Tamworth allrounder Lara Graham starred with bat and ball as the hosts comfortably negotiated West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook to book a spot in the final of the under-14 Tamworth Invitational Carnival.
Graham claimed 3-12 off 10 overs as West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook were dismissed for 137 in the one-dayer at Riverside 1 on Thursday.
She then steadied the ship after Tamworth slumped to 2-14 – her unbeaten 59 key to the hosts chasing down the target in the 34th over of the 50-over match.
Graham and Max Delaney (35) combined for a 88-run third-wicket partnership before Delaney fell, with Graham and Bella Cameron (22 not out) then getting Tamworth home.
Tamworth will play Manly in the 50-over final at No.1 Oval on Friday.
Manly beat Tamworth in a Twenty-20 thriller earlier in the carnival, the hosts’ only loss in five matches.
Tamworth coach Joe Cameron said: “Lara Graham was outstanding with bat and ball. She’s been excellent with the ball. She’s played well all week.”
Cameron praised his charges for performing so well despite the addition of six new faces in the side.
He said the side gelling so quickly and effectively was a “brilliant effort by them”.
He said: “It would be good to roll Manly … [but] either way, I’m proud of them to get this far in the competition.”
In related news, Moree cricket will resume on Saturday after the Christmas break with the start of the Twenty20 competition.
The competing teams are defending premiers Camurra Crows, the Services Colts Cricket Club, the Golf Club Cricket Club, the Victoria Hotel Vikings, the Weebolla Bulls, the Agri Storage and Logistics, and new teams Rake Ups and Balcony Boys.
A new turf wicket means all the matches can be played at once instead of having a late game at 3pm – often the hottest time of the day.
With the mercury forecast to reach 43 degrees on Saturday, the players are in for a torture test.