MICHAEL Rixon carried his bat to lift North Tamworth to a bonus point run NICU Tamworth first grade competition win over Bective-East at No.1 Oval on Saturday.
The Redbacks skipper led from the front, scoring an unbeaten ton to underpin what proved to be an unreachable 3-225.
Kris Halloran played his partner in crime, with the pair adding 166 for the second wicket after Greg Tighe had Adam Lole caught in just the fourth over.
“One of our top four had to bat through and get 70 plus,” Rixon said.
As it was, both he and Halloran did, with Halloran making 75.
With wickets in hand, they were able to up hit out in the latter overs and did so pretty well, taking 67 off the last eight overs.
They showed their intentions almost immediately after the resumption from drinks, with Halloran smashing two sixes in the first two overs including one monster off Greg Kellett that landed on the pavement in Bicentennial Park.
He was out the last ball of the over but Rixon continued on, bringing up his century in the second last over with a quick single that on a mis-field turned into two.
He finished up unconquered on 112 and was pretty satisfied with proceedings both personally and from a team perspective.
“We were pretty good batting in partnerships and running between the wickets on a hot day,” he said.
They turned a lot of ones into twos, although Bective’s fielding left a bit to be desired at least as far as skipper Nick Pearson was concerned.
“I thought we were absolutely terrible in the field,” Pearson said.
“Our ground fielding was absolutely atrocious.”
He thought they probably leaked 20 or 30 runs. Then there was the wides.
The count was 19 for 27 sundries all up.
Nick Hird was the pick of the bowlers although he didn’t pick up a wicket.
He finished with 0-25 from his eight.
Bective then had an early hiccup in the run chase, losing Dean Hoy in the first over but Pearson and Paul Lawrence quickly got them back on track and at 1-54 after eight they were on top.
“We were looking good at the start,” Pearson said.
“With Pauly and myself the plan was to take to Doomer (Adam Greentree) a bit, and we took it to him a bit.”
Lawrence’s dismissal for a handy 21 an over later didn’t slow them up any, with Pearson and Adam Jones joining forces and taking the Bulls to 2-84 at the first drinks break.
But things went downhill from there.
Jones was caught behind the second ball after drinks playing at a high one.
It was a bit of a tough call, Pearson said, and a “massive turning point”.
“The game was in the balance at that stage,” he said.
The second turning point was when Pearson spooned the ball up to Kyle Wells after just reaching his 50.
He and Matt Everett had started to build a good partnership.
“I played a terrible shot and that sort of changed things again,” he said.
North didn’t take too long from there to wrap things up, with only Everett (25no) showing any resistance as the Bulls were bowled out for 145.
Rixon was pretty happy with the bowling effort and the way they pegged the Bulls back.
“Our second session in the field was good. Leo’s (Steyn) second spell changed the game,” he said.
“He got two big wickets.”
Steyn was responsible for the downfall of both Pearson and Jones and finished with 3-32.
Zanda Smith (3-3) also bowled well, coming on and cleaning up the tail.