CHRIS Skilton set No.1 Oval and South Tamworth’s innings alight on Saturday as his team won its grand final rematch with North Tamworth.
They did it fairly convincingly too finishing with a bonus point after bowling the Redbacks out for 191 in reply to their 7-241.
Skilton was a big part of the reason Souths were defending that many, smacking 59 off just 25 balls.
It really turned the screws after openers Josh Crowe and Troy Osborne had put on 73 for the first wicket.
English import Stuart Plant got the breakthrough for the Redbacks trapping Osborne in front on 33.
He then had Crowe caught by Leo Steyn about 20 runs later for 53.
“We got off to a great start, terrific start,” Souths skipper Nick Leyden said.
He (18) and James Psarakis (23) then came in and “knocked them around”.
It was as Leyden put it “the calm before the storm” with Skilton in a destructive mindset.
He plundered a couple over the trees along Kable Ave and even hit one of the light towers.
“He batted very well,” Leyden said.
Jake Everett also chimed in with an unbeaten 20.
“It was a good team batting performance,” Leyden said.
“Then we bowled well.”
It wasn’t an easy pitch to bowl on. There wasn’t a lot in it for the bowlers.
“Our guys had to bowl stump to stump,” Leyden said.
Which they did.
“There were a few partnerships there in the middle where they could have got away from us,” he said.
But they seemed to be able to break them when they needed to.
Andrew Maher was great on debut, he said, and finished with 3-29.
Col Smyth also bowled well taking 2-24.
Redbacks captain Michael Rixon said their fielding was “s...house”.
“Our ground fielding was okay but we dropped way too many catches,” Rixon said.
“Had we caught them we could have kept them to 170/180.”
It could have been a different story had they.
“That was the difference, they fielded better than us,” Rixon said.
They had a bit of a shaky start and were 2-20 after a sharp one-handed take from Leyden in the slips saw the end of Rixon, just as he and Kris Halloran were starting to build a bit of a partnership.
“They had a good run out and a couple of good catches that changed our momentum,” Rixon said.
The run out he was referring to was Evan Brownsmith.
He and Halloran were settling in for a good partnership having put on 21 for the third wicket.
Halloran was the mainstay of the Redbacks’ innings and top-scored with 53.
Plant also chipped in with a valuable 28 at the end.
He was also impressive with the ball and arguably their best bowler with 2-25 from his eight.
Rixon was the other major wickettaker finishing with 3-33.