Fourteen runs separated Armidale and Manly by the end of their Twenty20 match on Tuesday but it was anyone’s game right until the death.
Chasing 125 for victory, Manly sat on 2-83 after 15 overs in the Tamworth Invitational Carnival.
It was almost the exact same score Armidale – who sat on 2-84 after 15 overs – was on at the same time.
However, it was Armidale who did the best work late in the innings.
The side took five wickets in the final five overs and restricted Manly to 7-110 by the end of the innings.
With the pressure on in the final overs of the game, Armidale coach Jonathan Watson said his captain stood tall and was ably supported by the rest of the team.
“Ollie Schmude as captain, he had to work the field around and I thought he did a really good job in both games – changing the bowlers and setting the fields,” Watson said.
“That was what we needed to keep it tight and restrict the boundaries.
“Everyone was committed to trying to win this game and everyone helped get us over the line.
“Tight bowling, good fielding to support that and everyone gave 100 per cent out there.”
Armidale’s first innings score of 3-124 was set up by opener Harry Litchfield’s unbeaten 58 not out.
Ned Shortis (22), Ben Heagney (21) and Hayden Schumacher (17*) all made starts to help the score along.
In reply, Manly’s Jack Chick continued his impressive carnival to notch up 49 before he was removed by James Marshall.
Litchfield and Brock Parsons both grabbed two wickets each in the win.
It was Armidale’s second win of the day as each team played two Twenty20 matches each.
Shortis (57*) and Ben Rowe (45*) starred with the bat for Armidale against West Pennant Hills-Cherrybrook (WPHC).
After scoring 4-130, Armidale held WPHC to 4-86 as Ratul Kumbam (24) top-scored.
WPHC didn’t finish the day winless as they scored a 10-run win over the Barbarians in their second match. Luchith Thenuwara (5-11) was the star.
Manly also scored one win for the day. The Sydney side scored the winning runs against Tamworth in the final over of the match.
Tamworth then bounced back to beat Nambucca-Bellingen by eight wickets as Isabella Cameron (4-11) and Luke Gentle (35*) put in big performances.
Earlier in the day, the Barbarians produced their first win of the carnival over Nambucca-Bellingen as Dylan Mann (46) put in a player of the match performance.