South Tamworth reaches the summit

SOUTH Tamworth won its  Tamworth first grade top-of-the-table clash with Old Boys, leapfrogging Old Boys into top spot on the table in the process after their four wicket win at No 1 Oval on Saturday.

After making 162, Old Boys made South battle all the way before they reached their target six wickets down and with eight balls to spare.

The game between first and second on the table got off to a flyer with Simon Norvill unleashing for Old Boys from the first ball.

The opener smashed 67 runs at better than a run a ball with some brilliant shotmaking.

Unfortunately for the dynamic hitter, the other batsmen fell around him, with James Hammond doing the damage taking three top order wickets.

Adam Lole only managed four runs at the top, although a 66-run partnership with Layne Berry (26) had them back on track at 2-93 halfway through the innings.

Good pressure in the field from South resulted in three run outs, and James Everett did the rest.

Everett is in a purple patch at the moment and, for the second week in a row, cleaned up the tail with three wickets.

Old Boys stumbled to be all out for 162, seven balls short of the full 40 overs.

Despite a first-ball duck from opener Tim Swan, South too had a solid start and was in the driver’s seat at the drinks break.

Opener Josh Crowe topscored for the side with 48 runs, whilst captain Nick Leyden (42) hit a captain’s knock for the second time in as many weeks to set up the victory from first drop.

Old Boys tightened up the fielding and bowling to drag the run rate right back after drinks.

Old Boys captain Ben Middlebrook snared the important wickets of Leyden and James Psarakis but it was too late.

Tom Groth and Hammond finished off the remainder with eight balls and four wickets to spare.

“We only had to bat it out easily but it got a bit close at the end,” Leyden said.

“That tight session after drinks reeled us in and it got a bit closer than I would have liked.

“We built some good pressure on their batsmen, although Norvill had a great knock.

“Luckily he played one false shot all innings and we got him.

“We were able to keep the others pretty quiet though.”

The captain rated Hammond as the best bowler after he returned figures of 3-34.

Middlebrook was impressed with how his young side dragged South back in after the break.

“We have a few away and have a lot of young guys playing,” Middlebrook said.

“They had a lot of fight and were excellent in the field.”

“I thought we were about 20 or 30 runs short of what we should have made, and we were.”

The win leaves South undefeated so far this season.

“It is the first time we have been in this position for a while going into the Christmas break,” Leyden said.

“There are always people away with rep and other commitments at the start of the year, so it was crucial to get a few in the bank this year.”

The win reversed the order on top of the table, with South now in front of Old Boys by 1.16 points on 39.71.

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