MANY of Tamworth’s Country Cup Final team will be using tonight’s McDonald’s Tamworth Twenty20 Final between McDonald’s and The Albert Hotel at No 1 Oval as a crucial hit-out for Sunday’s SCG Country Cup Final at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Tonight’s Tamworth T20 Final is scheduled to be played after the playoff for third between Halpin’s Plumbing and Steggles (5pm start) and looking at around a 7.30pm start.
The Albert’s captain, Adam Jones, one of the experienced members and key top order bats in the Tamworth Country Cup team, said tonight’s T20 Final would be a lot of fun as well as a crucial hit-out for his fellow Country Cup teammates.
“Having the T20 Final postponed has worked out well for us,” Jones said of Sunday’s big SCG match.
“Most of the side is playing (either in the T20 final or playoff match).
“It gives us all a good session out in the middle.
“We haven’t had a game for a couple of weeks. We get to have a bat and bowl a few overs.”
The T20 Final pits two sides bristling in batting talent, with Jones – who scored a 38-ball 70 in the final-round game to help his side win a final berth – supported by the likes of Josh Crowe, Matt Everett and Nick Leyden.
Crowe also plundered 43 off 15 balls in that final-round game win.
Chris Skilton was also in a big hitting mood in that final round before Christmas for McDonald’s.
He also hit 43 off just 15 balls to mimic his South Tamworth teammate’s dashing inning although Skilton’s Maccas side lost to Steggles.
Skilton is also part of a strong batting lineup including State Under 17 rep James Psarakis, West Tamworth’s Shaun Stevenson and Bective’s Cal Rowe, who is also off to the SCG on Sunday.
Rowe’s Bective-East side has been decimated by Sunday’s SCG Country Cup Final.
The Tamworth side will leave for Sydney at 6.30am tomorrow, travelling in the cool of the morning and to be in Sydney ready for an afternoon net session at the SCG indoor nets.
“We’ve done it every time we’ve played down there,” Jones said of Tamworth’s fifth appearance in a Country Cup Final.
After losing its first two, Tamworth has since won its last two SCG Country Cup Finals.
“The net session at the SCG will be a good hit for us too,” Jones said.
“We’ve done it every time we’ve played down there.
“It’s just unfortunate we’ll all miss our club games but that’s the price we pay.
“I’m sure all the clubs are behind us.”
North Tamworth is hardest hit.
It has five players – Leo Steyn, Kris Halloran, Michael Rixon, Stuart Plant and Mitch Holt – in the Tamworth squad and plays Old Boys at Chaffey Park.
Old Boys trio Simon Norvill, Aaron Hazlewood and Will Howard will also be missing while Bective-East will be missing Jones, Rowe, Nick Pearson and Everett for tomorrow’s game against City United at No 1 Oval.
Competition leader South Tamworth will be missing Tom Groth (ACCC in Canberra), Angus McNeill (Emus) and Col Smyth (Tamworth) but has Psarakis available before he leaves for Adelaide for next week’s start to the National Under 17 Championships.