THREE regional teams – Tamworth, Armidale and Glen Innes – contested Country Cup, Shield and Plate knockout matches yesterday and just one – Armidale – made it through to a finals playoff.
In Newcastle, Tamworth’s SCG Country Cup hopes were dealt a fatal blow by a Josh Trappel-inspired Hamilton Wickham, Trappel belting 153 off 107 balls in his side’s 6-318 and eventual 184-run win.
Lower Clarence, who knocked Walcha out of the Country Plate last year, earned a berth in a Country Plate semi-final in Yass on December 28 with an 86-run win away from home against Glen Innes (see Page 26 for more) in their Country Plate quarter-final in Glen Innes yesterday.
Armidale is left to fly the Northern Inland flag after it overcame Singleton at Armidale Sportsground in their Country Shield quarter-final yesterday. It earned the side a semi-final berth in Cowra on December 29.
Batting first, Armidale made 8-225, with Dean Moore (29), Andrew Brownlie (37) and Adam O’Sullivan (32) topscoring for the home side before dismissing the visiting Singleton side for 123. (Turn to Page 26 for more on the Armidale success).
In Newcastle, the below- strength Tamworth side found it tough from the start.
Team manager Len Holt was simple and direct in his summation.
“They hit the ball so hard down here.
“They hit it to the fence and we hit it to the fielder.”
Trappel’s big century included 14 fours and seven sixes.
“They smoked us,” Tamworth skipper Tom Groth said.
“We got hammered.
“It was a good toss to win and might have been a different story if we’d won it.
“But Josh did bat well. He hit the ball hard and hit a lot of boundaries.
“We did have a couple of good lb shouts against him early too but that’s the way it goes.”
While Hamwicks scored at more than a run a ball, Tamworth’s run chase never started.
Openers Michael Rixon (30) and Josh Crowe (18) put on 34 but took 11 overs to do so.
Kris Halloran (28) was next best at number three as Hamwick’s Cal Single took 6-30 from 5.2 overs to wipe out any thoughts of a middle order fightback.
Groth said while disappointed, the side still has plenty to play for.
“We’ve still got the War Veterans Cup,” he said.
“We have another War Vets Cup match this weekend.”
Tamworth plays Gunnedah in that fourth- round WVC match while Armidale tackles Narrabri at Narrabri’s Collins Park.