Gloveman’s higher honours hurts Tamworth’s cup hopes

TAMWORTH will be without its inspirational skipper Tom Groth when it tackles Armidale in a crucial War Veterans Cup clash at Tamworth’s No 1 Oval on Sunday.

Groth flew out for Bundaberg yesterday and the CBA Australian Country Cricket Championships.

It is the South Tamworth wicketkeeper’s fifth national country tournament but his first in Queensland.

Tamworth are second on the WVC ladder five points behind WVC leaders Armidale and just one ahead of a Gunnedah side which plays Narrabri at Wolseley Park, Gunnedah on 

Sunday.

While that WVC has reached a tight position for the top three clubs Groth will be back for the final round clash on January 20 when Tamworth tackles Narrabri in Narrabri and Gunnedah and Armidale go at it in Gunnedah.

Groth’s attention has turned to his NSW Country side for a testing 12-day tournament in humid Bundaberg.

“It should be good,” Groth said this week.

“I’m looking forward to it again, especially playing with all the new blokes. There is a couple of pretty sharp bowlers.”

There are six “new faces” playing under captain Graeme Batty.

“It’s a whole new bowling attack,” Groth said.

“We’ve got three new quicks but Andrew Maher is back. We will base our attack around him. He can bowl long spells but he’s always taken 15 to 20 wickets in every carnival.”

He said Dubbo’s Pat Rosser will be the main spinner, the left arm orthodox bowler a key man.

“He’ll come into play more so in the T20 and One Dayers,” Groth said.

“He’s not a big wicket-taker but he bowls with great control. “And we do have a very good batting lineup, we bat all the way down. I’ll probably bat eight or nine. That’s pretty good, gives me a bit of a break from keeping.”

He’s also hoping his batting can fire up too.

“I haven’t scored that many runs in Tamworth or rep stuff but then I haven’t played that much either.

“I’ll just be making sure I do my job. It’s a long and tough carnival.”

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