MICHAEL Rixon is the Tamworth Representative of the Year but the young North Tamworth skipper would gladly trade that for a Wombramurra Cup premiership win.
The Redback allrounder is leading his side into a Northern Inland Credit Union Tamworth first grade preliminary final against Old Boys at No 1 Oval this weekend.
Last weekend South Tamworth skittled the Redbacks in the major semi final to storm into the grand final without their skipper and NSW Country wicket keeper Tom Groth.
This weekend Rixon, who played for the NSW Country Under 21s last year, leads Norths in a knockout clash with the dangerous Old Boys fortified by the prestigious award.
He polled 10 points to beat improving young paceman Jack McVey by three points, and take out the award for the second straight year.
South Tamworth’s Sam McHugh and City United’s Ben Semmler were next on six points with Rixon’s North Tamworth teammates Hamish Batley, Kris Halloran and Adam Lole all on five points.
Rixon was again solid at the top of the Tamworth order, and after starting the rep season with an unbeaten 61 was the player of the War Veterans Cup final with a brilliant 74.
He was also their main spinning option and regularly figured in the wickets.
Still Rixon was surprised to learn he was the rep player of the year.
“I didn’t think I played that well in the rep stuff to be honest,” he said.
“(But) It was a good honour to win it.”
Tamworth won both the War Veterans Cup and MA Connolly Cup, and for Rixon the Tamworth premiership silverware would top things off nicely.
First though the Redbacks need to get past Old Boys.
“Hopefully we can play well on the weekend and play well as a team,” Rixon said.
They’ll need to. Old Boys have “flogged them in a one-dayer” and probably should have won last time they met.
Chasing the Redbacks’ 211 they were 2-124 at one stage, but could only manage 199.
“They’re a dangerous side,” Rixon said.
“With guys like Simon (Norvill) and Aaron (Hazlewood) they can win a game in a session.”
Bective-East learnt that lesson the hard way on the weekend with Hazlewood concocting a Bective collapse.
They lost 7-9 with Hazlewood taking five of them.
Norths went down to Souths in their semi-final after only
“We need to bat better than we did in the first innings last week,” Rixon said.
“We bowled well in the first innings and batted well in the second.”
They almost doubled what they scored in the first innings in the second, but their first dig was what did the damage.
Only he and Leo Steyn reached double figures with several players guilty of playing poor shots.
“Three guys got caught at point,” Rixon pointed out.
It might have been just what they needed though.
“We were a bit rusty not having played for three weeks. Hopefully the game does us good,” he said.
“Hopefully we can put it together on the weekend.”
There’s no second chances this time if they don’t.