Tamworth building for big matches

SUNDAY’S War Veteran and Connolly Cup matches against Gunnedah are something of a dress rehearsal for the next round of SCG Country Cup and Country Shield games for Tamworth.

Tamworth plays Gunnedah in a fourth-round War Veterans Cup clash at No. 1 Oval on Sunday while its second XI tackles Gunnedah in an MA Connolly Cup match at Dick Edwards Oval, Tamworth as well.

The two Tamworth sides are unbeaten in their WVC and Connolly Cup competitions so far.

Playing on the same day is not only a test of Tamworth’s depth but also a good rehearsal for the following Sunday when the Tamworth Second XI plays Brisbane Water (Central Coast) in a fourth-round Country Shield as well as its number one side tackling Coffs Harbour in a fourth-round SCG Country Cup match.

Both Country Shield and Cup games are away games for Tamworth, with the first eleven playing Coffs Harbour  on December 15 while the second eleven plays Brisbane Waters, although that game could be played at Singleton.

Wins in those games earns berths in Country Cup and Shield  finals series.

The Country Cup quarter- finals will be played at Shellharbour on December 28 with semi finals the following day.

Country Shield semi-finals are played at Cowra on December 28 with the Shield final December 29.

Inverell, which has a Connolly Cup bye this Sunday, plays its December 15 Country Plate match against Lower Clarence at Harwood Oval, Harwood.

Tamworth selector Adam Jones said this Sunday’s games would be a good “dress rehearsal” for those knockout Country Cup and Shield games with the depth tested.

Selectors have named a bare team of 11 for the WVC clash but are hoping former Australian Country paceman Andrew Maher, who is playing club cricket with South Tamworth, might be able to make it in from Moree.

“At this stage we have named the same team as last week except for Angus McNeill,” Jones said. “Angus is unavailable on Sunday. 

“They are two good sides.

“We just need a bit more match practice before those big Country Cup and Shield matches. 

“It was good to see Mick (Rixon) get a few runs last week too.”

Rixon hammered a quick 40 in the nine wicket WVC win over Narrabri in Tamworth.

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