ANGUS McNeill bowled South Tamworth into another Tamworth First Grade grand final with a six-wicket super Saturday ruining North Tamworth’s batting lineup.
McNeill took 6-28 as the Redbacks were rolled for less than 100 on day one and then followed that up with four wickets in the second innings to finish with a rare 10-wicket haul for the match.
“(Angus) bowled out of his skin,” stand-in South skipper Josh Crowe said.
“And Riley Ayre bowled well too.
“He took three and Col (Smyth) got the other one in the first innings.
“We all bowled well, nice and tight.
“Even though they got some runs they didn’t get them quickly.”
Ayre took 3-10 as North was dismissed for only 92.
South also struggled at the crease, especially with Adam Greentree taking a hat-trick in his figures of 6-50, but passed the total with two wickets in hand.
McNeill even played a role with 17 not out at the end after Crowe top-scored with 30.
The Redbacks had nothing to lose and set about taking the lead and building it to a score they could bowl to.
Captain Michael Rixon hit 48 and Kris Halloran scored a game-high 70, but the score of 161 only put North 137 in front and that wasn’t enough.
“We wanted to lead by 160,” Rixon said.
McNeill took 4-34 in that dig while Crowe (2-22) and Chris Skilton (2-12) also took four between them.
South didn’t even need to run down the target.
It only had to bat out the day to progress to the grand final.
In the end it was well on track to get the runs at 2-116 when North decided to call it quits. Crowe made 57, Troy Osborne was 27 not out and James Psarakis 21 not out and Jason Stackpoole (2-35) took both wickets.
North must now regroup for the final against Old Boys.
“We always have good games against them,” Rixon said.
“We’ll be up against Ben Middlebrook and Simon Norvill and Azza (Aaron Hazlewood) and Will Howard and those guys and it should be a pretty good game.”
Old Boys caused an upset by beating Bective on first innings despite only making 119.
At 2-83 the Bulls were well on top but a remarkable bowling effort saw them lose 7-9 in a disastrous period and they fell five runs short.
Hazlewood was the star with seven wickets of his own before Old Boys batted Bective out of the match and out of the premiership race for another year.