Gunnedah secured hosting rights for the War Veterans Cup final, and without even bowling a ball, with their final round clash with Inverell abandoned.
The game, which was to be played in Inverell, was called off on Saturday night.
“I actually contacted them last night,” Gunnedah skipper Mitch Swain said on Sunday.
“They were in the process of contacting me.”
“They said it was too wet.”
Already assured of a spot in the final, the two points from the draw took Gunnedah out of reach of Narrabri who were, entering the round, the only side capable of knocking them off top spot.
Narrabri were no certainty to make the February 24 decider, and needed to beat Armidale in the other final round game to leapfrog Tamworth, who had the bye, and make sure of their spot.
At 6-41 after 12 overs chasing Armidale’s 9-199, the defending champions’ hopes looked in tatters but a late fightback from Daniel Kahl and Jelany Chilia saw them scramble their way to 152.
It was enough for them to sneak into second, Narrabri’s superior run-rate (0.4734) seeing them edge out Tamworth (0.1961) after both sides finished on 14 points.
Will Archer (51) and Clarrie Moran (47) were the stars with the bat for Armidale and set the innings up with an 81-run third wicket stand.
Matt Baillie(18) and BJ Cameron (16) had put on 40 for the first wicket to give them a solid start.
Chris Sargent (4-37) spun his way through the home side’s tail after Ryan O’Neill had snared 3-41.
Karl Triebe and Sean Skinner were the main destroyers for Armidale as they claimed their second win.