Armidale didn’t claim the Walter Taylor Shield but they did manage to finish as the best of the NSW teams.
While Gold Coast and South East Queensland battled in the final, Armidale faced Manly for NSW bragging rights and third place in the tournament.
Batting first, Armidale posted 164 runs from their 40 overs with Bradyn Campion the highest scorer on 54.
Manly rolled their sleeves up to chase down the Armidale total.
They needed seven runs off the final over to take the win, or the home team needed a wicket to take the win.
Armidale’s Hayden Schumacher cleaned up the bails to land the final wicket and his side took the triumph.
“They showed a lot of grit in the last two games,” team manger Jerome Simpson said.
“They were put under pressure, they handled it and came out better the other side.”
Simpson applauded the camaraderie among the players.
“It was actually commentated on by other teams how good the Armidale boys were – their respect,” he said.
At the Sportsground, South East Queensland were bowled out for 159.
A dominant Gold Coast team fired with the bat before the South East Queensland bowlers pegged back the scoring.
A four in the 49th secured the total and the shield.
Their opening batsman Jack Dwyer finished with the player of the final with a knock of 56 and a wicket.
He also received player of the tournament after totaling 278 runs and securing six wickets.
Of the Armidale team’s performances, co-coach Mitch Woods said while there was plenty of highlights, there were some valuable lessons learned.
“They need to learn to run between the wickets, not bowl short and bowl to a plan,” he said.
There is more representative cricket around the corner for the squad.
A handful of the players have joined Armidale seniors for the Connolly Cup match against Glen this Sunday while squad members Mitch Duddy and Ben Heagney are in Albury for the Kookaburra Cup.
Five players will play for Northern Inland at a carnival in Maitland in two weeks.