The Northern Inland Bolters came within one match of securing a spot in the Plan B Regional Bash finals in Sydney this weekend – the fatal blow a crushing loss to Northern Rivers Rock in Coffs Harbour on Sunday.
Needing to win the game to advance to the Sydney Sixers Conference playoff in Sydney this Sunday, the Bolters were savaged by the Rock, who were put into bat and amassed 2-246 off 20 overs.
In reply, the Bolters finished at 6-173. The Rock advanced to the finals.
Bolters skipper Tom Groth described the loss as “really disappointing”.
On a big Twenty20 weekend at Coffs, in which the Coffs Coast Chargers and the Macquarie Coast Stingers also featured, the Bolters opened with a comfortable win over the Stingers on Saturday before suffering a narrow loss to the Chargers in the first game on Sunday.
Against the Rock, Groth said: “We dropped a lot of chances and we were outplayed … It ended up being a pretty long day in the field for us.”
He said the Bolters dropped opener Caleb Ziebell and No.3 Justin Moore, who made 128 and 96 off 64 and 48 balls respectively.
Requiring about 12 runs an over for victory, the Bolters were gallant in defeat but didn’t give the Rock a fright.
Groth top-scored with a 22-ball 53.
He said: “We had a lot of young guys who would have learned a bit from that experience.
“I suppose a few young guys got exposed to that level of cricket, which is a positive going forward next year.”