CITY United finished off the season on a bright note, toppling finals-bound South Tamworth in a remarkable and dramatic final round clash at Riverside 2.
It was a game of recoveries with Souths fighting back from 7-47 to post 169.
City then looked in dire straits at 6-39 but dug itself out to chase down the runs with a wicket in hand.
Michael Bellamy was the hero for City, hitting 91 and guiding them to within sight of victory.
They were only five short when he was caught and bowled brilliantly by Andrew Maher.
He took it at about head height and one-handed.
There was some conjecture about City’s last batsman and whether he was eligible to bat, but after a lengthy discussion between the umpires and captains Josh Crowe (Souths) and Peter Mead (City), Terry Kampe took up strike.
City had a couple of scares in getting the last few runs they needed but got there with Kampe driving for four for the winning runs.
He finished unbeaten on 5 with Jack McVey up the other end on 10.
“They showed a lot of gumption,” Mead said.
So to did Souths.
They had looked a long way off triple figures let alone in excess of 150 when they resumed their first innings on Saturday, but Bryce Natty and Jake Everett knuckled down and gave the bowlers something to bowl at.
They put on 72 for the eighth wicket before Everett was trapped in front by Tait Jordan for 22.
Natty found another willing ally in Chris Skilton (32), and together they took the score to 168.
Natty fell a run later for 66, but he’d done his job.
It was a great effort to put on 130 and only lose three wickets, Crowe said.
“I thought 170 would be enough with the bowling attack we had,” he said.
“In saying that all credit to them (City).”
He thought they probably just relaxed a bit when they had City on the ropes.
“We dropped off a bit,” he said.
“It is disappointing to lose from that situation but all credit to Bellamy.
“He batted well and won them the game.”
Maher was a real workhorse for them and finished with 4-49 from his 20.4 overs.
Jamie Hammond and Col Smyth also chimed in with two wickets.
Smyth and Maher had City in disarray early with Ryan Hansen (21) the only one of the top six to make double figures.
Bellamy and Mead (38) steadied things and got City back in it with a 64-run stand
“We were able to find the boundaries and all of a sudden by doing that we got ourselves back into the game,” Mead said.
After thinking they were out of it at 6-39, he said he still thought they could get the runs when he got out, even though there wasn’t a lot of batting to come and they still needed 67.
“The way Michael was batting I was confident if he could stay out there he could get us home,” he said.
McVey did a superb job with him. He stuck it out there for 15 overs and with Bellamy put on 58.
Richie O’Halloran was the main man with the ball for City on Saturday picking up both Skilton and Natty to finish with 2-34.