Vets championships hit the ground running

Match-winner: Tamworth Blues keeper Barry Everingham reaches for the ball as Port Jackson's Steve Lucas swats it away. Lucas was Port's top run-scorer in their win.

Match-winner: Tamworth Blues keeper Barry Everingham reaches for the ball as Port Jackson's Steve Lucas swats it away. Lucas was Port's top run-scorer in their win.

Veteran cricketers from across the state hit the crease on Sunday for the start of the annual NSW State Championships.

Now into their fourth year, the championships have attracted 17 teams and, from as far away as Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Lismore and the Mid North Coast.

The teams have been split into three divisions and played across Tamworth, as well as Quirindi.

It wasn’t a successful start for the home sides with the Division 1 Tamworth Blues going down to Port Jackson White and the Tamworth Green falling just short against Central Coast (2).

Chasing Central Coast’s 5-196, Tamworth replied with 9-185 in their Division 3 clash. Hastings Dolphins were four wicket winners over UNEX in the other Division 3 game, while in Division 2 Armidale had a five wicket win over Port Jackson Blue and the Central Coast Cyclones blew the Western Wildfires away.

Newcastle Lord Taverners had a similarly big win over the Hastings Sharks in their Division 1 clash, Port Jackson Red joining their White counterparts as first day winners with an eight-run win over Lismore.

Skipper Chris Crowell top-scored for the Tamworth Blues in their loss with 31, he and opening partner Tom Kellett (21) scoring 53 of their 111. Steve Lucas then anchored Port to the win with 40 at the top of the order.

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