GUNNEDAH retained their Veterans Inter Town Cricket crown by the barest of margins at No 1 Oval yesterday.
Chasing Tamworth’s 100 the visitors passed their target nine wickets down with Bruce Higham’s unbeaten 32 the match-winning innings.
Higham and Rick Sampson (5no) came together with Gunnedah 9-99 but were able to see out the win.
Earlier in the day Tamworth looked like they might rack up a big score after opening batsmen Albie Barwick 28) and Col Barton (21) were hurtling along.
“They were 1-55 at one stage and looked like getting 200,” said Gunnedah allrounder Sam Rees.
Rees was one of his side’s stars, claiming 4-4 to put a dent in the Tamworth batting and then smacking a quick 18 before he was caught on the midwicket boundary by Col Barton trying to add a second six to his total.
Mike Cashman (12) and Noel Cook (16) also scored runs for Tamworth while Dave Amos aided Rees well by taking 2-23.
Bruce Higham (2-4), Gary Parker (1-2), Mike Baxter (1-3) and Leo Riley (1-10) also grabbed wickets as Tamworth batted 12 and lurched to 100 after the good start.
Robert Kahler, who turns 58 next week, gave Tamworth a good start when his six overs yielded 2-5 as Gunnedah lost early wickets.
Bob Haling (3-22), Mike Cashman (2-26), Albie Barwick (1-14) and Terry Murphy (1-16) took regular wickets with Dave Chapman (14), Mike Baxter (10) and Rees edging Gunnedah to its target.
However it was Higham’s unbeaten 32 that steered the side to a narrow win.
A number of the players now head to NSW Queensland State Of Origin clashes in Port Macquarie on March 25/26 and also the Central Coast Cricket Carnival on April 6/7/8.
o Mitchell Starc became the second pace bowler on Australia’s Test tour of India to be sent home because of injury yesterday.
The left-armer is heading back to Australia for surgery to remove bone spurs on his right ankle.
The 23-year-old NSW paceman has taken 30 wickets in his nine-Test career.