IT’S been the story all season and yesterday Tamworth produced another dominant display to claim its 10th straight War Veterans Cup.
After ripping through Armidale for just 114, the home side cruised to a 10 wicket win with man of the match Simon Norvill and fellow opener Nick Pearson pummelling the 115 runs required inside 14 overs.
Norvill followed up his 88 when the two sides met in the round fixtures with an unbeaten 78 from just 45 balls.
Pearson was a good foil and finished unconquered on 29 off 36.
The signs were ominous for Armidale when Tamworth skipper Tom Groth won the toss and sent it in.
“It was a good toss to win,” Groth said.
He did briefly think about batting first but decided against it, adding that the fast bowling cartel might not have been too happy if he’d done that.
“We probably got a couple of early ones, that laid the platform,” he said.
“The ball was swinging too.”
They broke through in just the sixth over with Col Smyth removing Dean Moore.
“We had a goal to keep it to about 100. That worked pretty well for us,” Groth said.
Smyth (2-25), Angus McNeill (4-27) and Jack McVey (3-26) were all brilliant.
“Gus bowled really well. He swung it,” Groth said.
“But all the quicks bowled well.
“Col (Smyth) was pretty accurate at the start.
“And then Jack (McVey) and Angus bowled really well.”
Stuart Plant then came on and “did a good job at the end”.
He finished with 1-15 from five and got the big wicket of Michael Dawson.
Dawson was the only Armidale batsmen to really stand up.
“He played well actually,” Groth said.
Armidale skipper Andrew Brownlie concurred.
“Dawson batted well, fought hard for his 38,” he said.
There were a few other starts – Ben Welch got 12, Brad Smith 13 and Stephen Butler 14 at the end, but it was a wicket you never felt comfortable on, Brownlie said.
With so few runs to play with Armidale needed early wickets if it was going to put Tamworth under any pressure, but they never really looked like it.
“They came out and batted probably how we should have,” Brownlie said.
They too didn’t bowl that well.
“We didn’t hit our areas,” he said.
“We didn’t bowl enough in good spots.”
“That was the difference.
“They’d bowl six balls in good spots and kept taking wickets.”
As he has made a habit of, Norvill took the ascendancy away from Armidale early.
“Norvs was really aggressive,” Groth said.
“It was one of those wickets where if you’re going to swing, swing hard.”
Norvill certainly did that blasting 11 fours in his stay including five in a row one stage.
“Pearso did a good job. He’s been batting in the middle order,” Groth said.
“Obviously with Ricko (Michael Rixon) unavailable we decided to throw him up there.”