The Port Jackson Red Rockets have defended their Veterans Cricket NSW Over 50s 2020 State Cricket Championships after claiming a six-wicket win at Wade Park on Monday.
The Red Rockets came up against the Central Coast Green side and the firepower with the bat backed up a 15-over miserly spell with the ball to seal the comfortable win, backing up last year's victory at the same venue.
Stephen Atkinson top-scored for the Central Coast side with an unbeaten 43 at the top of the order, but the side lost 6-42 to collapse from 1-71 to 7-113.
While the tail stuck around to help boost the side's total to 165, it proved to not be enough as the clamps were put on the side.
Tony Clark took a few overs to warm up, but in time was belting the Central Coast over square leg and mid off for four, with a few deft late cuts putting the result beyond doubt as he and Trevor Whitehall (29 not out) sealed
Red Rockets skipper Darren Smith said his side "hit our straps" on Monday.
"The boys went out and bowled exceptionally well. They lost four wickets in 15 overs, 33 runs and that really won it for us," he said.
"Clarky came out and was just all class and Trevor Whitall too, they've batted superbly through the whole tournament.
"As a team we played really well and I'm really proud of them indeed."
The Red Rockets picked up a reasonably comfortable game in their first hit-out in the tournament, making 5-236 off the back of unbeaten 40s to Stephen Rose and Rob Pagano before a five-wicket haul to Antony Gowthorp helped skittle the Mid-North Coast Marlins for 167 despite the best efforts of Tony Brandson (44 not out).
Trevor Whitall's unbeaten 41 helped the side squeeze in a two-wicket win over Western Wildfire on the second day, chasing down the hosts' 168 in the 39th over after Tony Clark and Alan Willmore took four wickets apiece.
"I take my hat off to Stuey Crisp and the boys, they really pushed us to the brink and we only just got over them," Smith said.
He admitted he found it difficult to juggle the captaincy and give everyone a go, but in the end he said everyone who "had a crack" played brilliantly to seal the win.
Smith also said the city had put on a spectacle for the tournament.
"Well done Orange because you put on a great time here, no wonder we keep coming back," he said.
Meanwhile, the Central Coast side's trip to the decider game after brushing through the order of the Tamworth Hazelwoods, bowling them out for 134 in 34 overs before chasing it down for the loss of just one wicket before winning a nail-biter on Sunday.
Central Coast was dismissed for 121 in 20 overs at the Country Club Oval by the Macquarie Valley Goannas, but the Goannas stumbled in the chase, falling all out for 118.
The results from Monday's other games weren't available at time of publication.
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