LAST-placed West Tamworth climbed off the bottom of the Tamworth first grade ladder by beating competition leaders South Tamworth by 20 runs at Dick Edwards Oval on Saturday.
The Adam Penman-skippered West side made 8-161 and then bowled out South for 141.
With Old Boys beating North Tamworth by 48 runs at Chaffey Park, it relegated South to second.
“It was great to knock them off the top of the table,” Penman said after the win.
“It’s just our second win of the season.”
He thought opening batsman Isaac Kensell (32) as well as Campbell Baker (27) and Matt Kent (33) “did the job up in the top order”.
“They batted a long time, which we haven’t done all season,” Penman said.
“Then Ed (Nankivell) got us up to 160 at the end.”
Nankivell’s unbeaten 24 proved crucial against an attack spearheaded by Andrew Maher (3-27) and James Hammond (3-31).
The two fast bowlers looked quite capable of steering the side home too.
They put on a 10th wicket partnership of 33, after openers James Psarakis (24) and Josh Crowe (26) had given the side a flying start of 44 in five overs.
While Psarakis left to fly to Sydney and link with his NSW Under 17 side to start in today’s Australian Under 17 Championships in Adelaide, his teammates stayed to endure a most disappointing collapse.
When Crowe exited at 2-58, the side lost 8-51 before Hammond (15) and Maher (11no) put together a rearguard action.
Penman was always confident of knocking them over though.
“I knew if we could get three or four early wickets we’d be in the hunt.
“They did get a flying start but once Jimmie (Psarakis) went, we were in it.
“It’s always a hard field to bat on. Big and slow outfield and the deck was falling apart.
“But we also bowled and fielded the best we have done all season.”
South skipper Nick Leyden said it was a disappointing loss but maybe a “great wake-up call”.
“We started pretty flat and they out-enthused us – did it all game,” Leyden said.
“They deserved to win.
“But that (loss) might not be a bad thing for us.
“And Jake (Everett) did bowl very well for us.
“He was fantastic.
“Jake Brayshaw too.
“And Andrew Maher bowled with a lot of heart, came back well.”
He said many of the side’s batsmen were out playing “unintelligent shots”.