City edge over the line in a first-grade thriller

MICHAEL Bellamy’s match-winning knock was one of many things to like about City United’s final round win over South Tamworth.

First there was Dan Lawrence’s efforts on the first day. His 5-21 had Souths reeling at 7-47.

Some rearguard action from Bryce Natty (66), Jake Everett (22) and Chris Skilton (32) got them back on track and to 169.

“Souths got themselves right back in with some patient batting,” City skipper Peter Mead said.

“We bowled well. They were just mature and waited and then got themselves going and got to a defendable total.” 

It wasn’t what he was looking at the start of the day, but he still thought 170 was chaseable. 

The outfield was pretty fast and they had 52 overs to do it in.

He was reassessing that thought however when, as Lawrence and Jack McVey had done the week before, Col Smyth and Andrew Maher tore through the top order.

City was in pretty poor shape at 6-39.

Mead said there wasn’t a lot they could do about it.

“They just bowled too well, too fast,” he said.

As he has done since assuming the captaincy, the skipper led from the front.

He and Bellamy dug in and stalled the rot with  a 64-run partnership.

City lost Brett Walsh not long after Mead, leaving them back on their heels again at 8-107.

But McVey and Bellamy staved off Souths charge. They put on 58 for the ninth wicket to get City just five runs short of victory.

Bellamy was the man to go falling nine runs short of a well-deserved century.

It took a great reflex catch to deny him with Andrew Maher catching Bellamy’s return hit at about head height.

McVey and Terry Kampe then saw City past the target.

Mead spent a lot of time out there with Bellamy and said it was the best he’s ever seen him bat.

McVey too did a great job.

“Jack was very solid. He wasn’t giving his wicket away,” Mead said.

He again couldn’t question the character they showed. 

That hasn’t always been rewarded but was on Saturday.

“Our boys are ecstatic,” Mead said.

“That gives us a bit of a positive for next year.” 

Bellamy’s efforts also saw him pick up the three best and fairest points.

Natty received the two and Lawrence the one.

The bowlers dominated the points in the Bective-North Tamworth game with Bulls spinner Greg Kellett’s 4-8 earning him the three points and Adam Greentree’s (Norths) 3-47 the one.

Matt Everett got the one after digging the Bulls out of trouble.

Allrounder Aaron Hazlewood would have been no surprise as taking the three points in the Old Boys-West Tamworth game after he claimed 5-28 and then belted 64.

The two went to Will Chesterfield for his second innings five-for and the one to Will Howard.

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