It's a toss up between what catches the eye first - Napier Technical Old Boys losing their second limited-overs premier men's club match this summer or Willem Ludick appearing on Cornwall's scoreboard at first drop.
Either way, the Innovative Electrical-sponsored NTOB lost by nine runs to Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall in round nine of the MJF Shrimpton Memorial Cup 50-over match in the Property Brokers Hawke's Bay Cricket Association competition on Saturday.
Notably, Ludick, who represents Nelson, scored a crisp run-a-ball 126, including 17 boundaries and three sixes, to help the visitors post a handsome 287-5 at Nelson Park, Napier.
Cornwall's Irish import allrounder, Graeme McCarter, enhanced the third-wicket party with an unbeaten 105 from 125 balls, including 11 fours and three sixes, to ensure Jacob Smith's decision to bat first was justified despite the captain's duck.
In reply, the Texans came agonisingly shy when they were skittled for 278 although the prudent will ask how does the remaining eight balls fit into the scheme of things with nine runs required to win.
What the heck, even a draw would have soothe some pain at a time when NTOB need to keep that winning feeling. For the record, The Station Napier Old Boys' Marist inflicted the first defeat on NTOB, by 47 runs, on February 23.
Player/coach Jesse Ryder, at No 8, top scored with 56 runs while opener Matt Edmondson and No 6 Todd Watson added 46 runs each.
Second-change merchant Rohan Fendall (4-69), opener Liam Dudding (2-26) and first-change Bryce Green (2-46) were the pick of Cornwall bowlers.
Maybe the loss is a timely one for NTOB before they jet off to Auckland to defend their crown as the country's best premier men's club although they retain their top-rung perch in the Bay competition with a 19-point lead over Cornwall.
In other matches, Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay thumped You Travel Taradale CC by five wickets despite Dean Foxcroft, fellow South African Ludick's good mate, returning from the CD Stags' fold for the latter at Forest Gate Domain, Ongonga.
At Anderson Park, Hastings, Reynard Health Supplies Havelock North CC overwhelmed NOBM by 192 runs.
At Forest Gate Domain, Ongaonga: You Travel Taradale CC 115 all out in 42.5 overs
(Luke Wright 41 runs, Angus McKnight 21no; Anuerin Norman 3-24, Hamish Lewis 3-33) lost to
Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay CC 117-5 in 27.3 overs
(Angus Schaw 22; Matt Quinn 2-26, Jeremy Stoynaoff 2-25) by 5 wkts.
At Anderson Park, Hastings: Reynard Health Supplies Havelock North CC 286-9 in 45 overs (Bradley Schmulian 65, Will Clark 68; Harry Godhke 3-47, Sunil Kumar 2-48, Mahi Ghakal 2-46) bt The Station Napier Old Boys' Marist CC 94 all out in 24 overs (Nihal Shilar 22; Peter Marffy 2-23, Jared Priest 2-7, Rhythm Sharma 2-25) by 192 runs.
At Nelson Park, Napier: Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall CC 287-6 in 50 overs (Willem Ludick 126, Graeme Carter 105no; Liam Rukuwai 2-55) bt Innovative Electrical Napier Technical Old Boys 278 all out in 48.4 overs (Jesse Ryder 56, Matt Edmondson 46, Todd Watson 46; Liam Dudding 2-26, Bryce Green 2-46, Rohan Fendall 4-69) by nine runs.
Standings: NTOB 63pts, CHB 53, Cornwall 42, Taradale 34, Havelock North 31, NOBM 13.