NORTH Tamworth Redbacks issued a major cricketing alert to their Tamworth rivals with Sunday night’s crushing seven wicket win over reigning premiers South Tamworth in their Tamworth One Day Final under the No 1 Oval lights.
The Redbacks skittled South for 151 and then reached 3-153 with more than 13 overs remaining.
At the helm was skipper Michael Rixon, who claimed 1-18 off his 10 overs of off-spin and then struck an 87-ball 63.
Rixon and Adam Lole (15) put on an opening stand of 91 in the run chase, with Kris Halloran (37no) and Dave Fisher (17no) steering the side to victory.
Col Smyth (2-16) had given his side a sniff of victory when he claimed the wickets of Lole and Don Lewington in the same over of his first spell but that was all South could manage as North posted a comprehensive win.
Rixon thought his side could only improve too, especially in the bowling department.
“Yeah, we can improve a bit on our bowling,” Rixon said.
“But we caught well. Mitch (Holt), Joey (Holt) and Fuzzy (Dave Fisher) took some great catches.
“Mitch’s catch to get rid of Jimmie Psarakis changed the game and Fuzz’s catch to get rid of Chris Skilton was pretty handy too.”
While he claimed 2-18, he thought Hamish Batley (1-31) bowled one of his best spells of the season and Jason Stacpoole (4-7) did well to clean up the tail.
Rixon earned the man of the match award from the umpires when he hit eight fours in his half century to post a 91-run opening stand with Lole (15).
That set the side on its way to an easy win despite a few hiccups.
Halloran then blasted five boundaries in his unbeaten 37 and Fisher a couple to cruise to victory.
“We never scored enough runs,” said South skipper Tom Groth, who finished unbeaten on 49.
He ran out of partners, with only opener Josh Crowe (47) and Richard Rowlings (11) making double figures.
“Every time we looked like building a partnership we’d lose a wicket,” Groth said.
“I thought maybe 180 was a good score tonight but we finished 30 runs short of that.
“Then Ricko and Lolly put on 91. That made it hard to defend.
“Col did give us a sniff but we couldn’t find another wicket.
“Krisso (Halloran) is just hitting the ball so well.”
Tamworth Colts will host Inverell in an MA Connolly Cup semi final at No 1 Oval on Sunday after their 16-run win over Glen Innes at Tamworth on Sunday.
Glen Innes remains in the Connolly Cup hunt but paid dearly for the loss.
It now heads to Wee Waa on Sunday to tackle Pilliga in the other semi-final.
NORTHERN CONFERENCE: Pilliga 20 (2.14 nett run rate), Narrabri 14 (-3.48), Moree 9.
SOUTHERN CONFERENCE: Tamworth 20 (2.20), Quirindi 13, Gunnedah 0.
EASTERN CONFERENCE: Glen Innes 15, Inverell (1.24), Dumaresq 5.
SEMI FINALS (Sunday, February 10): Tamworth Colts v Inverell (No 1 Oval, Tamworth), Pilliga v Glen Innes (Wee Waa).