NORTH Tamworth Redbacks earned another crack at South Tamworth in this weekend’s NICU Tamworth first grade grand final after disposing of Old Boys in an 80-run success at No 1 Oval, Tamworth yesterday.
The Redbacks had made 247 on Saturday and returned yesterday to dismiss OB for 167.
Redbacks captain Michael Rixon led the way with a brilliant 129 on Saturday, the opener smacking 11 fours and a six in his 239-ball stay.
He was last man out ensuring the side reached a competitive total after it had lost its way early Saturday afternoon.
The Redbacks were cruising at one stage when 1-84 but lost 2-10 and recovered to 3-150 with a 56-run stand between Rixon and Dave Fisher (37) but when Fisher went, caught behind off Aaron Hazlewood the Redbacks slumped losing 4-0 before Rixon and tailenders Mitch Holt (9 off 53), Jack Cameron (9 off 29) and Jason Stacpoole (8 off 14) helped add almost 100 runs.
“We had a few big moments,” Rixon said.
‘Those last three partnerships were vital, they added 97.
“And our bowling was great.
“Dooma (Adam Greentree) was outstanding again and Jason Stacpoole took a couple of key wickets (Middlebrook and Hazlewood).
“Hamis came of age today as well, took a five for and got Norvs. He was the key wicket. He and Ben and Aaron were the big three and we were lucky to get Ben and Aaron cheaply.
Norvs did bat well and that probably was the turning point in the game when we got him.”
Norvill hit seven fours and a six in his 129-ball 77 and was looking ominous before getting a leading edge to a Batley delivery and skying for keeper Jack Cameron to take.”
If Old Boys could have gone to lunch 4-139 instead of five and with Norvill able to re-charge his batting batteries it could have been a different story, agreed Rixon.
“If he had stayed a bit longer it might have been different,” Rixon conceded.
“But this was a really good team effort. I thought our fielding was pretty good too. Only dropped two catches and they were both pretty tough chances.”
Aaron Hazlewood had starred with the ball for the second successive week for Old Boys, taking 5-82 from his 26 overs (seven maidens) while Will Howard (1-53), Will Chesterfield (1-26 off 13), skipper Ben Middlebrook (1-20) and Chaise Crough (1-19) also had success.
While he bowled a marathon stint Adam Greentree was even better bowling right through the three hour morning session yesterday and finishing 2-64 from 31 overs, eight of them maidens.
Hamish Batley grabbed just his third five-for of his young career, the 17-year-old student claiming 5-44 from his 14 overs.
While he claimed the prize scalp of Norvill before lunch he ripped through the Old Boys batting after lunch, bowling four of his victims.
Red headed off-spinner Jason Stacpoole also took 2-27 from his 11 overs, mixing up the pace of his deliveries well.
North Tamworth now play South Tamworth in the first grade grand final, a replay of last year’s decider won by South.