ARMIDALE City might have missed out on the minor premiership but they are still in the fight for the major spoils after Karl Triebe rescued them from a precarious position against Easts on Saturday.
After winning the toss and deciding to bat first, City found itself in a bit of trouble at 6-84.
But, led by Triebe, City managed to scramble its way to 7-197.
It then bowled Easts out for 165 to set up a grand final match-up with Hillgrove.
City skipper Steve Butler stuck by the conventional wisdom “bat first in finals”
The wicket was a bit sticky but he wanted to get the runs on the board.
“I thought if we could get to a score 160 plus the bowlers could do the damage,” Butler said.
Things were a bit shaky early, and even more so when they lost wickets in the space of a few overs midway through the innings.
They lost 3-2, and the 160 Butler was looking for was looking doubtful.
Triebe then came in and, not for the first time, saved the innings for City.
He had some willing allies, and his partnerships first with Matt Morrow (10) and then Derek Schneider changed the game for them.
Triebe and Morrow “took the momentum back”, allrounder Andrew Brownlie said and got them up to 120.
Triebe and Schneider then put on 77 to see City through to the end of the overs and put them on top.
“In the last 20 overs we would have put on 120,” Butler said.
Triebe finished unbeaten on 66 and Schneider 31.
Brad Smith earlier made 20 and Christian Girard 19.
Sam Constance bowled well early for Easts and nabbed 3-44. Dean Moore also chimed in with 2-25 and was the one that affected the middle order collapse.
He and Nathan Porter then gave Easts a good platform putting on about 40 for the first wicket but just lost consistent wickets from there.
“It felt like we were in control once we starting taking wickets,” Butler said.
They really kept it tight and left Easts with 40 to get off the last four overs and with just one wicket in hand.
Porter top-scored with 41 but was the only batsmen to really go on with several making starts. Moore hit 19, Greg Flynn 13 and Sam Constance 15 at the end.
Triebe backed up his efforts with the bat with 2-20 and the crucial wicket of Moore.
It was Adam Sweeny that was the destroyer.
He bowled the “spell of his life”, Butler said and claimed 4-31 with his left arm medium pacers.
Brownlie also chimed in with 2-34 and Schneider made a great direct hit to finish the game.
Easts’ Ben Welch said they were a bit dejected going into the changeover after letting City get away from them.
They didn’t help themselves with some sloppy fielding, dropping a few catches.
“Karl batted pretty well,” Welch said.
Moore and Porter then got them into a pretty good position.
“We were well ahead of the run-rate at 50-odd for one,” Welch said.
They should have done better from there and were guilty of making a few poor decisions.