Playing with and also against a “great bunch of blokes” made Saturday’s RSL-Kelly Cup grand final all the more memorable for Tom Skinner.
The Newtown White captain got to hold aloft the silverware after his side defeated clubmates Newtown Black by 16 runs in entertaining decider at No. 3 Oval.
Chris Newbold made 93 for the premiers and was the hero while young gun Tom Kent took two crucial wickets for Newtown White.
While there was disappointment in the Newtown Black camp, the day marked a hugely successful end to the season for the Tigers club.
“It was a really good day,” Skinner said.
“To play with a really good bunch and to play against a really good bunch of blokes made it a really good day for everyone and it went down to those last few overs.
“There was a few tight overs and a couple of wickets but it could have gone either way.”
Newtown White won the toss and batted and Newbold toughed it out early on before powering his side to a total of 5/201.
Newtown Black, which finished the season as minor premiers, gave the chase a real crack and Graeme Allan’s 48 from the middle order kept them in touch.
But the White Tigers bowled will real discipline late on and kept their clubmates to 7/184.
It capped off a stellar second half of the season for Newtown White and Skinner was full of praise for Newbold.
“It was amazing. He batted really well and it was sensible,” he said.
“He was only 40-odd at second drinks but then he got his 50 and put the foot down and built us up towards 200.
“Ben Peacock (48 not out) batted really well, too, there was lots of hard running.”
The win was that little extra sweet for Skinner seeing against his father and Newtown icon, Don, was playing for the Black side.
There was also no fairytale ending for Brett Wrigley, who became the first player to reach 400 games for the club and stated he would retire after the decider.
“It was good,” Skinner laughed of getting one over Don.
“But it was a shame for ‘Wrigs’. He’s played the most games for Newtown and is going to retire now.
“But it was still an enjoyable day and he’s had an awesome career.”
As well as that, the match pointed to a bright future for Newtown. The club had three third grade sides for the first time this season and Skinner said that’s one of many things to be excited about.
“It’s looking good for the future,” he said.
“There’s good young fellas coming through. Jesse Spang played first grade a bit at the end of the season and stepped up as a solid all-rounder. Mitchy Lincoln has been opening the bowling in second grade and looking good and there’s been a few in third grade as well.
“We had a few from Narromine come across as well and they’ve boosted things and have been a good bunch to play with.”