TAMWORTH'S over-60 cricketers have prepared for the NSW championships with an action-packed weekend of cricket.
The action began with a close encounter with Quirindi on Saturday at Chaffey Park, followed by a clash with New England on Monday.
After winning the toss and batting, Quirindi was dealt an early blow when Warren Faulkner was dismissed for a quick-fire 20 off 13 balls.
However, Ray Bastion, Terry Cameron, Mike Morgan and Col Barton all retired after the regulation 35 balls, which propelled the Quirindi side to a total of 196.
Newcomer to veterans cricket, Paul Newall, was Tamworth's best with the ball, taking 2-34. Greg Kellett (1-21) and Scott Hobden (1-38) claimed the home side's only other wickets.
In reply, Tamworth got off to a good start as Chriss Crowell and Tom Kellett both retired after 35 balls.
Tamworth the lost regular wickets before Hobden (37) and Mike Cashman (26) helped keep the run chase alive. It proved to be not enough and Quirindi secured a memorable victory.
Tamworth aimed to make up for the loss in a nail-biter against New England on Monday, which came down to the final over.
Both sides batted twice in the modified game, which New England finished with a combined total of 7-195.
Gary Clark (23), Craig Stoddart (15), Richard Cannon (38) and Des Brown (31) starred with the bat for the visitors.
Ben van Aanholt (2-24) Ian Kitching (2-20) and Terry Murphy (2-25) chimed in for Tamworth.
Tamworth lost just four wickets in the run chase, before Peter Boyd scored a boundary off the final ball to give the hosts a six-wicket victory.
All three teams will now head to Maitland to start the NSW Championships on Sunday.
Both New England and Quirindi will play in division two and hope to come home as champions once again.
Tamworth will be up against it early as they play Port Jackson.
From there Tamworth will take on a strong Coffs Harbour team before clashing with a Southern Highlands
Chriss Crowell will captain the Tamworth side, which will include; Tom Kellett, Olly Taylor, Bede Maher, Ron Radford, Scott Hobden, Ben van Aanholt, Robert Kahler, Peter Boyd, Terry Murphy, Ian Kitching, Steve Beaton, Steve Massy and Greg Kellett.
Following this competition a number of Tamworth players will head to Adelaide to play in the national over-60 championships.