TAMWORTH has come within a whisker of knocking off one of the Tamworth Junior Cricket Carnival’s most fancied teams.
The local products went down by the smallest of margins, falling just one run shy of a memorable victory on Wednesday.
Batting first, Gold Coast got off to a promising start before losing both openers with the score on 40.
From there, Tamworth’s bowling attack got to work, lead by Nick Mead (3-12), Deni Baker (2-13) and Sam Murphy (2-18), Gold Coast lost their last eight wickets for 66 runs to be dismissed for 106.
Tamworth co-coach Barry Pratten said “a bit of a rev-up” regain control of the first innings.
“I don’t think we started terribly well,” Pratten said.
“However, once we got those first couple of wickets we got a roll on, which was pleasing.”
In reply, Tamworth’s innings got off to a shaky start, slumping to 4-27 before a gritty 34 from Murphy helped drag the side back into the hunt.
However, it was not enough to see Tamworth get across the line, the side lost its final wicket with just two runs required for victory.
“It was an agonising loss in the end,” Pratten said.
“After no one in our top order got going it was always going to be a bit tough.
“But, full credit to Sam and the guys in the middle order, they took our mantra of breaking it down to just two runs per over and kept us in it.
“Even then though, we were something like 9-83 when our last two batsmen got together and we still took the game really deep.
“Overall I’m really proud of their effort.”
Despite Wednesday’s defeat, Tamworth will now look to a semi-final showdown with an undefeated Manly side.
“While our guys will take a lot of confidence out of pushing the Gold Coast to the limit, a lot of things still went our way,” Pratten said.
“They probably didn’t bat their best and while we have improved dramatically, we still let through a few sundries. So, we will have to be up again if we want to take it to Manly.
“Our job as coaches will be to ensure they kids don’t crash down after today’s [Wednesday] game and make sure their up for the game with Manly.”
Pratten said he would love to come up against Gold Coast, should both sides make the final.
“Wouldn’t it be lovely?” he said.
“We do have a long way to go still and we are certainly not underestimating Manly.
“However, if we were to both get there it would be great to get redemption.”
- Tamworth will take on Manly from 9am on Thursday.