Jayden McClymont couldn’t have picked a better time to produce his best knock for Gwydir.
Coming in with the Bingara-based side 2-3 in their Connolly Cup clash against the Armidale Second XI, McClymont delivered the innings they desperately needed.
“We very lucky that JD pulled that innings off or we wouldn’t have won the game,” Gwydir captain Luke Smith acknowledged.
His brilliant unbeaten 162 lifted them to 237.
“He hit the ball well,” Smith said.
“I don’t think he gave a chance until he was in his 90s. He batted solidly until then. Once he got to his 100 he got a bit tired and gave a couple of chances. But he punched through that, but just ran out of partners.”
Rob Reynolds (33) was the only other batsmen to make it past five, McClymont virtually holding the innings together after Dylan Yeomans removed Reynolds and ended their 49 run partnership.
It was as well as Smith has seen him bat, and his biggest score for a few seasons.
“I’ve seen him get 40s and 50s,” he said.
“He’d be happy he’s gone on with one.”
He was pretty happy with 237 and thought they shouldn’t have too many problems defending that.
At 5-96 that looked like being the case but Brandon Landsborough (51) and Nick Page (42) led a stunning recovery as Armidale fell just short – replying with 9-233 of their 45 overs.
”They had a couple of young batsmen that came out and threw the bat around,” Smith said.
And once they got on a roll they were hard to stop.
Nilsson West (3-19) provided the crucial breakthrough bowling Landsborough.
“That was a turning point,” Smith said.
The game turned further in their favour when McClymont removed Page 25 runs later. Armidale though were able to keep themselves in it.
Smith bowled the final over and with the visitors only needing eight runs was admittedly “quite nervous”. But he managed to limit them to just three runs.
McClymont backed up his heroics with the bat with 2-44 while Ashley Churchland snared 2-34.