Old Boy have gone a long way to securing the minor premiership after staving off a game North Tamworth challenge in an intriguing conclusion to their two-dayer at No.1 Oval.
The win on Saturday means the reigning four-time premiers are 15.36 points clear of second-placed West Tamworth with two two-dayers remaining before the semi-finals.
Old Boys captain Ben Middlebrook said Wests had a mathematical chance of securing the minor premiership if they finished the regular season strongly and Old Boys lost their final two games.
He said North Tamworth and South Tamworth could not claim the minor premiership following their losses on the weekend.
On Saturday, Old Boys dismissed Norths for 245 in the 78th over as the Redbacks chased 264 for victory. They came up just short despite the valiant effort of No.3 Michael Rixon, who struck a 184-ball 112 that included 13 fours and a six.
It was a tough game.Ben Middlebrook
In 37-degree heat, Middlebrook claimed four straight straight wickets as Norths tried to pick up the pace, to finish with 4-22 off seven overs.
He said: “It was a good result. It was a tough game. We didn’t field the best at times and we bowled very well.”
He added: “The match after tea sort of became a one-day game. We soaked up a lot of overs before tea. We still had plenty of runs on the board. We bowled well and caught well in that last session, and eventually it just became a bit too much for them.”