Croaky of voice due to a cold, South Tamworth No.3 Blake Fitzgerald has called on his teammates to fulfil their potential after he warded off sickness to score his first century of the season as Souths locked down a minor semi-final spot with a win over North Tamworth.
Fitzgerald made 106 not out as Souths finished on 3-170 at No. 1 Oval on Sunday, in reply to Norths’ 152 from Saturday.
The win kept Souths in third spot on the ladder and booked them a finals clash against City United this weekend.
For Norths, it was game over. Third spot awaited had they won.
Pre-match, Fitzgerald said Souths spoke about their underperforming. The effort against Norths, he said, showed what the side were capable of.
“We’ve been pretty poor since Christmas,” he said, “so we’re a bit further down the ladder than we wanted to be.
“But today was a really good step in the right direction. Getting the runs [with] only three [wickets] down is a really good confidence builder for us.”
City United skipper Brad Smith said a Souths side boasting NSW Country players Tom Groth and Tom O’Neill were a real danger.
After winning the toss, Norths were travelling okay at 3-103 before losing their next seven wickets for 49 runs.
Opening bowler Angus McNeill took 5-50 off 13.2 overs, while Fitzgerald and Conrad George both bagged two wickets.
Norths skipper Brendan Rixon (64) top-scored.