Given Josh Hazlewood and Old Boys' storybook coupling against City United, it had seemed ordained that Australia's vice-captain would get a century on Saturday.
That did not happen. But he did take his fourth sharp first-slip catch of the match, his elder brother, Aaron, added six wickets to the nine scalps he took last weekend, and minor premiers Old Boys beat City United by an innings to record their eighth straight win, ahead of the finals this weekend.
Resuming on 31, Josh Hazlewood - playing a one-off match for his childhood club while recovering from a back injury - never settled and was out for 39. He was caught by young keeper Toby Whale, who came forward and to his left to accept the catch - giving him a tale that he will surely dine on for years.
Hazlewood edged the ball after he fended at a good delivery outside off stump that was bowled by teen quick Joey Mead. The Test No.11 had swung and missed a couple of times before getting out.
His dismissal robbed the decent crowd sitting under the plane trees on Kable Avenue of the chance to see the Hazlewood brothers bat together, with Aaron next in.
Aaron was out for 18. And Old Boys were eventually dismissed for 299 after routing City for 86 last Saturday.
Old Boys' in-form Gunnedah teen Adam McGuirk was run out for 82, while his skipper, Ben Middlebrook (43), and Corey Summers (42) were the other key contributors.
Paceman Tait Jordan (3-80 off 17.5 overs) was City's most successful bowler. Mead and off-spinner Scott Brennan both took two wickets.
In their second innings, City were dismissed for 82. Only Brennan (46) offered any resistance.
Having led the competition after six straight wins earlier in the season, City have lost four consecutive matches.
Despite that, they still went into the Old Boys clash second on the ladder and remained there after other final-round results went their way. The two sides will meet again, in the major semi-final at No.1 this week.
Old Boys will look to advance straight to the grand final on March 30-31, as they attempt to immediately regain the premiership they lost when South Tamworth upset them in the finale last season. Old Boys had won the four previous grand finals.
In the minor semi-final, third-placed West Tamworth and fourth-placed North Tamworth will clash at Riverside 1.
Souths narrowly missed out on making the finals after Bective-East beat them in the last round and Wests downed Norths.
Middlebrook said having Aaron Hazlewood back to full fitness (he had a torn bicep) allowed Old Boys to "work off him more with our bowling".
"I can't fault us too much," he said, adding: "So, yeah … we're looking good."
Middlebrook said Josh's involvement in the game had been "great for Tamworth cricket and for Old Boys".
"Congrats to Cricket Australia and Cricket NSW for allowing him to play this game," he said. "It's been huge for the town.
"I don't think a day's gone past when I haven't seen him in the media. He's been to every school, and Gunnedah and other towns as well.
"It's a credit to him for the person he is, and a credit to Cricket Australia."
City United captain Brad Smith told his players after the Old Boys clash that it was now a "new competition". "And we need to go into it with an optimistic attitude, a real positive attitude, if we're gonna contend for the title."