Tamworth were given a scare by Manly in their semi-final but prevailed to earn a rematch with the Gold Coast for the Tamworth Junior Carnival honours.
The hosts fell agonisingly short in their pool clash against the Queenslanders on Wednesday going down by one run.
Thursday was another nail-biter as they defended 8-174.
“The game was in the balance for probably the last 11 overs,” Tamworth co-coach Barry Pratten.
The momentum swung between the two after Tamworth had pegged Manly back from 2-64 after 18 overs to 6-133 after 39.
“Then a couple of their batsmen got going and we looked like we were behind the eight ball,” Pratten said.
“They got the runs back to needing three runs an over, which worried us.”
THE STORY SO FAR:
“But we kept getting wickets at opportune times.”
Needing 21 to win off the last seven overs with three wickets in hand, Manly were all out in the 46th over for 164 as Sam Murphy (3-39) and Deni Baker (4-27) bowled Tamworth to victory.
Heramb Dayananda also picked up 2-28, the fielders supporting the bowlers well in what Pratten described as a “good allround team performance”.
Ben Chick set the innings up with 47 at the top of the order. Adam Williams and Nathaniel Follington also made 22, the former sharing a crucial 79 run stand with Chick to steady Tamworth’s innings after they had lost Claire McGuirk early.
Angus Gale also chipped in with 21 down the order.
“I thought we did very well to get 174. Once we got that I thought we were in the game,” Pratten said.
After having two cliffhangers he was understandably “hoping not to have a third tomorrow”.
The final will be played at No.1 Oval.