Call it the Mitch Smith factor. Call it the mateship effect. But whatever you call it, South Tamworth are a side who play joyful cricket.
Not even the heartbreak of losing the past five grand finals has derailed Souths’ mirth train.
Ahead of the second-placed outfit’s two-day clash against Bective East at Riverside 1 on Saturday, South Tamworth keeper Tom Groth has touched on what makes the side tick.
“We’re certainly a pretty tight bunch of mates,” he said.
“Obviously having [skipper] Mitch Smith in charge of the team has created a very relaxed feel amongst the club.”
Groth – part of NSW Country’s national championship triumph in January – said Souths had a positive blend of experience and youth.
And while he said the side was “obviously in it to win it”, they also “wanted to enjoy” their Saturdays.
“We don’t get too worked up about it. But we like to win, obviously,” he added.
With the one-day final played on Friday night, there are only three two-day games to go before the semi-finals. About four points separate Souths, third-placed Wests and fourth-placed Norths, with reigning four-time premiers Old Boys almost 14.5 points clear on top.
Groth said now was the time for sides to build momentum and confidence:
“The one-day games are done and dusted and certainly the competition’s really livened up now, and this where it begins.”
The story Five straight grand final losses hasn’t stopped Souths smiling first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.