A CENTURY from opener Troy Osborne has cemented South Tamworth a spot in the Tamworth District Cricket Association one-day final, after demolishing a lacklustre West Tamworth at No 1 Oval on Saturday.
A 187-run partnership between Osborne and captain Nick Leyden gave South the upper hand as it finished on 5-249.
Wests had a bad day in the field and with the bat, collapsing to be all out for 122 in reply.
Osborne made 108 off only 116 balls.
Whilst a lot of the runs came off singles and doubles, with great running between the wickets, there was also some fireworks.
The batsman brought his century up with one of three big sixes.
Leyden played the perfect support role, with his 71 coming from 88 balls.
The side was cruising at 1-230 before losing three wickets in the final overs.
West was never in the game thanks to some tight and quick bowling from Col Smyth, who opened with both bat and ball.
Smyth removed the two openers Isaac Kensell and Dave King for one run each in his first two overs to finish with figures of 2-16 off eight overs.
Matt Kent put up some resistance in the middle with a stubborn 38 but the South attack was just too good, with Andrew Maher also finishing with 2-16 from his eight.
James Psarakis took 3-19, before the captain took two himself, fittingly combining once more with the centurion, taking the final catch to win the game.
“Ossie (Osborne) was the star today, but the team is playing really well,” Leyden said.
“He paced himself really well and absolutely deserved a ton.
South has been one of the form teams all season and looks to be peaking at the right time of year.
With two two-day games against bottom of the table City United and North remaining, South is confident it can finish at the top of the table.
The win and two bonus points brings it even closer to leaders Old Boys, who had a final-ball win over North at Chaffey Park.
Old Boys now have 72.55 points, with South less than a point behind on 71.71, with Bective in third place.
“We have got some good momentum and should be looking good for the finals,” Leyden said.
“We were good in the field today and have been bowling really well lately.
“I think we are really coming good at the right time of the year and are quietly confident we can have a good crack at the finals.”
West captain Tim Kensell said that Saturday was probably the worst day they have had in the field this year.
“We dropped about seven catches and missed some easy run outs,” Kensell said.
“They batted really well though and punished our mistakes.”