Country Championships: Central North fall short against Newcastle

Final instructions: Central North captain Tom Groth addresses his side before their clash against Newcastle. Photo: Heidi Gibson
Final instructions: Central North captain Tom Groth addresses his side before their clash against Newcastle. Photo: Heidi Gibson

Half-centuries from Simon Norvill and Aaron Mahony weren’t enough to get Central North home in their Country Championship opener against Newcastle in Inverell on Friday.

Set 275 for victory, the hosts made a valiant chase but the runs proved out of reach as they finished with 7-215 from their 50 overs.

“We batted pretty well,” Central North manager Terry Psarakis said.

“Three players got good starts. We just needed someone to go on and get a 100.”

As Newcastle skipper Mark Littlewood had done for his side earlier, with a brilliant and unbeaten 124-ball 116.

He was well supported by Nathan Price, the pair putting on 142 for the second wicket as Price clubbed 13 fours on his way to 87.

“That was the partnership that set up the win,” Psarakis said.

He said they thought they had a good chance for lbw on Price before he had got off the mark, but it wasn’t to be.

That wasn’t to take anything away from his innings. He and Littlewood both batted “very well”, he said.

Tom O’Neill eventually broke the partnership and was the standout with the ball with 1-37 from his 10.

Psarakis was also impressed with Cael Smith (1-56) making his senior debut for the zone.

He had to bowl the death overs after Paddy Montgomery was hampered by a back complaint.

Generally they bowled and fielded well, Psarakis felt.

”Probably we only had three or four bad overs where we conceded a few more runs,” he said.

Their run chase then got of to a horrible start losing Josh Geary in the first over.

It meant they had to consolidate and play a bit more conservatively than they otherwise might have.

Norvill (55) and Josh Trappel (42) did a good job of consolidating but when Norvill miss-judged a slower ball and Trappel followed not long after it stopped their momentum, Psarakis said.

Mahony (52) did his best to rebuild the innings but was left with too big a job.

Western defeated North Coastal in the other game.