NORTH Tamworth Redbacks slipped 13 points clear of South Tamworth on the Northern Inland Credit Union Tamworth first grade table when they ran down the reigning premiers for a four wicket win at Riverside 2 on Saturday.
Chasing South Tamworth’s 9-185 the Redbacks cruised to 6-187 in 36.4 overs reaching their target with 20 balls to spare after Kris Halloran (22) and Brendan Rixon (48) put on a 55-run third wicket partnership and then Rixon, who was making a guest appearance, and Dave Fisher (48) put on 64 for the fourth wicket to steer the Redbacks towards victory.
Young guns Leo Steyn (20no) and Hamish Batley (16no) then swooped in an unbroken run a ball seventh wicket partnership to guide North home.
“It was a pretty good chase,” said North skipper Michael Rixon.
“But our first 20 overs in the field was awful. We dropped Jimmie (Psarakis) when he was three and then Crowie (Josh) when he was 15 and maybe another four times after that.
“You’ve got to take your chances. If we do that again it will hurt us.”
Leo Steyn (4-32 off 8) and Adam Greetree (0-21 off 18) opened the bowling with Steyn bowling two spells to help restrict the South innings along with spinners Jason Stacpoole (3-42) and Michael Rixon (1-33) Jason Stacpoole.
Josh Crowe (55 off 65) and James Psarakis (63 off 65) were the only South batsmen to reach double figures and had a 47-run third wicket partnership.
Crowe hit six fours and two sixes and Psarakis three fours and two sixes.
South skipper, Tom Groth, was at a loss to explain how his side lost.
“We had plenty of runs,” he said.
“I don’t really know what went wrong. Maybe we should have got a bit more out of the new ball.
“A couple of big overs swung it around their way. Fuzzy (Dave Fisher) took 18 or 20 off one over and Brendan (Rixon) did bat well too, played himself in.”
South seemed to have Norths under control until Fisher joined Rixon and proceeded to smack 48 off just 33 balls.
He hit seven fours and two sixes including one glorious, effortless cover driver off Jake Everett.
Angus McNeil (0-28 off 7.4 overs) was best of the South bowlers, his last over going for 14 as Hamish Batley and Leo Steyn finished the game quickly.
James Psarakis (2-28 off 6) Sam McHugh (2-22), Josh Crowe (1-28) and Chris Skilton (1-28) all grabbed wickets, but in the end the Redbacks won comfortably.