TAMWORTH returns to War Veterans Cup mode in Armidale on Sunday from a SCG Country Cup campaign minus many of its stars.
Usual skipper Tom Groth and young NSW Under 17 batsman James Psarakis had major national titles in Canberra and Adelaide this week while young bowling spearheads Angus McNeill and Jack McVey are still in NZ with the touring Emus.
The Tamworth Country Music Festival has also contributed to the decimation of the Tamworth side, with a number of players such as Simon Norvill, Kris Halloran, Adam Jones and Nick Pearson all having to work on Sunday.
“They all have work commitments with the Country Music Festival,” Tamworth selector Don Lewington said.
“The other four (who missed the Country Cup Final at the SCG) are missing too but we’ll still have a good side.
“There were a number of player who weren’t far away from Country Cup selection.”
Norvill and Pearson were two of the batting stars from last Sunday’s SCG Country Cup Final loss to Hamilton Wickham.
Pearson’s 38 off 57 balls gave Tamworth a chance after it had slumped to 8-106.
It earned him the three points for the Tamworth Representative Player of the Year, his first points in this season’s major player award.
Groth and Jones had also polled their first points when they received the three points in the quarter-final and semi-final wins on the South Coast.
Matty Everett’s point from the quarter-final win against Albury Wodonga took him two points clear of Norvill, Michael Rixon, Harrison Kelly, Calum Rowe and McVey.
While Armidale hosts Tamworth in a fifth-round WVC clash on Sunday, Gunnedah is at home to Narrabri in the other WVC match.
Three Inter Conference MA Connolly matches are also scheduled on Sunday – Gunnedah hosting Dumaresq Colts, Moree playing Inverell at Inverell and the Tamworth Second XI up against Glen Innes in Glen Innes.
TAMWORTH: Michael Rixon (capt), Adam Lole, Cal Rowe, Richie O’Halloran, Mitch Holt, Matt Everett, Leo Steyn, Stu Plant, Will Howard, Deklan Baker, Col Smyth.