WHILE the teenagers had kept Tamworth’s SCG Country Cup hopes alive in Saturday’s quarter final against Albury Wodonga it was two of the older, more experienced players who led Tamworth’s Country Cup semi final success against Lake Illawarra at Crome Park Oval, Jamberoo yesterday.
Teenagers Matt Everett and Angus McNeill had helped save Tamworth in what became a 40-run win in Saturday’s quarter final but it was the older pair, 31-year-old top order bat Adam Jones and 37-year-old left arm paceman Col Smyth, who led Tamworth’s charge to a SCG Country Cup Final via a 47-run defeat of Lake Illawarra yesterday.
After making 198 Tamworth bowled out Lake Illawarra for 151.
Tamworth had another poor start, losing opener Michael Rixon for a second ball duck yesterday.
However, Jones, who hit an 116-ball 105, rescued the side with one of his finest and most crucial representative knocks.
The Bective-East Bull struck just three fours and two sixes on the big ground where the slow outfield made run scoring tough.
Jones held the Tamworth innings together, adding 59 for the third wicket with Simon Norvill (36) and then completing three stands – 27 with Nick Pearson (10), 47 with Matt Everett (12) and 29 with skipper Tom Groth (6).
Defending 198 was then made easier by the early inroads created by Col Smyth.
He bowled his 10 overs straight through, snaring 5-18 (4 maidens) to leave Lake Illawarra 6-41 at one stage.
“It was spot on,” Smyth said.
“Just what I wanted. I’m really happy with the way they came out. They (Albury Wodonga) gave us a bit of fright yesterday so we knew we had to be on our game today.”
Jones reckoned it a “bloody good win” and another great weekend.
“We needed one of the top four to get a ton,” he said.
“We knew if we did that we’d win.
“I was lucky enough to get that 100. I had some good partnerships with Norvs, Pearso, Matty and Grothy too.
“But to be standing here and going to the SCG after being 6-44 on Saturday is unreal. Full credit to Matty and Grothy yesterday and the bowlers.
“Jack McVey has been absolutely outstanding. He started over in Coffs and continued down here. Angus too. And then Smythy today.
“He’s an amazing bowler for 37, just loves it.”
Jones laughed about the contrast between the way the young guns had led the comeback win on Saturday and then the “old blokes” had starred yesterday.
“Yeah the two oldest blokes in the side. But it was just a great team effort, and just goes to show if you back your ability you can do it.”
Tamworth will play Hamilton-Wickham in the January 12 SCG Country Cup Final at the Sydney Cricket Ground
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