NORTH West skippers Matt Everett and James Psarakis tuned up for this week’s State CHS Championships with captaining and coaching wins yesterday.
While Psarakis’s Tamworth U16 boys were winning their Hunter Valley competition final down in Singleton, Everett was leading the Tamworth Second XI to MA Connolly Cup semi-final victory.
They dispatched Inverell by eight wickets to earn a shot at back to back titles.
Opposing them will be Moree after they beat Dumaresq Colts at Ron Harborne Oval.
On the back of a classy 86 from opener Jordan Cosh, and some big hitting from Kyle O’Connor (76) and Ben Day (45) in the lower order, Moree set a total of 7-318.
Dumaresq registered three half centuries but could never get on top of the required run rate, finishing just 20 runs short.
Moree captain Chris Holland said it was a great win and praised the work of the batsmen.
“The batsmen won it for us today and picked the perfect day to stand up,” Holland said.
“Our batting hasn’t been the best this year but we showed what we can do today.”
In Tamworth, the defending champions dismissed Inverell for 158 and then chased down the runs with 17 overs to spare.
Everett (49) and Layne Berry (25) guided them to victory after Shaun Stevenson (37) and Adam Lole (17) had done the early legwork.
The skipper was hoping it was a good omen for this week, both collectively and personally, with his 49 following on from 41 for Bective-East on Saturday.
Similar happened last year, he recalled.
He made “70-odd” the Sunday leading into the carnival.
That was also to beat Inverell in the Connolly Cup semi-final.
Batting will be a big priority for the boys down in Sydney.
Last year they didn’t quite live up to their potential with the bat.
“It was a bit disappointing, our batting,” Everett said.
“We gave our bowlers nothing to bowl at.”
He could find little to fault yesterday.
“It was a really good win by the boys,” he said.
The bowlers set it up.
Will Howard was exceptional with the new ball.
He got the initial breakthrough with a caught and bowled and finished with 2-23 including two maidens.
“He deserved a five-for,” Everett said.
“Then Dickie (Richard) Bullock same as last week came on and bowled his cutters.”
Bullock backed up his four-for against Dumaresq Colts with 4-37.
“Stu (Plant) and Dickie really turned the game around for us,” Everett said.
They did the damage through the middle overs.
Shaun Rynne (32), John Krauss (29no), Brendon Campbell (18), Lachlan Binnie (16) and Dave Mudaliar (16) all got starts for Inverell but couldn’t make anything of them.