Central North skipper Tom Groth said they let themselves down with the ball as they were well-beaten by Newcastle in their Country Championships opener on the Central Coast on Friday,
Defending 9-239, the bowlers were too inconsistent as Nathan Hudson inspired Newcastle to a five wicket win and struck a decisive blow to Central North's title hopes. The allrounder finished unbeaten on 120 as they chased down the runs with 10 overs to spare.
"We didn't bowl as well as we would have liked," Groth said, the 13 overs that went for more than 10 runs painting a telling picture.
"We'd bowl two or three good overs and then let them off the hook with an over where we might go for two or three fours."
Maitland's Callum Gabriel was the pick of the bowlers with 1-32 from his eight.
Tamworth's Tom O'Neill led the wicket charge with 2-60 while Gunnedah's Hayden Baker chimed in with 1-49.
Earlier, while he probably would have "liked another 30" Groth was pretty happy with the way that they batted, Andrew Harriott and Tom Fitzgerald both notching half centuries.
The latter continued his good form at the carnival (he has scored a couple of 50s previously), top-scoring with 76 from 83-balls.
"He played really well today," Groth said of the City batsmen.
"It was a good innings - he hit a lot of singles and then hit a few boundaries towards the end."
It was the knock they needed having just lost Harriott for a well-made 59.
"His (Fitzgerald) knock was the difference between us getting 160 and 240," Groth said.
He will be hoping for better things against Central Coast on Saturday.