TAMWORTH’S push for a home MA Connolly Cup semi-final could be affected by another finals battle.
It’s been a puzzle for selectors coming up with a side for Sunday’s final-round match-up with Glen Innes, with the Tamworth one-day final being played the same day.
Complicating matters further is that who’ll be involved in the one-day final won’t be decided until Saturday.
North Tamworth will be one side. The Redbacks carry an 18-point buffer into Saturday’s final one-dayer.
But they could face any one of South Tamworth, Bective-East or Old Boys.
There’s only two points between the three heading in.
South Tamworth (34) has a slight advantage and, if it beats Bective on Saturday, will be in.
It’s not as simple though for Bective.
The Bulls are equal on 32 with Old Boys and need not only to win but Old Boys to lose to Wests, although they could still sneak in on run-rate, as Old Boys can.
Tamworth selectors subsequently haven’t named players from the four sides for Sunday, aside from Layne Berry and the Everett boys.
Jake and Matt have been bracketed as 12th man, and whoever’s side misses out will play.
“We’ve picked a team of predominantly players from West and City,” selector Donny Lewington said.
“They can’t make it (the one-day final).”
If there’s any pull outs they’ll replace them depending on what happens on Saturday.
It’s not ideal scheduling but there isn’t really another spare weekend to play the one-day final.
Next Sunday is the Connolly Cup semi-finals and there’s representative fixtures the following three weekends.
Then they’re into finals.
“We could either have first past the post or have a final,” Lewington said.
“The clubs wanted the final.”
He said it would give the opportunity for players perhaps on the fringe to push for a spot in the team for the semi-finals.
It is still a pretty handy side too, with the likes of Richie O’Halloran and Ben Chew to lead the batting and Ben Semmler and Deklan Baker spearheading the attack.
“It’s a quality side and should they play anywhere near their best they should be able to beat Glen Innes,” Lewington said.
Tamworth can’t miss out on the four.
Regardless of what happens, it will top the Southern conference.
It’s just a matter of where the side finishes overall.
That could be first, second or third, depending on other results and what happens between them and Glen.
Both are on 14 points heading in, along with Inverell.
Inverell though has the bye and can’t add to its points. Tamworth and Glen will at least go to 15.
The other clash sees Pilliga heading up to Moree.
Pilliga is in the box seat on 19 points and is assured of a home semi-final.
TAMWORTH: Richie O’Halloran (capt), Ben Chew, Daniel Cunningham, Scott deWeymarn, Deklan Baker, Adam Pearson, Ted Alderton, Ben Semmler, Simon Toyer, Matt Kent, Layne Berry. 12th man - Matt Everett/Jake Everett. Any players unavailable contact Donny Lewington on 0437 612222.