A top-scoring 43 to help his Central North Navy side claim the bragging rights over their Red counterparts was a confidence booster for Callum Henry op the eve of the local Tamworth season.
Henry's 68-ball knock as the three-day Northern NSW Pathways Challenge wrapped up in Tamworth on Monday helped the Navy make 162 in their clash at Riverside 1.
They then dismissed the Red for 97 in 25 overs.
After failing to reach double figures in his first two knocks - he made three the first day and five the second, Henry was pretty happy with his innings.
It was just the tonic as he prepares to make the step up to first grade for City United.
The teenager has played a couple of games in the top grade before but is poised to play a more permanent role this season.
The season commences this Saturday, and will see Henry back at Riverside 1 with City taking on North Tamworth.
He wasn't able to put his finger on exactly what the difference was on Monday compared to the first two days but said he "felt better at the crease".
The Navy were in trouble when he came out to the middle with Tom Stacy (4-34) ripping through the top order to have them 4-14.
Consequently Henry had to be patient and really build into his innings.
He and Cotter Litchfield (27 off 40) got the Navy back on track with a 75 run partnership for the fifth wicket.
"Every ball I felt better and better, and then eventually I threw it away," he said.
After being out there for just over an hour he holed out to Jack Montgomery off Hayden Baker, who also picked up Litchfield in his 3-20.
When Henry departed they were 7-96, and again in trouble, but Cameron Wynn provided a crucial injection of runs with a quick-fire 39.
Despite the hot, windy and dusty conditions Henry felt they probably should have scored a few more runs.
"But we bowled pretty well and bowled tight," he said.
"We kept them down and got the big wickets early."
They knocked over Red skipper Adam McGuirk for just four to have them 3-10. The other big wicket was Alex McNeill (32) just before drinks.
Backing up from his efforts with the bat, Litchfield was one of the chief destroyers snaring 3-7.
He was one of the standout performers for the carnival with his efforts on Monday following an unbeaten 74 and 1-0 on the first day.
It was a particularly impressive effort with the ball with Litchfield due to stress fractures bowling off-spinners rather than his usual pace.
"He did pretty well for someone that doesn't usually do it," Henry said.
He got a pretty good look from his vantage point behind the stumps.
Henry will assume the keeping duties for City and will also draw confidence from the way he kept at the carnival.
"With the gloves I felt I had a pretty good weekend," he said.