“We weren’t able to take the early wickets we wanted.
“Credit goes to them for they way they batted for the rest of the day.”
The result of the match has big repercussions on the A Grade standings, with Youth Club currently undefeated at the top of the ladder.
Outright wins from Aradale and Tatyoon could see the Clubbers slip as far as third if they lose to the Combine next weekend.