TAMWORTH Second XI thwarted Inverell’s MA Connolly Cup Finals hopes for the second straight year with an eight-wicket semi-final win at No.1 Oval yesterday.
After bowling Inverell out for 158, the defending champions replied with 2-163.
They got the runs in just 33 overs, with skipper Matt Everett and Layne Berry polishing off the remaining runs after a 72-run opening stand from Adam Lole (17) and Shaun Stevenson (37).
Everett just missed out on a deserved half-century.
After getting Tamworth level, he needed one to reach 50 but he never got the chance, with the winning runs coming virtue of a wide.
It left him on 49 with Berry unbeaten on 25.
Everett wasn’t too perturbed though. He was just happy to get the win and was delighted with the way they went about things.
“I couldn’t ask for anything more as captain,” he said.
“None of us gave our wickets away.”
He said Lole and Stevenson set them a great platform with their opening partnership.
Earlier, the bowlers did a great job led by TDCA president Richard Bullock (4-37), Stuart Plant (2-44) and Will Howard (2-23).
For the visitors, it was a story of starts.
Five of their batsmen made over 15 but none of them were able to turn it into a big score.
Shaun Rynne was the top-scorer with 32.
He came in with Inverell battling at 4-64 and, with Dave Mudaliar (16), put some substance into the total.
They put on 51 for the fifth wicket but unfortunately for Inverell fell within four runs of each other.
John Krauss tried to get things going but ran out of partners, literally.
He and Matt Fox were building a handy little last wicket partnership when Fox was run out by Joey Holt for 10.
That left Krauss unbeaten on 29.
“We didn’t bat very well,” skipper Jeremy Baxter said.
“Our top-order got starts and then got themselves out and that left too much pressure on the lower order.”
Still they went out to field pretty upbeat.
“We thought we could do it (defend) but we probably didn’t bowl well either,” Baxter said.
“We bowled too many extras and not enough dot balls.”
They bowled 27 wides in a sundries tally of 35.
“That’s what we’ve been struggling with all year,” Baxter said.
It also hurt them in the Country Plate quarter-final.
Krauss (1-28) and Darren Pithers (1-25) took the only two Tamworth wickets to fall, and Baxter struggled to single anyone out who bowled particularly well.
“In patches, everyone bowled well,” he said.
“Just not consistently.”
He said it was good to get through to the final eight of the plate and final four of the Connolly Cup but was disappointed with the way they finished in both.