The cricket gods giveth and then taketh away.
A week after returning to peak form with a blistering 124 against City United, North Tamworth skipper Brendan Rixon made a second-ball duck in a heavy loss to South Tamworth at Riverside 2 on Saturday.
Chasing 215 for victory after Souths won the toss and batted, Norths never recovered from the loss of the opener and shambled to 148 before being bowled out in the 39th over.
It was a nice rebound for Souths, after being soundly beaten by West Tamworth last round, and they now have two wins from three matches – including a season-opening defeat of reigning premiers Old Boys.
South Tamworth opener James Maltby top-scored with 77, while a trio of Souths bowlers snared three wickets: Troy Osborne (3-19), Conrad George (3-27) and Josh Crowe (3-29).
South Tamworth captain Mitch Smith said it was “very handy” getting Rixon early.
He also lauded his side’s “much improved effort with the bat”.
“Having the big star import of Maltby paid off,” he said, laughing, then added: ‘No, he did fantastic.
“Everyone pitched in. The bowlers were on the spot. Not too much went wrong.”
Souths lost their first wicket at 40, when Osborne fell for nine after Rixon caught him off Lincoln Peters’ bowling.
Maltby and Jack Massey then put on a 71-run second-wicket partnership, which ended when Adam Greentree dismissed Massey for 27.
Maltby added 27 runs with No.4 Blake Fitzgerald before Rixon caught the opener off Greentree’s bowling. Maltby hit 12 fours.
Peters and Greentree were the pick of Norths’ bowlers, finishing with 3-31 and 2-36.
Opener Evan Brownsmith top-scored for the Redbacks with 38.