CENTRAL Coast and Hunter will match up in today’s NSW Veterans Cricket Championship Final at Dick Edwards Oval after they continued on their winning ways yesterday.
Central Coast had a big 105-run win over Western at TRECC while Hunter Valley beat Sydney by 22 runs at Chaffey Park as the two Tamworth sides, Tamworth Blue and Gold, slumped to losses and will feature in fifth and seventh playoff games today at Scully Park and Max Sutton Oval.
Hunter Valley finished top of its pool when it reached 5-192 in its 40 overs after its top four batsmen all sparkled.
Openers Dave Chapman (29) and John Fryer (27) put on 58 before Chapman was run out whilst Roger Black (30 ret) and Ian Hodge (32 ret) also remained unconquered.
Bruce Watham (19) and Peter Fleming (31ret) continued the good work lower in the order as former Test legspinner Bob Holland made an unbeaten 12 against an attack where Lawrence Natale (2-28) and Paul Barnes (2-33) were the main wickettakers and Richard Druce (1-21) and Tony Wright (1-20) bowled tightly.
Chas Viner provided the batting backbone with an unbeaten 45 as Stirling Hamman (30 ret), Brian Scott (30 ret) and opener Bill Schafer (18) also scored good runs but they fell 23 runs short of a winning target.
John Rice’s 2-17 off six overs was a bowling spearhead while Bob Holland (1-25) and John Fryer (1-19) also made inroads.
Central Coast earned its Final berth when it smacked 184 against Western and then dismissed the debuting region for 79 at TRECC.
Bill Moffatt (30 ret), Ken Campbell (32 ret), Bob Tranter (29 ret) and Len Hardy (30 ret) all retired unbeaten while John Fogarty (23) batted solidly.
Gordon Ives then finished with the bowling figures of 2-15 as Western were ripped out for 79.
Quirindi earned a playoff for third against Sydney at Riverside 2 today after chasing down Tamworth Blue’s 8-149.
Skipper Greg Tideman (20) and Peter Jenkins (26) gave the side a great start while John Lobsey (30 ret) and Maurice Hamilton (31 ret) built on that brilliantly for John Southam (12no) and Jim Stewart (8no) to surge the side home.
Earlier seven of the Tamworth Blue batsmen made double figures with Col Barton 925) and Bob Haling (29) the topscorers.
John Southam’s 3-16 was best for Quirindi while Maurie Hamilton also claimed 2-16 and Peter Jenkins and Terry Cohen a wicket apiece.
“They were too good for us,” admitted Tamworth Blue skipper Albie Barwick.
“They played better than us, they are a good side.”
Quirindi skipper Greg Tideman thought his side was a big chance after a close call against Central Coast on Tuesday.
“We have been going very well,” Tideman said.
“We’re all good mates and we’re all allrounders, we all bat and bowl and all get along. I’m very proud of the way they played today.”
Tamworth Blue plays Northern in a playoff for fifth at Scully Park today after Northern thumped winless Tamworth Gold at Max Sutton Oval yesterday.
Northern finished 3-226 and then restricted the Golds to 8-173 with five of its batsmen retiring after reaching 30.
Graeme Andrews (30 ret), Merv Bourke (30 ret), Phil Allen (31 ret), Bruce Coppock (33 ret), Kevin Pike (32 ret) and John Cameron (28) all plundered the Gold attack.
Peter Bentley (1-22), Tom Kellett (1-20) and Brian Wellings (1-35) were the Gold wickettakers with Wellings and Kellett also in the runs, both retiring on 33.
Chris Crowell’s 35 was best while Bentley also made an unbeaten 24.
POOL A: Central Coast 18, Quirindi 13, Tamworth Blue 8, Western 0. POOL B: Hunter 18, Sydney 13, Northern 8, Tamworth Gold 2.
PLAYOFF DRAWS: Final: Central Coast v Hunter (Dick Edwards Oval), 3rd: Quirindi v Sydney (Riverside 2), 5th: Tamworth Blue v Northern (Scully Park), 7th: Tamworth Gold v Western (Max Sutton Oval).