For Armidale’s First XI, it may be a case of what could have been after they defeated grand final-bound Narrabri in the last War Veteran’s Cup game.
The team’s usual captain Todd Francis was unavailable, as was the season’s leading wicket-taker Sam Uphill, top three batsmen Cody Graham and Kyle Taylor as well as bowling spearheads Jackson Gwynne and Tyson Burey.
As of Friday, they were still struggling to pull together a team with only 10 names cemented.
They found the additional two and the Matt Baillie-led team banded together on Sunday to pull off a 47-run victory over the reigning champions.
Baillie and BJ Cameron opened the batting for Armidale and left on 18 and 16 respectively.
The third-wicket 78-run partnership between Clarrie Moran and Will Archer was the standout and put Armidale in good stead with the team going on to post 199 runs from their 50 overs.
“To be honest we weren't full-strength either,” Baillie said.
“Really happy with the performance we put in with the bat and then the bowlers had a big job to do because we were probably short a couple of bowlers yesterday [Sunday].”
Armidale only used four bowlers to defend their total, with Karl Triebe and Sean Skinner combining to get Armidale off to a good start.
The duo picked up three each with Archer chiming in with one and Charlie White snaring three.
“I was quite happy to be defending 200,” Baillie said
“Sean and Karl, they basically had to take wickets in their first spell to give us a chance and they did exactly.
“It is always good to see results at this end of the season.
“They were hitting line and length and making it pretty difficult for Narrabri's batsmen.”
The win rounded out Armidale’s senior representative season.
Baillie believes if they were full-strength for every match, Armidale would be hard to beat but finding enough players to play on Sundays, after playing club cricket on Saturdays, was difficult.
“It would be cool if we could field our best 12 in Armidale and we would have a red-hot side if we did that but unfortunately people have got other things to do on a Sunday,” he said,
“We are definitely capable of winning cricket games.
“Something to look at next season is how to get guys interested again because if we get the best 12 together we would be a handful for sure.”