South Tamworth and Old Boys left Chaffey Park on Saturday believing they had tied the match, but scoreboard confusion meant the result was not confirmed until the following day.
Don Lewington, Tamworth District Cricket Association registrar, provided the confirmation, saying “at this stage” both sides made 152 in the season-opener, a one-dayer moved from No.1 Oval because of rain.
On the final delivery of the afternoon, Souths opening bowler Jamie Hammond fielded his own bowling and hit the stumps from several metres away to run out veteran No.11 Troy Sands (11).
The splendid piece of athleticism from the veteran meant Old Boys, who won the toss, were unable to exact a measure of revenge after Souths beat them in the grand final in March.
Both sides went into the match understrength, losing players to the Northern Inland Bolters’ Plan B Regional Bash campaign in Port Macquarie on the weekend.
Souths were without wicketkeeper Tom Groth, fast bowler Tom O’Neill and teenage new signing Kaleb McIlveen, while Old Boys were without skipper Ben Middlebrook, opening batsman Simon Norvill and teenage new recruit Adam McGuirk.
Having lost experienced fast bowler Troy Osborne in the off-season, and with quicks Angus McNeill and O’Neill not playing, Souths captain Mitch Smith used teen quick Josh Attard to open the attack. Attard finished with 1-29 off eight overs. He also made 21 not out, the side’s second highest score, batting at No.10.
“Josh Attard’s return was fantastic,” Souths captain Mitch Smith said, adding that he was pleased to get the draw given how understrength his side was. “It was a good first hitout,” he said.
South finished 9-152, with Hammond top-scoring (30). Old Boys’ best bowlers were Matt Bryant (2-18 off seven overs), Mitch Swain (2-20 off six overs) and Landan Price (2-38 off eight).
Openers Chris Dobson (34) and Abel Carney (30) top-scored for Old Boys, while James Dunston (3-13 off seven overs) and Nick Leyden (3-27 off six overs) were Souths’ best bowlers.