Old Boys claim fourth Tamworth first grade title in a row

Four in a row: Old Boys pose with the Wombramurra Rose Bowl Trophy which they secured for the fourth straight year with a five wicket win over South Tamworth.
Four in a row: Old Boys pose with the Wombramurra Rose Bowl Trophy which they secured for the fourth straight year with a five wicket win over South Tamworth.

Old Boys completed their silverware set on Sunday with another Wombramurra Rose Bowl Trophy.

The defending premiers made it four successive first grade premierships with a five wicket win over South Tamworth.

It was the remaining piece of the puzzle for them this season as they claimed the club championship, minor premiership, major premiership and one-day title for the first time.

“It’s good to get all four of them and to win four in a row is pretty special with this group,” skipper Ben Middlebrook said.

He is one of six that have been part of all four, along with Aaron Hazlewood, Adam Lole, Simon Norvill, Josh Smith and Jack Richards.

Lole and Hazlewood both had definitive says in the decider - Lole with the bat and Hazlewood the ball.

The latter, despite sporting an - appropriately blue - cast courtesy of a fractured thumb from the major semi-final, again delivered on the big stage, capturing 5-57 as Old Boys rolled Souths for 103.

Souths’ innings was twice delayed. The game didn’t get underway until 4pm on Saturday. They then had to wait another two hours past the scheduled start time on Sunday to recommence their innings after water leaked in under the covers. As a result the game was shortened to 53 overs a side, after initially being reduced to 68.

Resuming at 4-60 on Sunday, skipper Tom Groth (18) and Mitch Smith (21) took Souths through to 83, but there wasn’t a lot after them, openers James Maltby (13) and Josh Crowe (24) the only other batsmen to reach double figures.

Will Gell bowled superbly in tandem with Hazlewood and picked up both Smith and Groth on his way to 4-29.

Old Boys then found themselves 3-25 as led by Tom O’Neill (4-28) Souths’ bowlers began to find their rhythm, and at 4-54 at tea the game was evenly poised with Souths bowling seven maidens in the eight overs before the break. 

But Mitch Swain and Lole released the shackles after the resumption taking Old Boys through to 4-98.

Lole fittingly hit the winning runs, clipping the ball for four the second ball of the 47th over to finish unbeaten on 27. 

Swain made a patient 18, after Abel Carney had hit 21.

Adam Lole hits the winning runs as Old Boys claim a fourth straight premiership