TAMWORTH faces two relatively unfamiliar opponents for Coal Board Cup and 2TMO Cup success in Scone on Sunday.
The War Veterans Cup-winning First XI will play Singleton in the Coal Board Cup final, while the Colts will do battle with Newcastle City & Suburban Colts for the 2TMO silverware.
It’s been a while since Tamworth held that trophy.
At least probably five or six seasons, so Tamworth District Cricket Association chairman of selectors Don Lewington was thinking.
Tamworth’s made the final a few times since but hasn’t been successful, although it’s been washed out a couple of times. Such was the case last season.
Newcastle C&S defeated Cessnock in the RA Dransfield Trophy final to reach the 2TMO final.
They dismissed Cessnock for 109 after Michael Rippon (5-20) ripped through them and then passed the runs five wickets down.
It was Newcastle C&S’s sixth win in the competition and first since 1992.
They won three straight leading up to that and will be a tough proposition.
“They play a different brand of cricket,” Lewington said.
“A lot of their cricket is shortened form.
“They’ll be fairly aggressive.”
He said it would be an “interesting” game for the young Tamworth side.
The last couple of games especially, their bowling has been what’s got them through.
“Hopefully they’ll put their hand up to get some runs,” Lewington said.
“It’s (batting) been the achilles of the side lately.
“Now they’ve lost Matty Everett it’s up to a few of the younger guys to step up.”
Everett has been elevated to the firsts to keep in the absence of keeper Tom Groth.
Tamworth heads into Sunday as the reigning Coal Board Cup champions and has regularly made the trip down to Scone.
It’s been a few seasons since Singleton played in the final though.
They last won the John Bull Shield in 2002.
This year they beat Maitland to win it after fighting back with both bat and ball.
After being sent in, Singleton was 3-3 at one stage but recovered to make 153 in 38.1 overs thanks largely to Brendan Nichols’ 68.
Maitland was then, in reply, looking in pretty good shape at 2-50 but fell away from there and was all out for 129.
Dave Howard, with 4-20, was Singleton’s chief wicket-taker.
Tamworth doesn’t know a lot about them.
“I don’t think we’ve ever come across them,” Lewington said.
Another Northern Inland side has. Armidale played Singleton in the Country Shield earlier in the season.
Armidale got the victory then, posting 8-225 and then bowling Singleton out for 123.
Tamworth will also have a third side in Armidale for the KFC Northern Inland Twenty20 tournament.
There have been changes to the T20 team and the Colts team for Scone. See page 25 for revised teams.