South Tamworth skipper Tom Groth said his side will take a lot of positives away from their 16-run loss to Old Boys in Friday night’s Tamworth One-Day final as they recalibrate for their tilt at the Wombramurra Rose Bowl Trophy.
After conjuring a houdini effort just to make the final, Souths went into the decider without at least four of their key cogs and “with a fair few young guys” but almost rolled a full strength Old Boys outfit.
They certainly had the premiers rattled early.
“We went through their top order like we have done time and time again,” Groth said.
“We’ve just got to execute better with the bat.”
That was where they lost it, although Groth felt they were in the game until probably the second last wicket.
“I thought we bowled and fielded pretty well,” he said.
They had no Angus McNeill or Troy Osborne - two of the linchpins of their attack - but had Old Boys floundering at 5-63 at one point.
“They batted pretty well in the middle,” Groth said.
“They worked out how to cope with the wicket.”
“Jamie Mitchell was probably their best player. He really gutsed it out on a wicket that wasn’t easy and worked the singles.”
On the back of him they mustered 8-162.
Groth though wasn’t too perturbed about chasing that.
“We thought if we could bat the 40 overs we’d win the game,” the NSW Country gloveman said.
“We got off two a pretty slow start.
“But we weren’t too worried. We were always in control of the run-rate.
“We probably just lost our way a bit in the middle.”
They lost 3-20 at one stage and their last six wickets for just 51 to be dismissed for 146 in the 39th over.
Chris Massey was again the star with the bat for Souths, carrying on from where he left off last Sunday with a top-scoring 58 from 55.
The left-hander peppered four boundaries and three sixes in his stay, which included a 35 run second wicket stand with Caleb McNeill (17) and 33 run partnership with Ryan Meppem (13).
Groth (18) also did his bit to try and get Souths over the line but when he was, ironically, stumped by Abel Carney off Jack Richards, Souths hopes were seemingly stumped too.
We probably just lost our way a bit in the middle
Earlier James McGowan had nabbed 3-23, Meppem 2-37, Tom O’Neill 1-18 and Jamie Hammond 1-42.