PENRITH left its best until last at Armidale .
That was how coach Ian Clarke put it after they beat Hunter Valley to claim the association’s second Walter Taylor Shield silverware.
They stood up with bat and ball, making 6-207 and then rolling Hunter for 77.
Openers Paul Chester and Chris De Krester set the tone, putting on 100 plus for the first wicket.
“That’s the best we had all week,” Clarke said.
It mirrored what was their best batting effort for the carnival.
The wicket had a bit to do with that, he said, although they had been getting better with each game.
“We played better yesterday (Wednesday) and then again today,” he said.
Chester was their top-scorer and fell just two runs shy of a half-century, while De Krester ended up with 27.
Zac Rizzo also chipped in with 38.
Hunter was then never really in the run chase, not that any side has been able to really get on top of the Penrith attack throughout the week.
“We’ve been good with the ball all week. That’s probably been our forte,” Clarke said.
“We’ve got better each game.”
Brad Burns and Daniel Howie both nabbed three wickets to lead the way.
Player of the carnival Kyal Cox was the lone ranger for Hunter, scoring 43 of its 77 runs.
Tamworth won the local derby third-fourth place play-off, defeating Armidale by six wickets.
After dismissing the home side for 97, Tamworth reached the runs four wickets down, with Jack Richards finishing unbeaten on 35 and Matt Hughes hitting 32.
Earlier, Lachlan Cooke had spun his way through the Armidale batsmen, taking 5-32.
Lochlan Elks was once again the leading light with the bat for the home side but could only manage 22 this time.
Ballina defended successfully against Lismore to finish fifth.
After being sent in, it reached 6-195 off its 40 overs.
Chris Watts was the rock of the innings and was unbeaten on 92 while Zac Iliffe made 30.
Jeremy Perkins was the pick of the Lismore bowlers with
Lismore was then all out for 161 in the 38th over, with Rhett James (37) and Brian Coldwell (33) the main contributors.
Isaac Goldsworthy and Will Barlow shared the top wickets for Ballina with two apiece.
In the seventh-eighth play-off, West Pennant Hills-Cherrybrook got up by four wickets over the Armidale District Cricket Association (ADCA) Invitational XI.
The ADCA side batted first and, from its 40 overs, made 9-113.
Dylan Yeomans made almost half of those, top-scoring with 52.
Stanton Tam continued his good form, snaring 4-13 and then leading West Pennant Hills-Cherrybrook to victory with 34no.
Mathew Philp also made 23 as they passed the runs in the 36th over.
Phoebe Stace, Tim Stace and Jack Carey each picked up a wicket for the invitational side.