THE NSW Cricket Academy Under 17 players from three North Coast regions, including Great Lakes’ Reece Bowden, Ryan Clark and Bryan Warren, played in a carnival last week as part of the state selection process.
The carnival is normally held at Gloucester each year, but with pitch renovations, was moved to Murwillumbah. On Monday Mid North Coast (MNC) played Far North Coast (FNC) - Gilchrist on a very damp ground. With the ball popping FNC sent MNC into bat and wickets tumbled with MNC who were all out for 75 off 31 overs.
FNC settled in to be 1/34 at drinks and looking at a big win but with the spin of Gloucester’s Reece Bowden and Blake Larance (Wauchope) and Scott Dickson’s (Port) swing, FNC fell away losing six wickets for 11 runs to be all out for 69 off 47 overs. Tuesday saw MNC up against North Coast, with the wicket still damp.
MNC skipper, Ryan Clark (Great Lakes) decided to bat and again the batsmen struggled with wickets falling steadily. Again Daniel Baker with 15 led the fight back, assisted by Jamie Carroll (15) and Bryan Warren (13), but they were all out for 80.
With the MNC bowlers under pressure Bryan Warren removed the NC opener first ball with a screaming yorker, and MNC had their tails up. Craig-Dobson and Warren picked up two wickets each and NC was 8/58.
NC however, produced an excellent ninth wicket partnership to take the game at 8/82. Warren took 3/16 (8), Craig-Dobson 2/11 (4), Dickson 1/10 (6), Connolly 1/9 (2) and Bowden 1/19 (6). MNC faced FNC for the second time on Wednesday, winning the toss and electing to bat.
With the wicket drying out the top order failed again with captain Ryan Clark notching a 50 in a 122 run partnership with Kirk Lower. Lower went on to hit a magnificent 95 not out supported by Warren who carried his bat with 13 runs bringing MNC to 6/201.
With the pressure on the batsmen to score, FNC lost wickets quickly to be 9/117 after 44 overs (with a batsman retired hurt). Reece Bowden took two wickets, Daniel Morrison and Daniel Baker one each and Blake Larance ended with the magic figures of 3/3 off eight balls.
North Coast was unbeaten to win the carnival. Players will be selected for the North Coast Region Under 17 team next month and will meet in early September to begin preparations for the Country Cup.