Northcliffe fell to Forestry by five wickets when they hosted the reigning premiers on Sunday.
Chasing a win to keep in touch with the top four, Northcliffe won the toss against Forestry and chose to bat first.
Jason Treasure (57) promoted himself to open, and it proved to be a good move, as he and Wayne Smeathers (26) put on a brisk 91 run opening stand.
Treasure played some glorious cover drives and looked set for a big one, before he nicked one down leg off Kayne Aitken (3-42) that was caught by the keeper, young Brock Tempra.
When Smeathers fell soon after, also off Aitken, with a catch of the day by Corey Gibellini jumping up full stretch and taking a blinder to his left, Northcliffe needed to steady again.
Asa Lamb (58 not out) and Phil Thomas (39) provided that, adding 69 for the third wicket to put the home side back in a strong position at 3-163 with eight overs to go.
Dave Cronin (12) helped get the score to a total of 216, with a late push. Aitken and Gibellini (3-43) took all the wickets between them, while Brayden Gibellini (0-26) bowled economically in the middle overs.
Forestry’s chase didn’t get off to a great start, with the top order falling cheaply.
Daniel Bayman (2-19) had Mat Johnston (4) and Sam Vellios (17) out early. With Cronin (1-59) and Thomas (1-53) also removing Corey Gibellini (4) and Brock Tempra (8) respectively, Forestry’s chase was shaky at 4-41.
Aitken (16) came in and held up his end with captain Kallan Fall (107 not out) looking in ominous form.
The two put on 58 together and the home side were looking for something special to break the partnership and it came with the brilliant run out of Aiken by Aaron Brown.
Josiah Smith (84) then joined Fall to guide their team to a win. Forestry passed Northcliffe’s target in the 42nd over, winning by five wickets and scoring a total of 255.