Jilany Chilia’s time in Narrabri might only have been short but it was certainly sweet for Tatts.
The Vanuatu native produced a man of the match performance as Tatts defeated Civeo to secure their second Col Cameron Memorial Shield in three years.
Defending 9-124, the spinner’s 6-21 turned the momentum in the minor premiers favour.
He linked the club after representing East Asia Pacific at the Australian Country Championships, where his performances saw him named in the men’s Australian Country XII, and in his five matches for Tatts claimed 18 wickets.
Tatts skipper Tom Craig said his length and the hang time he was getting did the damage on Saturday.
“He was getting good turn and getting good length, and pushing them onto the back foot,” Craig said.
That was reflected in the mode of his dismissals. Two were bowleds, one caught and bowled, one lbw and one stumped, Craig also noting that he picked up a wicket with a doosra.
He had spoken glowingly of his attack leading into the decider and they delivered again on Saturday.
“I just thought the bowlers were the key for us, like they have been all year,” Craig said.
“Cainy (Michael Cain) and Ryan (O’Neill) really tied Lachie (Cameron) and Nick (Smart) down at the start and built the pressure on them.”
That led to Smart chopping one on off Cain in the eighth over.
“That was the big breakthrough for us. The pressure then went on to Lach,” Craig said.
The leading run-scorer in the competition and fresh from an unbeaten century, whilst ever Cameron was at the crease Civeo were a chance. When he was bowled by Brock Schwager for 18, Tatts could sense victory.
Will Morley briefly delayed the inevitable with 13, but with Civeo on 84 he suffered the same fate as Smart handing Tatts the premiership.
Cain finished with two wickets while Schwager and Rod Kirk snared one apiece.
Kirk came on after Chilia with Craig opting to keep spin on at one end.
Tatts had earlier crept to 124 with Luke Morgan’s 21 the top score.
It was well below the 200 Craig had in mind when he first inspected the deck, but the wicket didn’t prove as easy to bat on.
“Civeo bowled really well and I found the wicket was just a little bit sticky and holding a bit. You couldn’t find your timing,” he said.
He noted how pivotal Morgan’s knock was.
“He came in and timed them and got a bit momentum,” he said.
Craig also acknowledged the importance of Daniel Kahl’s unbeaten 20.
“DK batted patiently, which is what we needed,” he said.
The Civeo bowlers shared the wicket honours around with Jordyn Mowle, Adrian Byrne and Matt Potter all picking up two.
Having stumbled at the final hurdle previously, Craig said it was very satisfying to finish off the job.
“Everyone put in all year,” he said.
“It was very rewarding that we did get the win.”
They also won the Twenty20 spoils and the club championship.
Their second grade side was also victorious on Saturday, William Wood and Alistair Hillard both chalking up half-centuries as they posted 9-196.
They then routed Civeo, who were the minor premiers, for 109, Jonty Schwager and Mick Morgan leading the charge with three wickets.