TEENAGE all-rounder Hamish Batley rescued his North Tamworth side from a massive hole on Saturday and buried West Tamworth at the same time.
The Redbacks remained unbeaten in the Tamworth first grade one day competition after winning by 27 runs at Scully Park and have Batley to thank for it.
North was in all sorts of strife at 4-9 and again at 6-19 before Batley and Mitch Holt came together for a 116-run partnership.
Batley took his time to get his eye in and then proceeded to bludgeon the West attack to all parts of the ground, and even into the Scully Park pool.
Off one Dan Cunningham over he almost did a Gary Sobers with five sixes.
Only the second ball let him down, but even it went for four to take the tally to 34 for the over.
Holt played the support act before he went for 39 while Batley departed near the end of the dig for 84 from 72 balls.
West skipper Tim Kensell and his opening partner Julian McGovern did all the early damage with the ball.
Kensell took 4-13 from eight overs and McGovern 2-13 from eight.
Matt Brady was the other wicket-taker with 2-11 at the death.
The total of 8-162 was far from a big score but it was something North could bowl at.
“Hamish and Mitch won that game for us,” North captain Michael Rixon said.
“Hamish was hitting them cleanly. They dug in and cashed in at the end.
“It was a hard wicket to bat on – both sides will agree with that. 160 was enough when it was crumbling.”
The West chase never got going and, even though it wasn’t 6-19 at any stage, the biggest partnership of the dig was only 21.
Matt Kent (25) and Mark Madden (23) were the only batsmen to crack the 20 mark and West was all out for 135.
The North bowling effort was a classic case of sharing the wickets, with Adam Greentree (2-24), Leo Steyn (2-26), Stuart Crougar (2-13) and Holt (2-14) all claiming two scalps each.
Batley (1-27) capped a good day with a wicket and two catches and Rixon (1-28) took the other wicket.
“Everyone chipped in,” Rixon said.
“We haven’t been beaten in the one dayers. We’ve got a couple of big weeks coming up. Hopefully we can go into Christmas with a couple of wins.”
West might look back and curse this game. It dropped Holt early in his dig and that might have been enough to finish off the Redbacks.
“That’s one that got away,” Kensell said.
“Full credit to him (Batley), he was striking them pretty cleanly at the end. That got them a good total.
“We had no partnerships with the bat and we took our foot off the gas with the ball and in the field.
“We could have got them for 60 or 70 but 160 cost us the game in the end but full credit to them.
“They bowled and fielded well and that’s why they’re leading the comp.”