BECTIVE East put up a fight but was in too big a hole from the first day to prevent South Tamworth taking first innings points in their top of the table Northern Inland Credit Union Tamworth competition clash on Saturday.
South was well in control of the match after the first day, with Bective 4-27 in pursuit of its 312.
But led by skipper Nick Pearson and Nick Foster, Bective dug in and looked like giving the chase a good shake before Sam McHugh and Jamie Hammond turned the game back in South’s favour.
First they combined to dismiss Foster and get the breakthrough South was after, with he and Pearson putting on 126 for the fifth wicket.
Hammond then, after being the main reason the Bulls were in the predicament they were with his first-day hat-trick, picked up dangerman Adam Jones just as he was starting to get going.
Bective’s innings deteriorated from there. The rest could only add another 33 as Hammond rolled through them.
He finished with 7-46 including the prized scalp of Pearson for 79 as the Bulls replied with 219.
It was his second half-century in three innings after making 52 for Central North against Newcastle last Sunday and he and Foster made it a hard toil for South for a while.
“They batted really well,” South skipper Richard Rowlings said.
“There wasn’t much happening in the wicket.”
“We were up against it for a long time and just had to stick with it.”
At one stage they only had nine on the field after Col Smyth was called away to work and young gun spinner Riley Ayre injured – possibly breaking his finger going for a caught and bowled.
They did miss a couple of chances but they were hard catches or run outs.
“We bowled well in patches, but we bowled too many loose balls at times,” Rowlings said.
He said they knew it wasn’t going to be easy, even being in the strong position they were.
“We still had to work hard. They still had quality batsmen to come,” he said.
“Jamie bowled really well.
“To get 7-for on a wicket like that....”
“He got us a couple before tea and finished up after tea.”
McHugh also again impressed with 2-37.
While they didn’t get the win, there were some positive signs for the Bulls.
“It was good. We really applied ourselves,” Pearson said.
“It was always going to be tough coming back from 4-27.”
“But Nick Foster batted well for the fourth week in a row.
“It’s his fourth 50 in a row.”
He too has struck a bit of form.
The only disappointing aspect was the way they crumbled at the end.
Pearson said it was a culmination of poor shot selection and good bowling.