NEWCASTLE are one win away from a record fifth consecutive NSW Country Championships title after a dominant display during the qualifying rounds in Tamworth over the weekend.
Newcastle completed a clean sweep of their three 50-over group games to qualify for the tournament decider, the date and venue for which is yet to be announced.
On Sunday, the Novocastrians were a class above North Coastal, posting 7-278 and dismissing the opposition for 156 in reply.
As had been the case in their preceding games against Central Northern and Greater Illawarra, Newcastle's top three provided a solid platform.
Openers Aaron Wivell (70) and Daniel Arms (78) shared a century stand, then first drop Logan Weston chipped in with 35.
Newcastle spinners Nick Foster (3-9) and AJ Isherwood (3-31) baffled the middle order and tailenders.
In Saturday's win against Illawarra, Weston scored 122 of his team's 292, sharing a 62-run partnership with Arms (40). On Friday, Newcastle opened their title defence with a hard-fought win against Central Northern, after Arms (42), Wivell (50) and Weston (37) and Isherwood (64 not out) steered them to victory by five wickets, chasing 8-257.
The only disappointment for Newcastle during the four-day carnival was a T20 loss to Illawarra on Thursday that ended their reign as Regional Bash champions.
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