ANDREW Brownlie played a major role in his side’s six-wicket Country Shield success over Narrabri yesterday – a win that would have to rate as one of Armidale’s best in years.
The skipper took four wickets as Narrabri set a good total of 239 and then anchored an impressive run chase at the Armidale Sportsground with a game-high 92.
The home side kept the runs flowing as Brownlie and youngster Michael Dawson put on a 106 runs for the second wicket.
Dawson departed for 28 and Adam O’Sullivan joined the skipper at the crease for a 58-run stand.
Brownlie eventually went just short of his ton but O’Sullivan went on to post 66 not out as Armidale hit the winning runs in the 47th over.
“It’s a fantastic result for us,” Brownlie said.
“I can’t remember such a good run chase from us.
“You got good value for shots.
“Michael Dawson batted really well and then Sully was hitting the ball well.
“I think Dawso and I must have put on over 100, so that was really pleasing.”
The pick of the Narrabri bowlers was Trevor Parminter with 3-59.
Earlier, Narrabri started well, with a century partnership of its own between skipper Lachie Cameron and Jason Howe.
They got to 108 before Howe went for 21.
That triggered a bit of a collapse, with Narrabri losing 5-16 in a short period, and it could have been worse.
Cameron finally went for 82 and Brownlie snared another wicket off the next ball to set up a hat-trick ball.
He found the edge of Chris Holland’s bat but Adam O’Sullivan couldn’t snaffle the catch.
Despite that disappointment, Brownlie went on to claim 4-42.
“Narrabri got off to a great start and we were in a bit of trouble,” Brownlie said.
“But spin slowed them down a bit and we picked up some wickets.”
Shane Smith took up where Cameron left off and finished with 47 while Cameron King hit 26 not out towards the end.
Shaun Brennan helped break some partnerships with his 2-22.
The last wicket fell in the 48th over and two further overs were lost to rain meaning the target was revised back to 230.
“It’s a bit disappointing,” Cameron said.
“I thought it was very defendable.
“We had our opportunities today but didn’t take them and full credit to Brownlie, they were too good.
“They bashed us, hit it long and hard and put pressure on our bowlers.”
Narrabri bows out of the Shield but there are some positive signs for the War Veterans Cup.
“The season’s not over yet,” Cameron said.
“There were a lot of new faces.
“It was good to give some of them a run.”
Armidale was always on track in the chase, with Brownlie the linchpin.
The skipper also took a catch and produced a run out off his own bowling.