New England’s cricket side were just 14 runs from landing a historic win on home turf.
The local side, made up of players from all over the Tablelands, took on Riverina in Sunday’s grand final at the over 50’s state championships in Armidale.
The visiting team finished on 8-198 from their 45 overs and it was up to New England to chase it down.
The hosts needed 20 runs off the final over to clinch the victory.
They fell short at 8-185.
Carnival convener Graeme Andrews said it was an exciting finish to the successful event and it was fitting the home team managed play in the decider.
“I was there at the end and it was very exciting when the run chase was on,” he said.
“Riverina had some very good players.
“They had three or four players who had played for NSW Country which in the country is the highest level you can go to.
“We had a couple as well, local guys who played very well.
“I always thought Riverina would have a very strong side because they picked players from Griffith, Wagga, Cootamundra, Young and Temora.
“We had the fortune also to be picking from Inverell, Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Uralla, Walcha and Armidale so we had good representation from all of those areas.”
It’s only the second time the over 50’s tournament has run, with the first in Port Macquarie in February this year, and Andrews said the Armidale event was met with enthusiasm.
“Everyone enjoyed themselves, there was some good cricket played,” he said.
“Everything ran pretty smoothly, everyone was happy with the way it was run.
“The feedback was they thought the facilities were great, it was all very positive feedback.
“The only ground we had a problem with was Moran Oval.
“We had to play on synthetic on Friday but we played on it on Saturday and Sunday.
“The ground out at the uni, Bellevue Oval, was played at for the first time in about 12 years and everyone was happy with that, it played quite well.”