NEW recruit James Bellamy made an immediate impression as Bective-East clung on for a 33-run win in a fickle Tamworth first grade clash against City United at No.1 Oval on Saturday.
After losing Nick Foster first ball of the game, the Bulls went on to make a competitive 189.
They then had City 4-75 and looked to have the upper hand but a superb partnership between skipper Peter Mead and Simon Toyer turned the momentum towards City.
It swung back Bective’s way when Toyer (37) was judged lbw to Foster and the next over Mead (25) skied one to George Rixon off Greg Kellett.
From there, it was a steady flow of wickets and City was all out for 156.
“It was one that got away,” Mead said.
“We gave ourselves the opportunity to win the match – that’s probably what’s frustrating us the most.”
“We had the momentum and two wickets falling quickly added pressure to the lower order.”
And as the run-rate climbed, so did the pressure.
It got them in the end.
Mead was taking part of the blame, conceding the shot he got out with was a pretty poor shot.
At the other end of the No.1 clubhouse, stand-in Bulls skipper Chris Paterson was delighted.
“We had a terrible start with Foster out first ball,” he said.
“But James Bellamy, our new recruit from Coffs, batted very well.”
Bellamy underpinned the Bulls’ innings with a brilliant 76 at first drop.
“The pitch had a bit in it early,” Paterson said.
“He stuck to it early and, when he got in, he hit some good fours and sixes.”
He smacked five sixes and five fours in his stay, which included partnerships of 63 with Gavin Bickerstaff (13) and 30 with George Rixon (20).
Those couple of partnerships were very handy, Paterson said, as was Justin Kellett’s 24.
“I said at the start 180-190 was what we were aiming for,” Paterson said.
They then struck early, with Greg Kellett picking up Shaun Hancock in the second over.
He was their best, snaring 3-10 from his six, and was Paterson’s trump card at the end with Greg Tighe, who cleaned up the tail to finish with 3-37.
They were down a bowler after losing young quick Lachlan Davidson to a back strain midway through.
The other bowlers did a good job, with Nathan Lambley going for 1-24 from his eight on his first grade debut.
“He bowled a really good length,” Paterson said.
Part-timer Foster also got the vital breakthrough.
“Getting those two wickets (Toyer and Mead), that made it hard for the new blokes coming in,” Paterson said.
The chase went pretty well to plan for City until the end.
“We just really wanted to occupy the crease and try to get to drinks two down and with 100 to chase,” Mead said.
“We nearly did that.
“We were three down with about 110 to chase.”
Despite losing a wicket not long after the resumption, Mead felt they had great momentum after drinks.
“We were able to find the fence and get some quick singles,” he said.
Earlier, he thought they did a pretty good job to reel the Bulls in.
“At drinks they were 100.
“To get them back to 185 was excellent,” he said.
What hurt them was a bit of wayward bowling.
“We bowled a couple of overs where we bowled too short,” Mead said.
“That cost us dearly.”
“Their new bloke (Bellamy) punished anything that was short.”
On top of that, they bowled 16 wides.
Toyer had a great allround game, also chiming in with 3-37, while Mead claimed 2-17.