Big-game temperament a plus for Tamworth

TAMWORTH has a habit of performing in the big games and will need to continue that tomorrow as it strives for another War Veterans Cup.

Gunnedah upset the defending champions last time the two sides met and will be tough to overcome.

But it will be a very different-looking Tamworth side they face at No.1 Oval.

There was no Tom Groth, Michael Rixon, Nick Pearson, Adam Jones or Angus McNeill that day.

Still, with the players they had they under-performed.

“We didn’t value our wickets enough, threw away a lot of wickets,” skipper that day Simon Norvill said.

“We didn’t bat in partnerships,” he said.

Adam Lole was the only batsman to really put any sting in Tamworth’s innings and without his 80 they probably wouldn’t have got close to the 199 they ended up with.

It wasn’t enough in the end and they’ll be looking for a lot more than that tomorrow.

They’ve certainly got it in them, with the likes of Rixon, Pearson,  Lole and Norvill all in good touch.

Lole made 69 for North Tamworth last week, while Pearson is unbeaten on 43 heading into the second day of Bective’s clash with City United and Richie O’Halloran hit a better than run a ball unbeaten 88 to help lift the Tamworth Colts into the MA Connolly Cup final.

“It’s good going into a big game like this, with most of the top order in form and scoring runs,” Norvill said.

Most of the top order were involved in last year’s final when Norvill’s Tamworth Blue side won that, defeating Rixon, Lole and Groth’s Tamworth Gold side.

Not so the bowlers. Few of them played in it.

It is a young attack, with the main strike bowlers 21 or under.

“It’s a young bowling attack compared to what we’ve had in the past but they’ve shown what they’ve got when they’ve got their chance,” Norvill said.

Angus McNeill will lead the attack and the inclusion of the likes of Leo Steyn and Hamish Batley lengthens Tamworth’s batting order.

Both regularly contribute to the runs for North Tamworth.

“It’s always been a strength, our depth in the batting,” Norvill said.

He noted Gunnedah is similar. It has a lot a lot of allrounders in its side.

Among the most prominent is Farran Lamb.

“Farran always plays well against us,” Norvill said.

“It was him and James Mack who got them the win last time.”

“Ben (Middlebrook) is always a danger and having Andy Mack back strengthens their middle order.”

He said if they can take their main players out early with bat and ball that will go a long way to winning the game.

The ledger is square between the two sides, with Tamworth getting up by 10 wickets in their first encounter and Gunnedah their most recent.

Both times it’s been the visiting side that has got the points, something Tamworth will be out to change tomorrow.

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