Tamworth was too strong for its younger Armidale opponents on Tuesday, on the first day of the annual Walter Taylor Shield.
Its first game in the annual cricket carnival, which featured teams from across northern NSW, was against Armidale’s second side at Lambert Oval in Armidale.
Fast bowler Oscar Spinks did the damage with the ball, taking 5/11 in just 20 balls as they bundled the inexperienced Armidale boys out for 39 in 30 overs before Tamworth’s opening batsmen, Luke Maher and Joey Ryan steered their team to victory.
Maher was unbeaten on 21 and Ryan on 14 when they passed Armidale’s total in the 12th over.
In the Armidale innings, several of the batsmen got off the mark and played the occasional impressive shot, but the Tamworth attack was simply too strong.
Number 9 Alex Barlin top scored with 8 before he was bowled by Spinks, to take his fourth wicket.
The innings ended when Spinks bowled Brock Parsons for 4.
Among the other bowlers, Jess Davison took 2/2 off five overs and the other multiple wicket taker was Josh Attard with 2/7.
Luke Maher took 1/7 picking up the wicket of Tom Craig.
Tamworth co-coach Bede Maher was understandably lavish in his praise of his bowlers.
“We were quite surprised actually how well the boys and girls bowled. They were outstanding from the first ball,” he said.
He was a bit surprised, albeit happy, to be sent in to field, having planned to do the same.
“Having looked at the wicket it a bit doughy and dampish,” he said.
The bowlers were able to make the most of that.
“Oscar, Josh Attard, Joey Mead and Jess (Davidson) all reaped the benefits of bowling a good line and length,” Maher said
He was lost for superlatives to describe Spinks’ performance.
“He did what we asked him to. He was bowling full, bowling at the stumps and at times bowling quite sharp,” he said.
Davidson too was “superb” at second change, bowling four maidens in her five overs.
The bowlers were well backed up in the field, with Mead, Jayden Betts, Hamish Heeney and Lachie Wesierski all taking good catches.
With a team of mostly 13-year-olds, Armidale’s coach Jason Tanner said he was proud of the effort his young charges displayed against their older Tamworth opponents.
“To come up against an elite Tamworth team, like they did today, I’m proud of them,” Tanner said.
“It’s great for cricket, these are the fellas that will probably be rep cricketers next year for Walter Taylor because they will be at that age.”
Despite the loss to Tamworth he said the boys had showed great teamwork.
“Getting beaten by that margin, you can’t help that,” Tanner said. “They are a good team Tamworth, always have been and always will be.”
The only other New England side playing in the carnival, Armidale’s senior team, played West Pennant Hills at Harris Park on the first day of the carnival and they were too good for the team from Sydney.
Number 6 batsmen Ben Murphy scored 64 not out, to get Armidale to 6/228 in the first innings of the match.
His innings included seven boundaries and three sixes.
In reply, West Pennant Hills were bowled out for 176, with Nick Page the pick of the Armidale bowlers, taking 4/37 off 10 overs.
The four-day competition continues on Wednesday, with the Tamworth side taking on Lismore.
Armidale’s number one side will play Hunter Valley, and the younger team will take on Penrith.